One of the great things about having a sourdough starter is sharing it with others looking to get into bread baking. It can initially seem daunting but I’ve noticed that pretty quickly people realize there is not much maintenance work involved. The idea of refreshing the starter, which involves discarding most of the current starter, is probably the idea that seems strangest to those new to sourdough baking.
A few years ago I gave some starter to a friend who after several weeks said that she was running out of containers to put the discard in. Not wanting to be wasteful she had been keeping the discard each time she fed her starter, but was unsure of what to do with it. This was what prompted me to start looking into recipes that could make use of the discard. And thanks to my wife I now have this snazzy plate to display them on.
The one we make the most (and I talk about the most on here) is sourdough waffles and pancakes. This works exceptionally well because I feed my starter on the weekends and the waffles are a great Sunday morning breakfast. I’ve also made muffins and most recently a quick bread/cake that can easily be made on a weeknight.
Each time I make biscuits I have a bad habit of doing two things that result in a final product that isn’t as buttery or flaky as I hope. I always roll the dough too thin. This recipe suggested rolling out to 1/2 inch, and I probably rolled to 1/4 inch before I realized it. For the second batch I did a better job on this.
I also tend to knead the dough too much which causes you to lose the larger pieces of butter in the dough that make the biscuits so flaky (both from the actual kneading and warming up the dough). Even doing this the biscuits were really wonderful and still quite soft. We had them with eggs for breakfast and also some BBQ chicken for dinner. Sorry to anyone in the UP who feels left out, next time I will make sure to use both of my Michigan pastry cutters!
- 2¼ C AP flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ C cold butter, cut into ½” cubes
- 2 cups unfed sourdough starter, 100% hydration
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and butter cubes. Using your hands squeeze the butter cubes until they are flattened and well coated with flour. The pieces of butter will be much smaller.
- Add the starter and knead the dough until it forms a ball. If needed add water 1 tsp at a time until there are no dry bits of flour.
- Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Turn the ball out onto an unfloured surface and roll it to about 1” thick. Fold it in half and roll it out again. Repeat this two more times for a total of three folds.
- On the final roll-out, roll to to ½” thick, then cut out 3” biscuits.
- Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking pan and baked in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes.