How to Make Biscuits with Sourdough Starter Discard

It’s weird that my last post was about using up your sourdough starter discard and now here’s another one (if you missed last week’s post, it was these chocolate and peanut butter fudge brownie bites)…

Sourdough Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

I usually space apart similar posts like this, but I have been getting sooooo many questions about baking with sourdough, I figured I needed to post this sooner than later.

Let me explain.

As we all know, it seems everyone and their brother is experimenting with sourdough and making homemade starter. But, I think what is secretly happening is that many people are hiding the fact that their starters aren’t necessarily working the first time and now they have all this discard left over – especially if you’ve tried more than once to make a starter from scratch. And, let me be the first to say, my very first starter was a complete fail!! Just so y’all don’t think it’s about being well versed in the kitchen!!

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

Now, I’m not going to tell you about how to grow your stater or “everything you ever wanted to know about making a perfect sourdough loaf”… that would be too long to talk about here (I will say, though, that my friend Emilie wrote a book called Artisan Sourdough Made Simple that has loads of information in it! Let’s leave that to the professionals like Emilie!!)

But, what I’m better at doing here in this space, is sharing tidbits of information to help you guys maneuver around the kitchen and eliminate waste.  So, of course, another recipe for using spent sourdough had to be next!

Last week, my friend Vince (who is super-duper smart – I know this because he was my high school math teacher!) sent me a recipe he tried using spent starter or discard. So, of course, I had to try it. I thought, “oh, maybe I’ll play around with it and create a new recipe”. But, nooooo! This one is perfect!! So, all the credit for this recipe goes to Vince…yayyy Vince!!

What I WILL do though is guide you through the scone/biscuit making process (by the way, if you’ve ever wanted to know the difference between scones and biscuits, plus a recipe for proper scone, take a peek at this post – for name sake, this would qualify as a biscuit because it contains no eggs – the egg wash doesn’t count).

Whenever you make biscuits (or scones), the biggest problem people have with making a biscuit that is light (and not reminiscent of a hockey puck) is over-working the dough. It’s a tough one, but handling it gently is key!

The first step, after combining the dry ingredients, is cutting in the butter. Whether you use a pastry blender or your hands, the butter should resemble small peas when you are done and ready to add in your liquid.

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

Make a well and then pour in your liquid (in this case, it’s the starter discard) into the centre of the well.

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

Mix gently until it is all combined but do NOT knead your dough. Leave the kneading for your bread baking – kneading develops gluten which makes bread with your fluffy but makes biscuits without yeast hard as a rock. Shape it into a circle (and cut into triangles) or, using a cutter…

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

…cut them into circles (a proper biscuit shape).

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

These ones below are the triangular shape!

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

Because it just happens to be Easter weekend, I though I’d make my scones a bit more festive!

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

(aaaand, if you’re reading this on Easter weekend, here are a couple of other posts about things to make on over Easter – How to Make Your Easter Table Shine, How to Make Easter Bark, Making Pane Di Pasqua (Italian Ester Bread) and Easter Menu Ideas ).

These biscuits are a great addition to your table this weekend – especially if you’re trying to make room in your fridge – which might be full of starter!

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

So, happy baking! And if you aren’t one of the million people with excess sourdough starter, you can try your hand at my british scone recipe here.

Or you can let someone else do the baking, kick back and enjoy the sunshine!

Because we ALL can’t be in the kitchen, right?

Someone has to be doing the chores (and, by chores, I mean, sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a good book!!;))

How to make scones with sourdough starter discard

Sourdough Discard Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sour dough starter discard
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add in butter and cut in with a pastry blender (or rub in with your hands) until well blended - the butter should be the size of peas. 

  3. Make a well in the centre and add in the starter discard. Mix well until the flour is incorporated but be careful not to over-mix (this is what causes tough biscuits/scones).

  4. Shape into a circle and cut into 8 triangular pieces. Place on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

  5. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes and check to see if the biscuits are golden (timing depends on how you cut your scones).

  6. Enjoy with good quality jam!!!

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