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Sourdough starter

How to use up sourdough starter

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Make the most of your starter with our 10 sourdough discard recipe ideas. Use up your starter with our low-waste suggestions for baked goods and treats.

If you don't have enough supplies for another loaf, put your sourdough starter to work with our recipes and tips. Find ways to use up starter leftovers with pancakes, crumpets and more.

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Or you could package it up and give to a friend with a copy of our sourdough bread recipe for a thoughtful gift.

See our sourdough recipes for more ideas and read our guide on what is sourdough for a detailed overview.

10 ways to use up sourdough starter

1. Crumpets

Crumpets

Add your sourdough starter to crumpet batter for a super light and airy texture. Try using our crumpet recipe for a fluffy, golden brown result.

See our crumpet recipes for more inspiration.

2. Crackers

Mix starter excess with seeds and toasted, raw quinoa then pour onto a non-stick sheet. The mix should be the consistency of porridge. Spread evenly, sprinkle with salt and then bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 10-15 mins until browned and crisp. Cool and snap into pieces.

3. Pancakes

Twos stacks of sourdough pancakes on plates, with a glass jar of syrup

Add your starter leftovers into pancake batter for a tangy flavour and added fluffiness. Try our simple sourdough pancakes recipe to use up your discard and make a delicious breakfast treat.

Find heaps of pancake inspiration in our pancake collection.

4. Sourdough pizza

Sourdough pizza cut into slices on a board, with cutter

Take your pizza to the next level by incorporating sourdough starter into the dough base. When pan-fried or baked, this results in a wonderfully crispy and chewy crust. Try our margarita-style sourdough pizza recipe and switch it up if you like with your own choice of toppings.

5. Scones

Mix your sourdough starter into a batch of scones for some added texture and flavour. It goes well with our easy fluffy scones or these savoury classic cheese scones.

See more recipes with our handy scones collection.

6. Sourdough focaccia

Sourdough focaccia bread on a wire wrack

The act of making focaccia is often every bit as joyful as the eating, and comes as no exception to this sourdough version. The delightfully soft and squidgy dough is given its characteristic dimpled appearance by softly poking the surface with your fingers before baking. Make sure your starter is fully active for this - it should be bubbly and a teaspoon of it will be able to float in water.

7. Toad-in-the-hole

Take a classic childhood favourite to the next level with the addition of sourdough starter. The starter will ensure it rises and becomes super light. Try a classic toad-in-the-hole recipe or our luxurious easy cheesy mustard toad-in-the-hole with broccoli.

Find more family favourites with our toad-in-the-hole recipes.

8. Sourdough hot cross buns

Batch of sourdough hot cross buns on a wire rack

Give this classic Easter bake a tangy flavour twist with your leftover starter. Although these sourdough hot cross buns take a little more effort in terms of stretching and proving the dough, they are well worth it for the end result. Reserve some of your starter to pipe the signature cross on each of the buns before baking. They are glorious served warm slathered with butter.

9. Dusting powder

Use up your sourdough starter with this versatile dusting powder. Dry out the starter in a thin layer, then grind into a powder using a pestle and mortar. Use the powder to dust bread baskets or bread dough before scoring.

10. Sourdough cinnamon buns

Sourdough cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese, on a wire cooling wrack

These sourdough cinnamon buns are utterly irresistibly drizzled with a layer of soft creamy cheese icing. The subtle tang of sourdough starter forms a perfect balance to the characteristically sweet and sticky flavours in this Nordic bake.

Enjoyed these suggestions? See more recipes and guides...

How to make sourdough bread
Best bread-making equipment
Sourdough recipes
Health benefits of sourdough
Bread recipes

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