Sourdough Discard Bread

This easy sourdough discard bread recipe is one of the best discard recipes you will ever make and for sure one of the tastiest. This no fail, no knead sourdough bread comes together in just minutes. Mix it, let it sit for a few hours or up to 24 hours, and then bake it. 

overhead photo of a loaf of crusty sourdough discard bread on a wood cutting board

If you’ve ever tried your hand at making your own homemade sourdough bread, you may know that it can be slightly challenging. The stars have to align and your starter has to be super active and bubbly, there is stretching and folding involved. And truth be told, I’m too lazy and too busy for all that business.

I secretly love watching inexpensive grocery hall videos on YouTube, and love watching Kristine at Frugal Fit Mom. Any who, she makes this artisan bread all the time and I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could turn that original recipe into a sourdough version?” 

So that is exactly what I did. Took that recipe and tweaked it until I found the perfect combination and the best loaf with the littlest effort.

Honestly, I’m a terrible sourdough starter mother. I neglect it constantly, forget to feed it very frequently, and yet, my love for all things fermented grains lives on. 

This recipe literally could not be any easier, and it is probably the best way to use your discard. Anyone could make it. There’s no fancy equipment, not even a stand mixer. You basically proof the yeast, and then everything gets dumped into a bowl and mixed. 

There’s no kneading, no stretching and folding. You simply leave it on your countertop for 2-12 hours (potentially longer but you run the risk of over proofing), put it in the fridge, and then bake it. This easy recipe for sourdough discard bread will be a family favorite that you will want to make constantly. 

two halves of sourdough discard bread stacked on top of each other on a wood cutting board

Why You Will Love This Recipe:

It tastes just like traditional sourdough bread but without all the work. The texture of this bread is amazing. It has a yummy crumb and that oven spring everyone desires.

On top of that, the sourdough starter still helps ferment the dough making it easier to digest and the nutrients more bioavailable.

You do not need active starter. Discard or unfed starter will work just fine.

You can start this up to 24 hours before you need to bake it. As a busy mom, that is my favorite kind of recipe.

It’s sourdough baking, but in the easiest way possible.

This is a great way to use up all that excess starter you have from feeding your starter. (Honestly, I never discard anymore, I just use it in easy sourdough discard recipes like this instead.

This is the best way to get homemade bread on the table with very little effort.

loaf of crusty sourdough discard bread on a wood cutting board sitting on a wood table with a plaid towel in the background

Tips For Making Sourdough Discard Bread:

  • To get that artisan style bread with that amazing crust, you will need to bake it in a hot dutch oven.
  • Make sure the water is warm and not hot, you do not want to kill the yeast.
  • If the dough seems too loose and wet, like it may have over proofed, stick it in the fridge for a few hours before baking.
  • If you want to double this recipe you can do it all in one bowl, or for better results, I suggest making it in two different bowls.

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loaf of sourdough bread in a parchment lined dutch oven

FAQ

What can I do with my sourdough discard?

There are so many recipes you can make with all that extra starter. From pancakes, to cookies, quick breads like banana bread, or biscuits. You name it, you can probably sourdough it.

Can you feed sourdough discard?

Yes. Feeding discard will just make another sourdough starter. I personally wouldn’t because I don’t need two sourdough pets going at the same time. Use discard for discard recipes and just keep your active one going for other recipes.

How long can you use sourdough discard?

If it has been stored in the fridge, it can last up to two weeks.

What is oven spring?

It is the sudden and final rise that happens as soon as you put the bread in the oven before the bread develops that nice crust.

Can I use discarded sourdough starter to make more starter?

Yes you can. When I want to gift a friend sourdoughs starter, I will often use discard, feed it and then give them that. 

Why score bread?

One, you can create beautiful designs in the bread. Two, you get to determine (for the most part, you never know what may happen) where the bread will expand. You technically do not have to do this and can allow the bread to just expand on it’s own. 

How long does sourdough bread last?

It can last about 7 days before going stale if stored in an air-tight container. You can also freeze for longer storage.

Tools:

Large bowl

Measuring cups and spoons

Dutch oven or loaf pan – although for crust bread you will need a loaf pan.

a loaf of sourdough discard bread sliced in half and one side is resting on the other. The loaf is on a wood cutting board with a plaid towel in the background

Ingredients

Sourdough discard – You could also use active sourdough starter, but usually my is not. Use whatever you have on hand.

All-purpose flour – You could also use up to 1/2 whole wheat flour.

Water – Warm not hot.

Salt – Do not skip this step. You loaf will taste bland and lack so much. Sure it will still have the sour flavor without salt, but adding salt will bring out that yummy sour flavor even more. 

Active dry yeast – Not rapid yeast or instant yeast. Active dry yeast is what makes the dough rise. It doesn’t rely our the wild yeast in the sourdough starter but rather the commercial yeast. The yeast is what makes this recipe no fail.

close up picture of a loaf of crusty sourdough discard bread on a wood cutting board with a plaid towel in the background

How To Make Sourdough Discard Bread

Warm water to about 90 degrees and add yeast. Stir and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until it gets bubbly. Be careful not to get the water too warm potentially killing the yeast.

flour, water, yeast, sourdough discard, and salt in a white stand mixer bowl

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sourdough starter, and the water yeast mixture.

bread dough in a white stand mixer bowl with teal spatula

Stir with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula (or heck use your hands) until it forms a loose ball. The dough will be very “shaggy dough”.

Depending on the hydration of your starter will depend on how much water you will need to add. I suggest starting at one cup and then slowly adding up to 1/4 cup extra until the dough forms. This is not a sticky dough, but rather a fairly dry dough. It will become stickier as it proofs.

bread dough after the first proof

Cover with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and place at room temperature for 2- 24 hours. The longer it goes the more fermented it will be, thus giving it a more sour taste. 

Optional step: to reduce the risk of over proofing the dough, place dough in the fridge after it has sat out at room temperature for about 12 hours. Finish the time in the fridge. 

Preheat oven to 450 and place a dutch oven with a lid in the oven to preheat for an hour.

As it preheating, take your dough and plop it onto a piece of parchment paper. Use your hands to shape the dough. Cover it with a tea towel and allow it to rise again for one hour, also known as the second proof.

slicing sourdough discard bread dough with a knife on parchment paper

When the hour is up, use a sharp knife or lame to score the dough. If you really want the scores to pop, you can rub flour on top of the dough before scoring.

adding sourdough discard bread dough on parchment paper in a dutch oven

Place into the hot dutch oven, cover it with a lid and place into the hot oven for 25 minutes. 

After the 25 minutes, remove the lid and finish baking for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Baking Schedule Example:

12:00 PM: Realize you neglected to feed your starter once again and want bread the next day. 

12:05 PM: Create dough using sourdough starter discard, warm water, yeast, flour and salt. Cover it and forget it.

8:00 PM: Plop into a large bowl with lid (or plastic wrap) or a floured banneton basket and place in the fridge.

3:30 PM: The next day, preheat your oven and dutch oven. Shape dough, cover and allow to rest.

4:30 PM: Place dough into a hot dutch oven and bake according to directions.

5:20 PM: Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

I hope you enjoy my absolute favorite homemade sourdough discard bread!

How to store sourdough bread:

Store in an air-tight container up to 7 days. Freeze for up to 6 months in a ziplock bag.

If it does start to go stale you can use it to make croutons or French toast.

Find More Of Our Favorite Sourdough Recipes:

If you try this recipe and love it, I would love if you could come back, comment on the post, and give it 5 stars! Please and thank you. Tag me on Instagram @ablossominglife

loaf of sourdough bread in a parchment lined dutch oven

Sourdough Discard Bread

This easy sourdough discard bread recipe is one of the best discard recipes you will ever make and for sure one of the tastiest. This no fail, no knead sourdough bread comes together in just minutes.
4.19 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Author: Amy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 slices

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + warm water
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast

Instructions

  • Warm water to about 90 degrees and add yeast. Stir and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until it gets bubbly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sourdough discard, and the water yeast mixture.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula (or heck use your hands) until it forms a loose ball. The dough will be very “shaggy dough”. Depending on the hydration of your starter will depend on how much water you will need to add. I suggest starting at one cup and then slowly adding up to 1/4 cup extra until the dough forms.
  • Cover with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and place at room temperature for 2- 12 hours.
  • Optional step: to reduce the risk of over proofing the dough, place it in the fridge after it has sat out at room temperature for about 12 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 450 and place a dutch oven with a lid in the oven to preheat for an hour.
  • As it preheating, take your dough and plop it onto a piece of parchment paper. Use your hands to shape the dough. Cover it with a tea towel and allow it to rise again for one hour, also known as the second proof.
  • When the hour is up, use a sharp knife or lame to score the dough.
  • Place into the hot dutch oven, cover it with a lid and place into the hot oven for 25 minutes.
  • After the 25 minutes, remove the lid and finish baking for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Notes

  • To get that artisan style bread with that amazing crust, you will need to bake it in a hot dutch oven.
  • Make sure the water is warm and not hot, you do not want to kill the yeast.
  • If the dough seems too loose and wet, like it may have over proofed, stick it in the fridge for a few hours before baking.
  • If you want to double this recipe you can do it all in one bowl, or for better results, I suggest making it in two different bowls.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sourdough, sourdough bread, sourdough discard, sourdough discard bread
Tried this recipe?Mention @ablossominglife or tag #ablossominglife!

16 Comments

  1. I’m new to sourdough bread baking. This recipe says sourdough discard bread, but the recipe calls for sourdough starter. Starter is discard that has been fed, discard is unfed. So do you feed your discard for this recipe, or did you just take discard from your Mother without feeding it? Thanks, Pat.

    1. You can use either. I do not feed my starter for this recipe usually, I just take it from starter. I’ll fix that on the recipe card. Thanks.

  2. I would like to use a stoneware loaf pan. Does it also need to be hot? How does this change the baking time?

    1. You could. I’m not sure for time difference. I need to try it. If you still want a crusty loaf I would suggest spraying the top with water during the baking process and adding a baking dish with boiling water in the rack below the bread loaf.

    1. Start with 1 cup of warm water and mix with the yeast. You may need to add a little bit more when mixing up the dough.

  3. 5 stars
    I put this recipe together last night, then baked it this morning. I doubled it, so it made two boules. Absolutely delicious! Mine turned out with a very crisp crust with great flavor. The best part is that it’s incredibly easy and requires very little effort. Making it the night before allows you to ferment overnight, then bake in the morning. The kids and I are all loving it!

  4. 5 stars
    This was the first sourdough recipe I ever made and it came out so so well! My husband asked if I bought the loaf at a local bakery. That was about 2 months ago. I haven’t been able to replicate how good that first loaf was – haha. But I am sure it has nothing to do with the recipe and more to do with the fact that I’m new to sourdough and there are many variables!

    1. Wowww that is a compliment! So glad you enjoy it. There are so many variables. You will totally get the hang of it!

    1. The recipe card is at the bottom of the post. You can also use the jump to recipe button at the top.

    1. I would since you one the recipe only calls for discard and because there isn’t any kneading or stretch and folds. I have seen people use just discard to make bread, but then there would need to be kneading involved or you wouldn’t get a good rise.

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