Sourdough – Using your discard.


Hello everyone.  I’m so relieved to have a bit more time on my hands.  As many of you may know I was very busy towards the end of May / beginning of June putting the finishing touches on my website for final marking.  This was the first advanced module of my course and has kept me going for the last six months.

Although that portion of my course is done my website is by no means complete.  It will continue to be a work in progress since I have photos uncatalogued into the 1980’s.  I presently own three cameras so you can get a better feel for how many photos I shoot daily.  I will continue to load content as I can wade my way through.  Those are good jobs for sitting during the winter months however I will continue to let content trickle in as I have time and desire to sit.

I can share with you I was extremely elated that for my effort and knowledge I received a 100%.  Apparently I kept my mentor on his toes asking questions that made him have to research and think even harder.  He shared with me that he rarely ever hands out a perfect score.

So if you are reading my blog and have not yet visited my website itself I encourage you to do so.  And if you have consider dropping by often as content will be added.  I’d be very thankful if you dropped me a note to let me know what your think about it.

My next module has begun and will run until late December.  Presently I am working on Landscape and Travel Photography.  Even though I don’t travel it is useful information.  The two are not separated because there is a fine line differentiating them.  So while I am taking the time to study and prepare for some outings I thought I would take the time to put together my next blog post.

Viable Sourdough Starter

During the process of developing a viable Sourdough Starter you tend to produce a lot of cast off during the process. This cast off  is otherwise referred to as discard.  Because it is labeled discard does not mean it has to be thrown out nor does it mean you have to be wasteful.  As promised I will delve into the uses for that discard.

When some people get overwhelmed with the amounts they either compost it, throw it out or feed it to the chickens or other farm animals.  The amount of discard you produce is determined by the length of time it takes for you to develop a viable starter.  In my case I had a lot of difficulty for a number of reasons and I’m sure it had a lot to do with me missing important ques in the instructions.

When you feed your starter the remainder (discard) you wish to keep is stored in the refrigerator.  It can keep for about 3 months.  You can also store measured amounts in the freezer.  If you have a recipe you know takes a certain amount  measure it out into a container and seal, then freeze.  When you want to bake pull the number of containers out that you need to use rather than having to mess with thawing and measuring after the fact.

Presently my starter is in the refrigerator being fed once a week awaiting the cooler weather and me to catch up with using my discard.  Once a week I bring it out, let it warm for a few hours, then feed it and set it back in the oven with the light on for a few more hours before putting it back in the fridge for another week.  Once the weather starts too cool or maybe even earlier I will take the que to pull it out and bake bread.  That doesn’t mean however that I am not baking now.

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

Cinnamon Raisen Bread

This is likely one of my husbands and I’s favourites.  Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread.  I have generally been baking two of these loaves a week.  Great for breakfast or snacks toasted and even better when made into French Toast.

I make my dough in my ‘KitchenAid’ stand mixer, then proof and rise the dough the regular way.  What you choose to use for flour is totally up to you.

Violet & Her Loaf

I also do practice adding about 1/3 whole wheat flour to my recipe to use up what I had in the cupboard.  Making two loaves can be done in half of a day.

It is worth noting that I have learned from making my starter to always go by weight.  I have carried that practice forward.  What that means is when measuring amounts of my starter for use in a recipe I weigh it as opposed to measuring.  In addition I do that with my butter as well.

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

One of the simplest and quickest things to make is ‘ Buttery Sourdough Sandwich Biscuits ‘ – seen below.   They are a huge hit in this household and a favourite as well especially for my husband who was raised on his grandmothers homemade bread.  There is generally not many meals that go by without bread on the table in our household.

When you are preparing your dinner you can whip these up and have them on the table warm in less than 1/2 hour.

Yes they do make wonderful sandwiches also if you make them on the larger side.  They do keep rather well for a few days wrapped in a sandwich bag and freeze well also.

Light & Flak

Just fill them with your favourite fixings.  Something different for lunch or biscuits and jam at breakfast.  The leftovers never go to waste.

Buttery Sourdough Sandwich Biscuits

Chocolate is one of my favourite things.  I always used to say “Chocolate makes my world go round.”  This Chocolate Sourdough cake is not exception.  It is both light and chocolaty.  Pair it with a cup of coffee or tea and you have yourself a little slice of heaven.

Join Me

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

When you are looking for an easy desert or have guests coming over this is ideal to serve as a treat.  You can even bake these and freeze well wrapped for times of surprise or when you are on the run.  Just thaw and ice.

The last recipe I will share with you is great for lunchboxes and snacks when you are on the run.  You can make these ahead and freeze them for on the run.  But a fair warning they don’t last long.


Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins

When I made mine I just used the whole portion of milk since I had no plain yogurt on hand.  This recipe is very adaptable.

I have made many other recipes.  I could likely go on forever.  I am trying to find a recipe to use my Rhubarb.  I may consider adapting one I already have.

Whatever you like to bake one thing is certain – you can find many other goody recipes via the internet.  For other options you may choose to Google search with terms like ‘ recipes to use Sourdough discard’.  Vary your search terms and you should dig up a good variety.

Happy Baking!

written by


A privileged descendant of immigrant settlers to Turtle Island who makes home on Robinson Huron Treaty Land which was lovingly nurtured and respected by the Anishinabek nations of the Ojibway, Potawatami and Odawa peoples.  She is a graduate of The Photography Institute of Canada and currently completing advanced studies after retiring from her working career in healthcare. Professional Photographers of Canada Accredited her in - Ornithology / Bird Photography (2021), Fine Art (2022), Pictorial / Scenic (2021), Wildlife (2022) as well as Animals (2022), Nature (2023) & Night Photography (2023). She has also been a National and Regional Award recipient multiple times over in 2021 and 2022 having images chosen to exhibit in Professional Photographers of Canada's prestigious National Exhibition 2022, Ontario's prestigious Regional Exhibition 2021 as well as British Columbia's and Eastern Canada's prestigious Regional Exhibitions 2022. Operating out of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada Violet has been a freelance photojournalist for SooToday in the past and still takes on freelance projects today. Her specialties include Wildlife, Landscape and Fine Art Photography, with special interests in Food Photography and Urban Decay but practices many more well-rounded photographic skills.