Sourdough Discard Biscuits

My experiments with and about sourdough baking have taken me to new places. There is a cult of sourdough bakers, to be sure. And if you’ve read anything at all about baking with sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast you will already know that your starter needs regular feeds just like a family pet and feeding the starter also means you have to discard some of your starter at each feeding. unless you either do a lot of baking or choose to devote an entire kitchen or fridge to starter.

I love biscuits. I admit that they have been a bane in my existence— not having a mum or grandmother who made great biscuits. Too much of my life I had inordinate expectations of my biscuits. I always wanted them to behave in a way not chemically consistent with the recipe. Don’t ask. It’s embarrassing.

Relatively recently I found a Cooks Country recipe that put all those nightmares to bed. I shared that some months ago. I continue enjoying the product!

My Virus induced venture into sourdough has left me, too, with excess discard and the idea of using that discard has nagged at me.

This way of using discarded started really appealed to me and if you have played with sourdough and have some in your fridge, why not give it a try…

Sourdough Biscuits

yield: 9 BISCUITS

cook time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES


  • 2 1/4 cups (281g) bleached all-purpose flour OR self-rising flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (omit if using self-rising flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using self-rising flour)
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 250g (about 1 cup) mature sourdough starter at 100% hydration, chilled
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, more or less as needed
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder, baking soda, and salt (if using self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt). If it’s particularly warm in your kitchen you can chill the bowl and flour mixture before continuing.
  3. Add cold cubed butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives until butter forms pea-sized pieces coated in flour.
  4. Add sourdough starter and 2 tablespoons of milk and mix with a fork until dough starts to come together in a shaggy dough. If dough seems particularly dry (this will depend on the maturity/hydration of your starter), you can add more milk as needed. I found about 1/4 cup of milk was just about right.
  5. Knead and fold the dough in the bowl a few times to incorporate any remaining dry crumbs (just until it comes together, you don’t want to overwork it).
  6. Turn dough out onto a work surface. Press into a circle about 1 inch thick.
  7. Cut into rounds using a 2 1/4 to 2 1/2-inch circle cutter or biscuit cutter. Dip your cutter in flour then press it straight down into the dough and lift back up without twisting (twisting will ‘seal’ the layers and prevent the biscuit from rising properly). Evenly space in prepared cast iron skillet.
  8. You can press the scraps of dough together once more and cut a few more biscuits from this, just know these re-rolled biscuits won’t rise quite as high.
  9. Brush tops of biscuits with milk.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops of biscuits just start to turn golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter; serve warm.
  • If you are using self rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt (still add the baking soda as this helps with browning).
  • If you are using regular all-purpose flour, I recommend a soft-wheat flour like White Lily or Martha White; the soft wheat makes for a more tender biscuit. Regular All Purpose will work but the biscuits will just bit a bit denser.

Original Recipe URL: https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2020/02/flaky-sourdough-biscuits.html


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