How to Bake Sourdough Bread Using Discarded Starter

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I feed my starter twice a day, which means I end up with a fair amount of discard. I’m not a fan of wasting food or throwing the sourdough discard. Therefore since I started baking sourdough bread, I’m trying to save most of the discard.

How to Bake a Sourdough Bread Using Discard

I add it to my other recipes like banana bread, brownies, carrot buns, and now I have just perform an experiment – Baking Sourdough Bread using ONLY DISCARD! 😉

How to Bake a Sourdough Bread Using Discard

I store my sourdough discard in the fridge because this is the best way to save discard. This cold method slows down the fermentation and gets a mild sour taste in our discard recipes.

The rule of thumb that I learned is to collect discard for a week, and if you can’t use it, throw it away and start collecting again. And because it is summer vacation here in Denmark, I don’t know when I can start baking sourdough bread again. So, I decided to make an experiment to feed my discard about one tablespoon of regular kitchen flour every time I’m feeding my starter. This is to maintain the discard fermentation and prevent forming hooch on the top of my discard.

How to Bake a Sourdough Bread Using Discard
Feeding my discard before placing it again in the fridge.

Quick Notes

  • I keep my sourdough starter at 100% hydration.
  • Also, feed your discard (1 tbsp flour) every time you feed your starter.
  • Two hours before making the dough take the discard out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
  • The recipe below yields two large sourdough bread. Each dough weighs around 680 grams.
How to Bake a Sourdough Bread Using Discard

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You will need:

  • 500 grams bread flour
  • 300 grams water, lukewarm
  • 530 grams sourdough discard (100% hydration bread flour and whole wheat flour)
    Note: I used discard that has been sitting in the fridge for 1 week.
  • 15 grams fine sea salt
  • 15 grams black sesame seeds (optional)

Procedure (video):

Autolyse: Mix by hand in a large bowl the flour and water. Gently mix until everything is hydrated. Do not knead; just mix. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 2 hours.

Discard: After the autolyse time, pour the discard (room temperature) directly onto your autolyse dough. Use your hands to mix until everything is well combined. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 30 minutes.

Salt and seeds: Add salt and sesame seeds (optional). Use your hands again to integrate them into the dough for 30 seconds.

Slap and fold method: Pick up the dough and start slapping and folding your dough against your kitchen countertop. I advise you to watch the video tutorial here for visual guidance. Once the dough becomes smooth and is not sticking so much, transfer the dough back to the bowl. Cover again and let sit for 15 minutes.

Bulk fermentation + coil and fold: We will perform 6 sets of the coil and fold, and we will do this every 15 minutes. After the last coil and fold, let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Pre-shape: After resting, transfer the dough, without degassing, onto a slightly wet countertop. Divide the dough into two halves using a bench scraper. Gently reshape the dough into two balls. Let the balls rest for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Final shape: Lightly flour the entire surface of your dough balls and your countertop. With a bench scraper, gently flip the ball over. Stretch the bottom of your dough and fold in an upwards motion to the center. Then stretch and fold the right side over the left side and do the same to the right side. Finally, roll the dough from the bottom to the top and gently seal the sides and bottom. This shaping technique takes practice, and I advise watching my video tutorial here for visual guidance.

Banneton: Prepare two bannetons lined with kitchen or tea towels. Lightly dust with rice flour. Gently place the shaped dough into the banneton with the seam facing up. Repeat with other dough. Let them sit uncovered, at room temperature for 20 minutes, then individually cover each prepared dough with a shower cap or put them into a plastic bag and close tightly with a clip or rubber band. Transfer them to the fridge and rest for 12 to 15 hours (overnight).

Baking in a preheated ovencold cast iron pan, and adding ice cube inside the pan: Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celcius (480F) for 1 hour and 10 minutes. When you are done preheating your oven, take one dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle rice flour on the dough before removing it from the banneton. Place a piece of parchment paper over the banneton and flip it out onto the cold cast iron pot, carefully removing the dough from the banneton. Use a sharp bread lame or razor blade cut deep to allow the bread to rise while baking. Move quickly and don’t be afraid to cut the bread. Add an ice cube inside the pan to create steam to help the bread rise while baking. Place the lid and put it in the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and lower the heat to 230 degrees Celcius (450F) and bake for 20 minutes.

Baking in a preheated oven and heated cast iron pan: Preheat oven again to 250 degrees Celcius (480F). Once the oven is ready, take the dough out of the fridge, then sprinkle rice flour on the dough before removing it from the banneton. Place a piece of parchment paper over the banneton and flip it out onto a place or board, carefully removing the dough from the banneton. Use a sharp bread lame or razor blade cut deep to allow the bread to rise while baking. Move quickly and don’t be afraid to cut the bread. Then carefully and gently transfer the dough to your preheated pot, put the lid, and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and lower the heat to 230 degrees Celcius (450F) and bake for 15 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before slicing it. Preferably let it cool for 4-12 hours for the best flavor, texture and to prevent the bread from being gummy.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Hi! I tried this recipe to the T and my dough came out too wet. Doing the slap and fold was nearly impossible Even after a couple of minutes in it barely did anything to reduce the stickiness and have some form. What could I have done wrong? Does the temp affect the dough a lot. It’s quite hot here around 90/30 degree. I’m still Hopeful that it’ll get better as I continue ( I’m currently on bulk fermentation process)

     
    • Hi Mirian, thanks for your comment and for trying my discard recipe.
      Sorry to hear that the recipe didn’t work out for you. And yes, the temperature has such a critical impact on sourdough baking.
      You’re living in a warm place, so I recommend to shorten the bulk temperature and for this dough, I think it took me 6 to 8 minutes slapping and folding my dough until I achieved a smooth dough and it wasn’t sticking that much on my countertop.

      Kindly, Paula xoxo

       
  2. Hi, I have tried twice with your recipes and failed. I feel something is not so right with the ratio of discard against the flour. I am Living in a tropical country The dough is too wet to handle even at the stage of mixing them. Thereafter I could not even do my slap and fold properly.

     

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