It’s so common place for people to have gotten into making sourdough bread during the pandemic that the TV show Black-ish brought up a clever reference to it: Junior mentioned it as one of his pandemic projects, which, if you watch the show, you know is soooo Junior.
Thanks to Sis and my friend Jen, I got into sourdough bread making before the pandemic. And actually, I didn’t do a ton of sourdough bread baking during the pandemic. I was with Sis in Portland for most of the time and she has her own starter and made bread regularly. My starter languished in my fridge in SoCal and I had to get more starter from Sis so I could begin making sourdough bread again. Note: you can make your own started and Sis has done that but it’s easier, IMO, if someone shares his/her starter with you.
Having gone gluten-free for several months at my doctor’s assistance and then after realizing I could eat sourdough bread with no ill effects, I began to slowly branch out in the recipe department. It had been so long since I had eaten any sort of bread product that I decided to try making sourdough pita. I eat hummus and pita all the time. I am not a fan of hummus and veggies. Hummus, pita and veggies, yes. Just hummus and veggies, no. Craving to be able to eat some homemade hummus, I looked for a sourdough pita recipe that didn’t seem too complicated and after that was a major success, I decided to branch out well beyond sourdough bread.
Which brings me to today’s recipe. When making sourdough anything there are two kinds of recipes. One that uses active sourdough starter and the other the uses discard, though once I made pancakes that used both because I didn’t have enough discard and I actually thought the pancakes tasted impressively sourdough-y. This recipe uses the discard and is marked as such.
Any recipe that uses sourdough discard is likely going to be a lot quicker than a sourdough starter recipe. The exception to that is the pancake recipe which will have you create a sponge the night before.
Because I’ve never used sourdough discard in a recipe before, I looked at the recipe the night before to prep it, not realizing it didn’t need any prep. So I measured my sourdough starter and plopped the sour cream into it to be ready for the morning of. This happened to save me some time the next day because I spent the morning having coffee and walking along the ocean with two dear friends of mine and I breezed back into my kitchen so hungry I could have eaten my own hand.
This recipe, gently adapted from Feasting at Home, is as easy as it is to make any biscuit recipe – maybe even easier because it doesn’t require a biscuit cutter – and it discourages food waste by using sourdough discard. I didn’t have enough sourdough discard initially and saved it up a week so I could get enough to make this recipe and then fed my starter for the week ahead.
My dad calls this biscuit “a savor” which aptly means you should eat it slowly and enjoy it.
- 180g All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 8 T. cold butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
- ½ c. sliced chives (optional, but delicious)
- 170 g sourdough discard
- ½ c. sour cream
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder.
- Work in the cut cold butter into the flour using two butter knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers until it is unevenly crumbly, with the biggest crumbs the size of peas. Mix in the chives, if using.
- Place sourdough discard and sour cream in a bowl and mix with a fork.
- Pour sourdough discard mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, mix until the dough comes together into a very shaggy ball.
- Place the ball on a well-floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead gently just to incorporate – don’t over knead. Pat into approximately 6 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold up the sides into thirds like a tri-fold envelope and pat again into a 6 x10 inch rectangle. Fold up the sides into thirds again. Re-flour your work surface. Pat into an 8 x 5-inch rectangle about 1 ½ inches tall. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Optionally, brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle a few chives on top the butter-brushed biscuits.
- Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check at 15 to 20 minutes and rotate the pan if necessary. Keep baking until biscuits are golden brown on top and internal temp reaches 205 F. If you have a funky oven that doesn’t brown baked items, stick the biscuits under the broiler for a minuter or two to brown. Watch closely so as not to blacken the biscuits.