Sourdough discard rolls are quick, easy, and delicious. Perfect anytime you want fresh bread for dinner, without taking the time to make a proper loaf of sourdough bread. They are also a great way to use up extra sourdough starter!
A Quick Bread recipe
This sourdough recipe is rather unusual. It is more similar to soda bread and other quick breads.
Rather than using the natural sourdough yeast to rise the bread, it uses the acidity of the sourdough starter. Once the starter is mixed with baking soda it starts to rise.
Using sourdough starter gives these rolls a well-developed gluten structure. So they are more bread-like than cake-like.
It’s the perfect recipe for using up a lot of sourdough starter or sourdough discard!
How to serve sourdough discard rolls
Honestly, these rolls are a great all-purpose recipe. Ideal for anytime you want fresh bread without the effort of a long sourdough rise.
These rolls are soft, with a light gluten structure. Here’s how we serve them:
- dinner rolls
- small sandwiches
- sloppy joes
Sourdough Discard Rolls
These soft and delicious dinner rolls are quick and easy to make. They are also a great way to use up a LOT of excess sourdough starter.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8 buns 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Sourdough
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 cups sourdough starter (see notes)
- 2 Tbsp melted butter (or oil)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- A pinch salt
- Toppings (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Combine the sourdough starter with the melted butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Mix until a dough starts to form.
- Add more flour, as needed, to make a soft dough. Knead the dough a few times to bring it together. However, don’t over-knead. The goal is to bring the bread together, without making a strong gluten structure.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. The scraps of dough can be quickly kneaded together and hand-formed into 1 or 2 more circles.
- Lay the circles out on a greased baking sheet. This is a quick bread, so they don’t need to rise.
- Beat together the egg, water, and salt to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle on some seeds or other toppings. See notes for options.
- Bake for 20 min, until the buns are cooked through and browning.
- This recipe needs excess sourdough starter.
- The egg wash is perfect for sticking toppings to your buns. Feel free to sprinkle on sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried herbs, or grated Asiago cheese.
Keywords: leftover starter, excess starter, quick, easy, vegan, egg free, dairy free, 10 ingredients or less, spring, summer, holidays
What? No water?
Nope. Just lots of sourdough starter. 🙂 However, if it’s a bit dry (depending on the type of flour you use, and the saturation ratio of your sourdough starter) you can add a bit of extra water.
I must say, I was slightly sceptical at first given the weird, chemical smell upon combining the starter with baking soda (I’m not a chemist but I’m assuming it was due to the acid and alkaline reacting) and I had to scale the recipe down significantly (who on Earth has 2 cups of sourdough discard?!) which meant I probably overdid it with the baking soda and the biscuits didn’t rise very much when left on the counter. However, I followed the rest of the instructions and they were absolutely delicious! The texture was perfect, they were fluffy, golden and crispy. This is going to be my new go-to recipe for sourdough discard! Thank you!
Hi! Glad you like the recipe. The baking soda was reacting with the acidity of the sourdough starter. It’s like a quick bread rather than a yeast-raised bread. 🙂 And I never have sourdough discard… however, I just feed up my sourdough starter to get enough for this recipe. Cheers, Emillie
I wondered about the 2 cp starter. sent an s o s out to Daughters-in-lpve and one had more than enough. I personally probably keep a healthy 1 1/2 cp in my fridge and feed that as needed. So 2 cps was like wow okay. Not happening alone here need some love. and there they were.
Nice! I designed this recipe for those people who end up with way too much starter (it happens!). I’m more like you, I feed my starter for my recipes and only keep a small amount in the fridge. 🙂
Made these today but not sure I did everything right. Is this for cold refrigerated starter discard that hasn’t been fed for 2-3 days or active bubbly starter that is doubled upon adding to this recipe? I’m new to sourdough baking.
It can be made with either… usually, I use fresh sourdough. However, because the baking soda rises the bread, you can use old discard. The sourdough is more for acidity than rising. It’s not like a typical sourdough bread. Enjoy!
Will this work with gluten free flour, starter?
While I’m GF, this is not a GF recipe. It doesn’t have enough binders to make great GF bread. Here’s my GF sourdough bun recipe… which is also a quick bread! https://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/perfect-gluten-free-sourdough-buns/
Hey Emillie thank you!
I made an experimental version of these biscuits today.
I used 100% whole wheat flour and subbed honey for the sugar.
I used extra baking soda (1tsp per cup of flour) because I hypothesized that the whole wheat flour would need extra rise power to be lifted.
After 2 hours left to “rise” there was not much action, maybe 50%
I went ahead and put them in the oven anyways 🙂
They are quite flat but not dense and for sure a biscuit! Not at all a bun like I was hoping for for dinner from your description.
The amazing thing is, the taste is SO delightful!
This is my first time baking with my first ever starter, and I am really happy to know the flavor profile of my child is sooo beautiful 🙂
And the texture is so nice I might try the same technique again with a cookie flavor profile.
Thank you again!
I’d be happy to hear what you think I could experiment with using whole wheat to get the bun effect 🙂
Now I am enjoying a biscuit with butter and tea…
Hum… my loaf always is more bun-like than biscuit-like. I wonder if honey added a bit of sweetness? It’s not the whole wheat flour, as you can see from the pictures, I pretty much always bake with a mixture of whole-grain flour. 🙂 Perhaps try kneading for a bit longer to develop the gluten? Glad you enjoyed the flavour!
I’m new to sourdough baking – and had terrific success with your PAIN DE CAMPAGNE: FRENCH SOURDOUGH BREAD. Thank you! What I’m wondering, is how do you ever have leftover or excess starter? I have been working almost daily to grow my starter just so that I have enough to use (I was given about ⅓ cup of starter). What would be considered excess?
We usually end up with extra starter when we take a break from baking bread, but keep feeding our starter. Since a starter at room temperature should be fed every day, it’s pretty easy to build up excess. I would say anything more than 2 cups is definitely extra. Though I’ll admit, we usually just make sourdough waffles or pizza when we have too much starter. This is also a really great recipe and we sometimes save up our extra starter for this.
What kind of flour do you use? I’m looking for gluten free options ideally and have tons of gf flours in my pantry. Thanks!
Hi! I’ve never actually tried this recipe GF… it’s one of my husband’s recipes. Here’s my GF version that I absolutely adore: https://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/perfect-gluten-free-sourdough-buns/
Or if you don’t have psyllium husk, I recommend this bread: https://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/delicious-gluten-free-flatbread/
I typically bake with oat flour or light buckwheat. I like the flavour better than rice flour. Enjoy!
Can you make these without sugar? My son and I have to avoid sugar.
Thank you 🙂
Yes! We also avoid sugar and have made these without it. In this recipe, the sugar is mostly for flavor as the baking soda rises the buns. Enjoy!
Thank you for the reply. Much appreciated! Will try these out 🙂