The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wat do you do with your discarded starter?

Cara's picture

Wat do you do with your discarded starter?

Since my starter is to the point where I can discard it...............I was wondering what else there was to do with it besides throw it away.  Can I freeze it and thaw when I need to use it?

What other recipes can it be used in, etc.  Just curious what the options are here.

gaaarp's picture

What to do with discarded starter is an oft-asked question on this board.  Do a search for "discard", and you will find a bunch of threads with a recipes.  Basically, you can mix discard into any of your baked goods for added flavor.

JMonkey's picture

Here's a link to how I manage my starter and what I do with the leftovers. I bake all our bread, and I often use sourdough, so I like to keep active starter on the counter.

More details at the link, but basically, I keep a small amount -- 45 grams or about 1.5 ounces -- of stiff starter on the counter and feed it once or twice a day. I keep the discards in a bowl in the fridge and then use them to make sourdough English muffins and sourdough waffles.

Marni's picture


First I agree with both gaaarp and JMonkey's suggestions.  I use the sourdough waffle recipe from King Arthur. 

I also suggest the sourdough cookie recipe here, most of the way down the page, there are other recipes there too, but I haven't tried them.

Recently I made scones with sourdough starter.  You can follow the link here.

My other favorite use of starter leftovers is pizza dough. has a very simple recipe.

I'm glad to hear your starter is working, have fun!


DerekL's picture

I just toss it.

Adelphos24's picture

I feed it to the porcelain throne, after having diluted it with water.

Paddyscake's picture

I agree with all above : waffles and pancakes are outstanding..extremely light and flavorful. Mike Avery's Sourdough Home has great recipes for whole wheat blueberry muffins and English Muffin bread. Those I can attest to. Marni's link above will take you to a chocolate cake, cookies and her scones.


Oh..just remembered..great for onion rings, and pizza dough which I freeze for future quick dinners.

summerbaker's picture

I don't know if you garden, but it makes really good compost.

ivy b's picture
ivy b

just put discarded starter in the compost?  Just like that?  No special requirements? TIA,




Yumarama's picture

have a small ceremony and thank the yeasty gods for their generosity. But besides that, no, right into the backyard compost bin or the wet recycling if you have that in your area. Failing that, the garbage can is fine... unless you are planning to do other baking soon and can use it, of course, since it's a darn tasty addition to many things.

I was concerned about what I did with the discard until I calculated that I was worrying over a piddly 7¢ worth of flour each week. I stopped being all that worried after that. Consider it a 7¢ investment in your delicious bread and happy bellies.

10kg of flour: $12 or $1.20/k. = .0012 per gram X 60g = $0.072 per feed

The compost bin, since it goes to some good use, is fine. Of course, if I want pancakes, it's spared the bin and used up for that. But it's certainly not something I'm gonna get all discombobulated over. There really are more important things to be worrying about than what I do with a quarter cup of flour.

I make tasty, wonderful bread with it and, even if it's not directly used in the bread, it's still an important, necessary part of the process. There, it's been validated. I can now toss it knowing it's been put to perfectly valid and good use.

ivy b's picture
ivy b

Hi and thanks!  I am not worried about the amount of $ I would waste, as I don't consider it wasted even when I put down my sink.  I have a septic tank, and I put yeast down once a month anyway.  However, I never thought of composting, sounds like a fab idea, just not until we thaw out a bit >g<.

Stay warm, those of you in this storm!



Yumarama's picture

If it's possible and sensible, you could just drop it all into a canister (with a solid lid if there are critters likely to want a meal - or let them) you could keep it outside. It's cold enough it'll just freeze and not take up room in your kitchen. Just add your weekly discard to it and when things thaw out a bit, dump the pail out on the compost heap. It won't matter much that it stayed outside for a few months, it's supposed to decompose anyway.

I'm glad you aren't fretting about the pennies of flour but if you hang around, you'll see a few people do get really concerned about the "waste" to the point where it seems more of an issue than it needs to be. I was really putting the idea "out there" more than saying you specifically may be worried about the "waste". So looking at it as not waste but "well spent and wisely used" flour might help someone move their focus and ease their concern. 

ivy b's picture
ivy b

Actually, I come from a family that does, indeed, worry about the pennies.  Something to do with living through the Great Depression and all that.... but, when my children were very young and I did have to count every penny, that's when I began to bake and make everything from scratch in earnest.  A 5 lb bag of flour: .79; a loaf of bread: $1.29.  How many loaves come from that bag of flour?  So, yes, I can see some of the worrying about "waste" but not for this. :-D


peace and I am loving this subject!


summerbaker's picture

I don't have a container, just a pile of vegetable waste and leaves in the corner of my yard.  I spread the starter over the top of the pile and it eventually makes a nice mosit layer that helps decompose the other contents.  As far as I know flour and water doesn't attract rodents but it does attract all kinds of tiny compost creating creatures.

LindyD's picture

This is a pretty simple, but good SD pancake recipe I recently tried.

I plan to add dried buttermilk to the water the next time I mix it.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven