11 Creative Ways to Use Sourdough That Aren't Just Bread

Sourdough Pancakes

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

A sourdough starter is easy to mix up, but takes some love and attention to maintain. It's worth the effort to regularly feed your starter since the mixture adds incredible flavor and nutrition to bread. And while most sourdough products are rustic loaves of tangy bread, starter can be used to enhance a number of baked goods.

Whipping up some cake, biscuits, or crackers is a great way to use up excess when feeding your starter. This excess is normally discarded, so it's also a nice way to reduce waste without having to make a labor-intensive loaf of bread. Fresh starter also adds wonderful flavor to bagels, pancakes, pizza crusts, and more. It's time to think beyond standard loaves and put your sourdough starter to work in these delicious recipes.

  • 01 of 11

    Sourdough Biscuits

    Sourdough Biscuits

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Sourdough starter must be fed regularly which results in excess tangy goodness. Use your excess starter that isn't fresh enough to make proper bread with to add amazing flavor to baked goods like biscuits. These sourdough biscuits are folded a few times and rolled out for ultimate flakiness.

  • 02 of 11

    Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

    Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Homemade cinnamon rolls are a labor of love, but they're worth the effort. Luckily, this recipe is largely hands-off—you'll just need to plan ahead. The sourness of the starter pairs perfectly with the cinnamon-sugar filling and the cream cheese frosting. Serve for a sweet morning treat or take to a school bake sale.

  • 03 of 11

    Sourdough Bagels

    Sourdough Bagels

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Homemade bagels are really something special and the addition of sourdough starter makes them even more memorable. Sourdough bagels have a pleasantly subtle tang, and you can customize this recipe with a variety of toppings, like poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sea salt, and more.

  • 04 of 11

    Sourdough Pancakes

    Sourdough pancakes

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Instead of using the standard buttermilk, add sourdough starter to your pancakes. This recipe takes some forethought since it sits overnight, but it only takes minutes of hands-on time. The thick batter makes these sourdough pancakes easy to flip while still producing fluffy and tender breakfast treats. Top with syrup and butter, fruit syrup, or berries and yogurt.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Sourdough Banana Bread

    Sourdough Banana Bread

     The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Use leftover, spent sourdough starter to make this classic quickbread. Sourdough banana bread only takes minutes to throw together and is an ideal quick breakfast, brunch side dish, or sweet snack. Very ripe, almost gooey bananas work best for this recipe and the walnuts are optional.

  • 06 of 11

    Sourdough English Muffins

    Sourdough English Muffins

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Fresh English muffins right off the griddle are a delicious breakfast or snack. Start these the night before to let the sourdough develop its flavor. They only take a few minutes to cook and are best eaten warm. Serve your sourdough English muffins simply with butter and jam or use to make eggs Benedict.

  • 07 of 11

    Soft Sourdough Rolls

    Sourdough Rolls

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Soft and pillowy, sourdough rolls are sure to be the star of your dinner table. They're actually easier than many homemade roll recipes but they take more time to ferment. Get them started the day before and you'll only have a few last steps to complete before mealtime, making them a no-brainer for holiday dinners and other big family meals.

  • 08 of 11

    Sourdough Waffles

    Sourdough Waffles

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    There's no need to run out to the shop for buttermilk if you have some spent sourdough starter handy. Sourdough waffles are a great way to use up starter that is past its prime and still get that lovely tangy flavor. Serve simply with butter and syrup or make it sweet and savory with fried chicken.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Sourdough Coffee Cake

    Sourdough Coffee Cake

    Brian Macdonald / Getty Images

    This tender and moist coffee cake takes under an hour from start to finish, making it a perfect sweet treat for brunch or afternoon tea. A dose of sourdough starter adds complex flavor to offset the sweetness. A streusel topping gives the cake a nice crunch—add a dose of chopped walnuts or pecans if you like.

  • 10 of 11

    Sourdough Pizza Crust

    Sourdough Pizza Crust

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Give your homemade pizza crust a boost. Sourdough crust is crisp, airy, and tangy with just the right chew. This recipe uses a simple ratio, making it easy to scale up or down depending on how many people you're feeding or how much starter you have on hand. Top with your favorite toppings and cook on a pizza stone or sheet pan.

  • 11 of 11

    Seeded Sourdough Crackers

    Seeded Sourdough Crackers

     The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    The next time you feed your sourdough starter, use the discard to make these crispy, whole wheat crackers studded with seeds and salt. They're quick and easy to make and are far superior to their boxed brethren. The key is to roll them nice and thin but keep them as even as possible. That way they'll bake up crunchy through-and-through. Serve the seeded sourdough crackers with a dip like hummus or top with cheese.