This recipe is great for sourdough bakers who do not like wasting starter. It's also for those inevitable days when you get your starter all fired up for making bread, but your schedule changes and you miss the starter’s peak. Rather than making imperfect bread or chucking starter in the trash and starting over, save it for biscuits.
These biscuits are not sourdough in the true sense because biscuits are a quick bread and sourdough requires fermentation. The taste is more like buttermilk biscuits, except here the cultured tang comes from sourdough starter discarded as part of the refreshment process. You can use fresh, recently-fed starter if you like, but it will not give as much cultured flavor as a starter that has been through a fermentation cycle and stored for a few days in the refrigerator.
One benefit of using sourdough starter instead of buttermilk is that these biscuits can easily be made vegan without losing depth of flavor. Try substituting non-dairy milk and solid vegetable fat like coconut oil (trickier to work with but more natural than hydrogenated oils like Crisco) for a vegan biscuit that tastes like a homestyle buttermilk biscuit.
- 200 grams all-purpose flour
- 60 grams white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 grams sea salt
- 120 grams cold whole milk, plus more for brushing the tops
- 100 grams cold sourdough starter discard
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter (cut in small pieces)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, sugar, baking power, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and sourdough starter until combined.
Add the butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Mash all of the pieces of butter through the tines of a fork or pastry blender once.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn the rough dough out onto a floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Fold the rectangle in thirds like a business letter. Dust the dough lightly with flour and use a rolling pin to roll it out to 1 1/2 inches thick. Repeat the letter fold and roll the dough again, this time to a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch.
Cut the dough into your desired shape. We prefer square biscuits because there is no leftover scrap dough.
Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and well-risen. Serve immediately.
- Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to six months.