5 Things to Make with Sourdough Starter (Besides Bread)

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I am so excited to share with you 5 things to make with sourdough starter besides bread. These recipes are more tasty and fun to make than bread too!

Bubbly sourdough starter inside a wide mouth mason Jar
Fed and bubbly sourdough starter

First things first, in order to make these recipes you will need to have an established sourdough starter. You can make your starter, or you can get some from a friend. Three years ago I asked a friend for some of his starter.

He invited our family over and showed us his sourdough feeding routine. Then he showed me how he made bread. It was super helpful to see the whole sourdough process done when receiving my starter. If you can make that happen I would highly recommend it!

How do I know when my sourdough starter is ready to use?

If you have a recipe that calls for fed sourdough starter you will want it to look like my starter in the picture above. To get this bubbly starter I will usually feed my starter the night before making a recipe in the morning or feed it in the morning and make a recipe at night.

That being said, during the summer your starter will get bubbly much faster because your house is warmer. I can feed my starter in the morning and it will be ready to use by lunch time. You can mimic this during the winter by putting your starter somewhere warm.

Sometimes I will put it in my laundry room when the dryer is running and the room heats up. I know some people that put their sourdough starter near the pilot light or a simmering pot of soup to warm up and speed the process of the starter bubbling up.

What can I do with too much sourdough starter?

I have to tell you, I never discard any part of my starter! If I have too much starter in my jar I will always plan to make a sourdough recipe that calls for a lot of sourdough. An example of this is the sourdough pancake recipe that I use. I will go into more detail about it further down.

What else can I use my starter for?

six pictures. sourdough starter, sourdough english muffins, sourdough cinnamon rolls, sourdough bagels, sourdough pizza

Before trying sourdough recipes myself, whenever I heard about sourdough I would think of artisan bread with it’s fancy markings on top and a golden crust. While that bread is fun to make on occasion, It’s not that practical. I don’t find myself needing that kind of bread very often.

It was about six months into my sourdough journey that I fell upon many other ways to incorporate my starter into other recipes. I am so glad that I did!

Now I will make 1-2 different sourdough recipes per week that aren’t bread! This helps use up your starter and also get more of that beneficial fermented bacteria into your diet! So let’s get started with five sourdough recipes that I make on a weekly basis!

1.Sourdough Pizza Crust

two cast iron skillets with sourdough pizza crust topped with garden veggies.

If you are like our family, we have pizza nights on a regular basis. Especially when the garden is in full production. Check our my Sourdough Garden Pizza post for inspiration on how to make delicious pizza! The recipe can use up a large amount of starter and it doesn’t need to rise. You literally pour your starter right on a hot pizza stone or cast iron skillet.

2.Sourdough bagels

two sourdough bagels in a wooden bowl on top of a farmhouse table

These bagels are for sure one of my favorites. My kids love them too! This recipe is simple to follow and easy to incorporate into your weekly schedule. They are rich in flavor and definitely worth a try. A tip that I would add is to make a double batch of these because they are so tasty and go fast!

When I have made just one batch, they get eaten up in a few days. I like to maximize my efforts and double the recipe to get about a week of bagels for our family of six. The thing to know about fresh sourdough foods is that they don’t stay fresh tasting for very long.

This is because they don’t have preservatives in them and aren’t as shelf stable as a bag of bagels you would buy at the store. I have found a way around this! Make the double batch of 18 bagels, then I pre-slice my bagels after they cool so my little kids don’t have to.

Then I stick them all into the freezer to maintain that perfect fresh taste. Now my kids wake up the the morning, grab their bagel from the freezer, and toss it into the toaster. No more work on my part! You must try these!

3.Sourdough Cinnamon rolls

sourdough cinnamon rolls baked in a cast iron skillet on a farmhouse table
Sourdough cinnamon rolls without a second rise.

My all time favorite sourdough desert are these Cinnamon Rolls. I love making these for Sunday morning breakfast but can be made any time you crave a super tasty cinnamon roll. What I really like about this recipe is that you don’t have to do a second rise if you don’t have the time.

If you are wanting these for Sunday morning, Feed your starter Saturday morning or afternoon depending on how warm your house is. Then make the cinnamon roll recipe and let it rise overnight. Add the remaining ingredients in the morning (this part always looks really weird for a few minutes, but keep mixing and it will turn out fine).

Roll out the dough and make the rolls then put them in your skillet or circular pan and bake right away. The recipe suggests letting the rolls rise for a second time if you have the time. If you don’t they will still be fluffy and yummy. You can also forgo the frosting on the top and they still taste delicious.

4.Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough english muffins on a red stripped kitchen towel sitting on a farmhouse table

These Sourdough English Muffins are my husband’s favorite recipe that I make with sourdough. I do the same for these muffins as I do with the bagels. Double the recipe and freeze them once they cool down. Our freezer usually has a bag of muffins and bagels.

Our very favorite way to eat these is to add a fried egg and a slice of cheese with a little bit of butter on them. Bonus points if you have a ripe avocado to add to it as well. So good! My mother-in-law tried these while staying at our house. She loved them so much that she decided to make her own starter just so she could make these herself!

5.Sourdough Pancakes

sourdough pancakes on a plate sitting on top of a farmhouse table
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Not only are these super yummy pancakes, but they are also quick to whip up! This recipe is my favorite because it uses up a lot of starter and it doesn’t take any rise time. You could consider it a discard recipe, but you’ll want your starter to be fed for these. Just add the ingredients to your starter, mix them up and let the baking soda bubble up in the batter and then go straight to cooking your pancakes.

My family loves adding blueberries or chocolate chips to these to make them an extra special treat. Sometimes when I am in a pinch I will make these for dinner and call it a night!

Now that you have a list of great recipes to try, save this post to refer back too. Your family won’t be disappointed!

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