The Best Sourdough Discard Banana Bread

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In these uncertain times there is one thing I know for sure. People find comfort in baking bread. Trending all over the internet are the most beautiful moist loaves of banana bread and artistic sourdough boules, baguettes and focaccia. Clearly, there are two kinds of bakers. Those who like to get a quick sweet fix in a banana bread and those that prefer the long, often days process, of an artisanal loaf.

simple sourdough boule

What if we could meld these two unlikely classes of bread into one harmonious loaf? Wouldn’t it be nice….and what if we could all sit around the same table and break bread together?

Yes, let’s do it.

sourdough starter alive and healthy

Sourdough baking is not all that complicated once you have become the proud owner of some sourdough starter. Starter is a simple mix of fermented flour and water. It contains wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria. It is what makes the bread rise. It’s “alive” and it needs to be maintained or “fed”. Sourdough discard, on the other hand, is that leftover starter, not used in the days baking process. Many bakers either throw the discard in the trash or they try to reduce the amount of starter they maintain keeping as little as 10 grams. Still, others, like me, prefer to repurpose it into waffles, crackers and quick breads. A typical starter is equal parts water and flour known as 100% hydration. This makes it easy to swap out some of the flour and liquid by weight in most any baking recipe for the sourdough discard. Here is a link for a full explanation on how it all works: Cultures For Health

Sourdough Date ‘n Honey Banana Bread

1 ½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (40 g) white whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (150 g) pitted dates, chopped

3 tablespoons hot water

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 eggs

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed

¾ cup (125 g) sourdough discard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons lemon olive oil or plain olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of a lemon

½ cup chopped candied nuts

Heat your oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9” x 5” loaf pan with no-stick baking spray. In bowl whisk both flours, salt and baking soda; set aside. In food processor, pulse dates and hot water until finely chopped. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and date mixture until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. While mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add banana, sourdough, honey, olive oil vanilla and zest; blend well. Add flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary. Pour the batter into the 9” x 5” baking pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.

Strawberry Stuffed Sourdough Puffy Pancakes

Yes, I can’t deny that I’m a day late and a dollar short on Mother’s Day, but I’d feel terrible if I did not share this one with all my strawberry and sourdough lovers. And if you don’t have an aebelskiver pan, well, you must go out (strike that due to COVID19), I mean order one on-line because serving this recipe to your friends and family guarantees you rock-star status in the kitchen.

Strawberry Stuffed Sourdough Puffy Pancakes

3 oz. (62.5 g) sourdough starter (great use of discard)

¾ cup (184 g) milk

2 teaspoons sugar

¾ cup (109 g) cake flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus extra for greasing pan

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, separated

Fresh California strawberries, ½ cup small dice plus 10 strawberries, sliced

Whipped Cream

Maple syrup

Powdered sugar

The night before, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk sourdough starter, milk, sugar and cake flour until blended. Cover and set aside on counter overnight. In the morning, stir in melted butter, salt, baking powder, vanilla and egg yolks. Whip egg whites to just stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into batter. Brush the wells of an ebelskiver pan with butter and place over medium heat. When the bubbling of the butter subsides, spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each well. Spoon 1 teaspoon of diced strawberries into the center of each pancake. Top each with enough batter to fill the well. Cook the pancakes for 3 to 5 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and crisp. Use two wooden chopsticks or skewers to turn pancakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until lightly brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients keeping cooked pancakes warm in a 200F oven. To serve, arrange warm pancakes on individual serving plates and top with sliced strawberries, whipped cream, maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.

for all the mothers who have ever lost a child

For two more of my aebelskiver recipes check out this blog post or this blog post. Think Father’s Day <3.