I found myself experimenting with sourdough starter yesterday – more specifically, the discard you typically toss when you feed your starter, to prevent it from turning into sourzilla and taking over your kitchen. Sourdough loaves are generally baked at a specific point in the feeding cycle, when the starter is at its most robust, but often when you’re discarding half, you’re not necessarily ready to bake bread, or it may be too weak and not have the leavening power to leaven a whole loaf. It still seems like a waste to throw it away though – and it has all the sour tang of sourdough, so I thought I’d stir some into a batch of biscuits. Not to rely on for their lift, but to add flavour and make use of the discard, which has the same consistency as buttermilk or cream. Verdict: I’m calling it a win.
This is my go-to biscuit recipe, tweaked to use starter and buttermilk, which I happened to have in the fridge. Buttermilk makes for a sturdier biscuit, and to be honest I more often use milk, cream or thinned yogurt or sour cream that’s nearing its expiry date – I imagine you’d get a similar result with any of the above, in whichever biscuit (or scone) formula you’re comfortable with. Or scones! Sourdough would be great in a soft, rich scone-usually I crack an egg into the measuring cup and top it up with cream, and add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients. The dough is typically softer, so I don’t usually fold it, but pat into a 1-inch thick round, cutting it into wedges and brushing with milk/sprinkling with sugar before baking. If the dough is too soft to cut, drop it in big spoonfuls and call them drop scones.
You could, of course, add fresh or frozen berries, grated cheese (!!!), chopped chocolate, dried fruit, or whatever you love in your biscuits or scones. Everything goes well with sourdough!