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Sourdough Brownies (Ultimate Chewy Discard Recipe)

Introduction: Sourdough Discard Brownies

These easy sourdough brownies utilize sourdough discard to create moist, fudgy brownies with a beautiful shiny crust. They contain both melted chocolate and cocoa powder to create rich chocolate flavor that perfectly balances the sweetness. For just that added bit of chocolatey goodness, they contain a few extra chocolate chips mixed directly into the batter. These are seriously the ultimate dessert for chocolate lovers. They are a great way to satisfy those chocolate cravings. 

This easy recipe is a wonderful way to use up that extra sourdough discard you have from your sourdough endeavors.The addition of sourdough starter creates tender brownies that are rich in chocolate but have a deeper flavor and subtle but irresistible tang you won’t find in regular brownies. They make a great treat any time of year and are extra delicious when enjoyed with friends! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. 

There is a large square of sourdough brownies that have been cut into 9 squares. These are sitting on a sheet of parchment paper and are on a wooden cutting board. There are some white flowers in the upper middle part of the image. In the upper right, there is a small glass of milk that is sitting on a white paper napkin.

Sourdough Brownie Ingredients: 

Fats

The key to getting fudging brownies with that beautiful crinkly shiny top is to use adequate fat compared to the amount of flour. While boxed recipes often contain vegetable oil, we stick with butter here, and add melted chocolate contribute to the fat ratio. 

Dry Ingredients

Because this recipe contains sourdough discard, which naturally adds moisture, I added unsweetened cocoa powder. This not only augments the flavor from the melted chocolate, but also creates a bit of dryness to counterbalance the extra moisture from the starter. We also add salt and flour but skip any leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder. Brownies are meant to be dense and chewy so no leavening agent is needed here.   

Wet Ingredients 

Sourdough Discard

Sourdough starter discard counts as a wet ingredient in this recipe. There is no need to feed your sourdough starter before making this recipe. With the unfed starter, you might want to pour off any hooch if you prefer a less sour flavor in your brownies. 

Sugar

Some recipes call for brown sugar, however brown sugar, especially dark brown sugar, adds too much moisture and will prevent the crackly top from forming on the brownies. This fudgy sourdough brownie recipe only uses regular white sugar. 

Other Wet Ingredients

The wet ingredients are finished with a generous helping of vanilla extract and a couple of eggs. 

Toppings and Add-Ins

To add extra chocolate flavor, we mix in extra chocolate chips directly to the brownie batter, and sprinkle a few extra on top. This creates a beautiful finished appearance. 

How to Make Sourdough Brownies with Discard

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prep the Pan

Use a 9 x9-inch baking pan. I recommend using a metal pan rather than a ceramic or glass pan because these types of pans hold their temperature too well and can result in overly baked edges. If you only have a metal or glass pan, reduce the baking temperature by 10 degrees Farenheit and lengthen the baking time by about 5 minutes. Spray the pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper. 

A 9x9 baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

Use a fork or small whisk to combine the dry ingredients so they are ready to be added later. 

Small white bowl that contains the dry ingredients mixed together (cocoa powder, flour, salt).

Step 3: Melt the Butter and Chocolate

You want to melt the butter and chocolate until they are just smooth. You don’t want to overheat these ingredients or you could burn the chocolate and cook the eggs in the next step. 

Yellow ceramic bowl that contains partially melted butter and chocolate chips.

Step 4: Add the Wet Ingredients

Add the vanilla and sugar first, then the eggs. This ensures the butter and chocolate mixture is cooled down enough so you don’t accidentally cook the eggs. Mix very well during this step to incorporate the sugar. Finally, stir in the free sourdough starter until smooth. 

Yellow ceramic bowl that contains wet ingredients.

Step 5: Add the Dry Ingredients

You want to mix the batter until it is mostly smooth, but it’s okay if there are a few small lumps scattered throughout the batter. Be careful not to over-mix or your brownies will be dense, rather than tender. 

Step 6: Pour Into Pan 

Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the batter and top with a few chocolate chips. 

9x9 inch metal baking pan that is lined with parchment paper and contains the brownie batter that is spread evenly and topped with chocolate chips.

Step 7: Bake

These brownies are done in 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. The finished brownies should have a firm crust around the edges and a shiny top layer. Because the baking time may vary with different ovens, I recommend using the toothpick test to check for doneness. A toothpick inserted will have a few wet crumbs but should not have a full swipe of raw batter. It’s a good idea to check more than one place in case you accidentally insert the toothpick into a chocolate chip. This will make it look like the brownies are under-done. 

How to Serve Sourdough Brownies

These delicious brownies are good enough to serve on their own but also taste great these ways:

  • Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • They also make a great treat to eat with coffee or tea.  
  • Pour a little milk or half and half over the brownies (trust me on this one!)
three brownies stacked on a white plate with a small glass of milk in the background for serving.

How to Store Sourdough Discard Brownies

Store these brownies at room temperature or in the fridge in an airtight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap. It’s best to enjoy them within a few days, although I’m sure they will disappear before this!

Can I Use Vegan Butter for Sourdough Brownies?

I have tested this recipe multiple times to make these vegan but they just come out too oily. I do not recommend replacing the butter with vegan butter in this recipe. I will certainly update this post once I come up with a good vegan sourdough brownie recipe though!

Do Homemade Brownies Go Bad?

​Homemade brownies will go bad eventually. It is best to eat brownies within 4-5 days. Beyond that, inspect your brownies carefully for any signs of mold, bad odor, or liquid seeping out of the brownies. You can extend the life of your brownies by storing in the fridge or even freezing them in a large freezer-safe bag. 

What Else Can I Do with Sourdough Starter?

Sourdough starter is so versatile and there are so many different things you can do with it besides making bread. For more great recipes to use up your excess sourdough starter, check out these recipes: 

Delicious Vegan Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Pumpkin Sourdough Cookie Bars

Pumpkin Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy Sourdough Cookie Bars

I hope you enjoyed this sourdough discard recipe. These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever made and I hope you think so too. 

There is a large square of sourdough brownies that have been cut into 9 squares. These are sitting on a sheet of parchment paper and are on a wooden cutting board. There are some white flowers in the upper middle part of the image. In the upper right, there is a small glass of milk that is sitting on a white paper napkin.

Sourdough Brownies (Ultimate Chewy Discard Recipe)

Sourdough discard brownies are the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving and use up your excess sourdough starter. These brownies are rich with chocolate flavor and have a delightful, subtle tang.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9

Equipment

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Medium microwave-safe mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Parchment Paper
  • 9×9 inch metal baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup All-purpose flour
  • cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • cup Granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Sourdough starter, unfed
  • 2 large eggs

Add-Ins and Toppings

  • cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Spray a 9×9 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • In a medium, microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt ½ cup of chocolate chips with butter in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until melted smooth, stirring between intervals.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the eggs and use a whisk to beat the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Add the sourdough starter and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly, pour in the dry ingredients. Gently stir until the flour is partially combined into the batter. Add the remaining ⅓ cup of chocolate chips, and continue to stir until no large dry clumps of flour remain.
  • Pour into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with only a few moist crumbs .
Keyword Chocolate, Easy, Sourdough Discard, Sweet Treats
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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