Using sourdough discard for banana bread creates a more rich, delicious flavor profile and makes this bread so soft and tender! This recipe is the most delicious way to use up your ripe bananas and sourdough discard! It’s absolutely irresistible!
If you’re a sourdough baker, then you know good discard recipes are golden! It can feel so wasteful to toss your valuable starter discard in the trash every time you feed it. Likewise, banana bread is the best recipe to use up ripe bananas that would otherwise go in the trash. So why not combine forces and use both together in one delicious recipe?! It’s a win-win!
Why you’ll love using sourdough in your banana bread
Using sourdough discard for this recipe creates more depth of flavor and a more tender, spongey crumb!
For this recipe, I’m pulling from my already super popular Banana Crumble Recipe. We’ll use the bread recipe but not the crumble topping. However, you could definitely add the crumble topping! It’s delicious! Have you made it yet?! It’s so yummy! Using that recipe we are substituting some of the flour and milk for a portion of sourdough discard and the results are incredible!
What is discard?
Discard is simply a sourdough starter that has not been fed (refreshed with new flour and water).
When you feed your starter, you only keep a portion of it to refresh with new flour and water – the rest is not needed. You can do one of three things with your discard from a feeding: it can be reserved for several days in your refrigerator for later use, it can be thrown away (discarded), or you can bake with it.
If you’re maintaining a starter daily, then you know it can feel wasteful to throw away some of that precious starter you’ve worked so hard to take care of. Discard is a necessary part of the sourdough process, but you can save some of it to bake with. Discard can create more depth of flavor in your baking recipes and a more moist, tender texture.
How to use discard in recipes
I use a starter that is 100% hydration, meaning my starter has equal parts flour and water. When using a sourdough starter/discard in a recipe, you need to reduce the amount of liquid and flour in your recipe to account for what you are adding with your starter. To determine how to adjust your recipe, divide the amount of discard you are using by half (if your starter is 100% hydration). Subtract each of those halves from the flour and liquid.
Let’s use the Banana Bread recipe as an example. If you take a look at my Banana Crumble Bread recipe, you’ll see that it uses 480g of flour and 113g of milk. I am using 150g of starter in this Sourdough Banana Bread so I need to reduce the same amount of flour and milk of the original recipe with the amount I am adding with the discard. Since my starter is 100% hydration, I divide 150 by half, which is 75. That means, I’ll subtract 75 grams from 480 grams of flour…giving me 405 grams of flour for the Sourdough Banana Bread recipe. Then, I subtract 75 grams from the 113 grams of milk in the original recipe, giving me a weight of 38 grams for milk in the sourdough recipe. Make sense?
Using a kitchen scale definitely makes this conversion much easier! If you don’t have one, they are really so key in getting more precise results in your baking! You can grab one HERE.
You can use discard to enhance the flavor profile in recipes like sweet breads, cookies, waffles, pancakes and even homemade crackers.
Want to know more about Sourdough baking?
See my post HERE if you want to create your own Sourdough Starter.
I also have a baking community called the Baking Academy, where I go more in depth into recipes and techniques.
Making Sourdough Banana Bread
Even though we’re adding discard to the recipe, it’s still such an easy process!
- Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and combine! This mixture should be nice and fluffy!
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, milk, mashed bananas and discard. *Use bananas that are ripe! Use discard that is somewhat active (meaning it has a few bubbles in it and is not watery). Using an older discard will give the bread a more sour flavor, which is not what we are going for here.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda and salt. Add it to the wet mixture and combine.
- Fill bread pans 2/3 full. I love making mini loaves – they bake all the way through, they’re easier to slice, they’re a nice smaller snack to indulge in and they make for great gifts! You can find my favorite mini loaf pans HERE.
- Bake on the middle rack of your oven. Be sure to fully preheat your oven. Ovens usually take a good 20-30 minutes to fully preheat (even though that preheat timer beeps on your oven). An oven thermometer comes in really handy here!
- Bake your bread until it’s golden brown and cooked all the way through. You can use a knife or wooden scure to test the center of your bread to see if it’s fully cooked through. It should come out clean.
- Let the bread cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing it and place on a wire cooling rack. There’s really nothing like warm banana bread, but try to let it cool a little while longer, otherwise it will fall apart if you slice it too hot.
You’ll love this banana bread! Adding the sourdough discard makes it even more moist and spongy than it already is! And it’s always such a great feeling when you can use your discard to make something yummy!
More recipes to tryPrint
Sourdough Banana Bread
Don’t throw away your ripe bananas and use your discard! This recipe is a great way to use what you have to make an absolutely scrumptious sweet bread! Using sourdough discard in this already delicious banana bread recipe creates a more delicious flavor and softer crumb!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 standard loaves or 5 mini loaves 1x
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (213g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227g) sour cream, room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (38g) milk
- 2 cups (454g) ripe mashed bananas, about 4 bananas
- 1 & 1/4 cup (150g) sourdough discard (100% hydration – *see notes)
- 3 & 1/3 cups (405g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare loaf pans. Spray pans with nonstick spray and set aside.
- With electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs. Cream about 2 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, milk, mashed bananas and sourdough discard. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on medium low speed until fully combined, about 1-2 minutes
- Pour batter into pans and fill 2/3 full.
- Bake loaves on center rack for 40-50 minutes for mini loaves (5.75 x 3.25 x .25-inch pan) and 50-55 minutes for standard size loaves (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5- inch pan). Insert toothpick or cake tester in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, they are ready to take out. If not, bake another few minutes and check.
- Allow the banana bread to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn them out of the pan and place on wire rack to cool completely (or mostly) before slicing. Enjoy!
- Discard is sourdough starter that has not been fed. Use discard that is somewhat bubbly, but doesn’t need to be super active. If discard is older, runny and acidic smelling, the flavor may be overpowering and not ideal for this recipe. The older the discard, the more acidic and sour tasting it becomes.
- *You can use a variable amount of discard, depending on how much you have available- but you’ll need to adjust the liquid and flour if you use a different amount than suggested in my recipe. See my blog post to know how to calculate your measurements.
- This recipe makes either 5 mini loaves or 2 standard loaves. I prefer baking mini loaves, because they tend to bake more evenly, and it’s much easier to slice. See my blog post for links for suggested pans.
- These loaves will freeze really well. After they have completely cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Some great additions to this recipe would be a crumble topping (from my Banana Crumble Bread recipe), mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts!