When soup season comes around, it's time to make this Sourdough Discard Cornbread recipe to serve with it! Light, fluffy, and a great way to use your leftover sourdough starter, this recipe is a keeper throughout the year!
Baking with sourdough discard is one of my favorite things to do! You can make baked sourdough donuts, sourdough scones, sourdough discard banana bread, sourdough discard pancakes, sourdough Irish soda bread, sourdough discard waffles, sourdough chocolate chip muffins, and even sourdough crackers with herbs and olive oil crackers!
What is Sourdough Discard?
Sourdough discard starter is the portion of your sourdough starter that you are not feeding. When you are "feeding" your starter to make sourdough bread with, you add equal parts flour, water, and starter to a mason jar and let it rise. If you are new to sourdough, you can make your own sourdough starter from scratch, buy one, or get one from a fellow sourdough friend.
You can't feed your entire starter, as it doubles and sometimes triples in size, and that's a lot of starter to have on hand! If you are new to sourdough, be sure to check out how to keep a sourdough starter post all about how to keep your sourdough starter happy.
How to Store Sourdough Discard
After you've fed your sourdough starter and you have some discard left over, place it in a mason jar and cover it. It can keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Sometimes, a liquid forms on the top of the starter. That is just the byproduct of the yeast laying dormant in the refrigerator. Simply drain that portion out into the sink and use the thicker discard instead.
Ingredients to Gather
- Sourdough Starter Discard- Inactive, meaning straight from the refrigerator.
- Buttermilk- Buttermilk gives this cornbread it's fluffy texture. The baking soda mixed with the buttermilk create a really fluffy, light cornbread.
- Cornmeal- Yellow cornmeal is classic in cornbread. Just like in sweet potato cornbread and cornbread with self rising flour, cornmeal is necessary to get that crispy, crunchy texture in your bread.
- Flour- All-purpose flour, or standard white flour.
- Eggs- Eggs keep the bread together and add to the rise of the muffins.
- Sugar- Honey or maple syrup can be used instead of sugar.
- Butter- ½ cup melted butter (or 1 stick) gives this bread it's buttery flavor, but you can use coconut oil or vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Baking powder and baking soda- The sourdough starter gives a little rise to this bread, but 2 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon baking soda do the majority of the work in making this bread rise.
What Type of Cornmeal is Best?
My favorite type of cornmeal is from Bob's Red Mill. You can find it on Amazon, or in your local grocery store. It's a yellow cornmeal, but a medium grind. That means that the corn has not been ground all the way and there is still some texture left in the cornmeal. If you find white cornmeal, you can use that too.
Let's Make Sourdough Discard Cornbread
First thing to do is preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat it.
Carefully take the cast iron skillet out of the oven and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Let the pat of butter melt and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and place it in the oven.
Set the baking time to 30 minutes and bake until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean and the top of the cornbread is golden brown.
Allow the cornbread to come to room temperature before cutting into it.
Lynn's Tip! If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you have homemade buttermilk!
Do not refrigerate the cornbread once it is baked. The refrigerator will make the cornbread go stale and it will also promote mold growing on the cornbread.
After the cornbread has cooled to room temperature, cut it into pieces and place it in an airtight container. Keep it on the counter up to 4 days and enjoy throughout the week. Make leftovers into Cornbread stuffing too!
You can also freeze this cornbread. After it is cut, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, place the bag on the counter and let it come to room temperature.
- Make it spicy! Add one cup of chopped jalapenos and one cup of cheddar cheese to the cornbread batter just like this sourdough jalapeno cheddar bread.
- Give it texture! Add one 15 ounce can of drained corn kernels to the batter.
- Make it sweet! Add ½ cup of brown sugar, and ½ cup of walnuts or pecans to the batter for a sweeter, more dessert style cornbread.
- Make it in a baking dish! No cast iron skillet? No problem! Use an 8x8 inch baking dish that is greased well, so the batter does not stick once it is baked. For thinner pieces of cornbread, use a 9x13 inch pan.
What to Serve with Cornbread
Cornbread is served with all sorts of soups, stews, and chilis, but it's delicious on it's own too with lots of butter and honey!
- Chicken Stew
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Ham and Potato Soup
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
- Cauliflower Soup
You can also slather homemade jam on the cornbread! Here are some of my favorite recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! If you have active and bubbly starter, that will definitely work! You can use that exact amount in place of the inactive starter.
No! The sourdough discard adds a bit of a tang to the cornbread, but it does not taste sour. The sourdough discard adds a bit of rise to the cornbread and is a great balance for the sweetness of the sugar. If you want to up the sour flavor, chill the batter in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight. That will enhance the sour flavor of the cornbread.
Yes! You can leave the sourdough starter out and increase the amount of buttermilk to 1 ½ cups. Since this is a sourdough cornbread recipe, I'd recommend keeping it in and taking advantage of the delicious tang it adds to the cornbread.
More Sourdough Discard Recipes
Skillet Sourdough Discard Cornbread
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Butter Melted
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 cup Sourdough Discard Inactive
- 2 Eggs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat it.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix to combine and set that aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and eggs. Add the sourdough starter, buttermilk, and butter. Mix well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will not be smooth, it’s ok if there are a few lumps left.
- Carefully take the cast iron skillet out of the oven and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Let the butter melt and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean.
- Allow the cornbread to come to room temperature before cutting into it.
- If you do not have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of whole milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then use that as a buttermilk replacement.
- Allow the cornbread to cool completely before serving.