Fried Sourdough Starter Recipe — Meadowlark Journal (2024)

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Making sourdough bread at home seems to be reaching an all-time high these days. But the real question is, what do you do with leftover starter once you’ve taken what you need for your next loaf?

There are lots of sourdough discard recipes out there for things you can do with leftover starter. Everything from pancakes to waffles to banana bread.

But with all of these recipes, you end up adding more precious flour to the point where you end up asking yourself “did I really need the sourdough starter in order to make these pancakes or could I have simply just made pancakes?”

The starter lends a nice tangy flour, but shouldn’t there be a way to use that leftover starter without having to make an entire batch of pancakes? Yes, and there is. Introducing: Fried Sourdough Starter.

We have recently discovered that you can turn your leftover sourdough starter into FRIED BREAD!

Honestly, it is one of the best inventions to come out of the kitchen recently. All you need is a hot cast iron skillet, some olive oil (or ghee, or coconut oil), and your sourdough starter discard.


  • 1 cup sourdough starter. We simply use all the remaining starter we have after we use what we need for a new loaf of bread.

    Don’t have two weeks to get a sourdough starter going from scratch? It is really easy to buy one online and get going from there. Here is the one I recommend.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, ghee or coconut oil (don’t skimp on the quantity here - it’s fried bread, not lightly oiled bread)

  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (here is the type I use)

  • (Optional) Olives, chopped jalapeños, sesame seeds, caramelized onions or chives (these have been our go-to add-ons, but the possibilities are endless)


  • Heat up a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Here is the nonstick skillet I recommend. Pour in the olive oil and sprinkle in some salt. This will create a tasty layer for the fried bread to soak in.

  • Then pour in your leftover starter. Smoosh down a bit to turn it into a round disk.

  • Toss in some olives, chopped jalapeños, or anything else you fancy.

  • Fry in the olive oil for a couple mins to get it nice and golden brown.

  • Then flip over like a pancake, press down on it slightly with a spatula and fry for a couple mins on the second side.

  • And then flip again. Continue this process until you get it nice and golden brown on both sides. This should ensure it gets crispy on the outside and cooked through in the middle.

  • Take out of the skillet, cut into pieces and enjoy. You might want to let it cool first, but that is hard to do, trust me.

Did this recipe work for you? I would love to hear your comments below!

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out Salmorreta, The Secret Ingredient in a Great Paella.

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Laura Azcarraga

Recipe, Homecooking, Sourdough, Sourdough Starter, Cooking, Fried Sourdough Starter, Fried Bread


Fried Sourdough Starter Recipe — Meadowlark Journal (2024)


Is it okay to eat fried sourdough starter? ›

Chop the pan-fried sourdough starter into little bite slices and enjoy! Make sure to use good soy sauce for the best results.

Who has the oldest sourdough starter in the world? ›

Blackley's sourdough starter, created from 4,500 year-old yeast, is considered the oldest sourdough starter, per Oldest. Other starters like the Saint Honoratus Wheat also are quite old. A bakery called Chrissi's Farmhouse Bakery uses it and said, “This noble starter dates back 900 years.

How did pioneers keep sourdough starter alive? ›

Some early miners were even known to sleep with starters in their pockets on cold nights so that the yeasts and bacteria didn't freeze to death—giving the prospectors a somewhat sour smell, which may also be part of the reason they earned the sourdough nickname.

Can you bake sourdough starter by itself? ›

#3 Sourdough Flavor, No Flour Added

Similar to case #2, above, discarded sourdough is used in recipes with no additional flour called for, so it can be baked immediately. The discarded starter's flour is already fermented and it adds sourdough flavor to the recipe.

How do I know if I killed my sourdough starter? ›

If you think you killed your starter with heat, always use a probe thermometer to take the temperature in the center of the starter. If it is below 130F/54C it is still alive, even if it was exposed to a higher oven temperature for a short time.

What can ruin a sourdough starter? ›

If it gets contaminated with mold… thats the only way really for it to go bad. Sourdough starters are very resilient, and if left alone, they can go dormant, and will smell strongly of vinegar, and even almost acetone.

Why does my sourdough starter have black liquid on top? ›

This thin liquid (called “hooch”) is merely alcohol and water generated by your starter's wild yeast as it feeds. Hooch is a visible cry for help: Your starter is hungry. Once you get it back on a regular regimen of care, it should recover just fine.

How can a sourdough starter be 20 years old? ›

Can a sourdough starter be too old? Absolutely not. As long as the starter is being fed regularly and rising and falling as it's meant to, a starter really can't be too old.

Does sourdough starter get stronger with age? ›

For most bakers, the answer is a clear no. Maurizio Leo, author of the award-winning bread cookbook The Perfect Loaf, still uses the first starter he ever made; it's now 12 years old. And while he's sentimental about that starter, he says its age doesn't really impact his bread.

What is sourdough slang for Alaska? ›

“Sourdough” came to denote a veteran inhabitant and especially an old-time prospector of Alaska or northwestern Canada many years ago. During the Yukon gold rush of the late 19th century, sourdough bread was a staple in the prospectors' camps, and the prospectors themselves became known as sourdoughs.

Why is sourdough so popular in Alaska? ›

Sourdough is most associated with pioneers, but the Alaska Gold Rush made Sourdough bread famous, as it was the most popular and practical food for the pioneers and prospectors.

Can dead sourdough starter be revived? ›

You can try to revive it by pulverizing it and adding water, then feeding it on a regular schedule. But if it doesn't respond at all (no growth, no bubbles) after three or four days of twice-a-day feedings, you might as well start over.

What is the best flour for sourdough starter? ›

Whole wheat flour is an excellent choice for creating a sourdough starter due to its nutrient-rich composition and potential for fostering a robust microbial community. However, it's important to note that the quality of whole wheat flour can vary between brands.

Can I leave my sourdough starter out overnight after feeding it? ›

Can I leave my starter out overnight after feeding it? Yes, if you have just fed it. Since the night is rather long, feed it in a 1:4:4 ratio so that's not over fermented by the morning. If for example you use a 1:1:1 ratio, the starter would have peaked in the middle of the night, and collapse by the morning.

Does sourdough discard go bad? ›

You can store mature sourdough discard in the refrigerator indefinitely. As long as there is no mold, it is good to use. It may develop a grayish liquid on top called “hooch” which can be poured off before use or stirred in. If you stir it in, the flavor will become more sour.

Is it safe to eat sourdough discard? ›

While you could eat sourdough discard straight, it's usually not very tasty on its own. It's better used as an ingredient in recipes.

When should I throw out my sourdough starter? ›

Typical signs of food spoilage and mold include pink, orange, or green colors, white fuzzy spots, or sometimes areas that are darker with white areas on top. If you see any of these signs, I would recommend throwing your starter away and creating a new one.

Is Undercooked sourdough bad for you? ›

Can Bacteria in raw sourdough dough make you sick? Raw Dough Can contain bacteria that causes disease. It hasn't been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli.

When should you not eat sourdough bread? ›

It's pretty easy to tell when sourdough bread has gone bad because it will be covered in visible signs of mold growth and will feel hard both inside and out. It may also smell bad too, but not always. Once it's past the fresh stage (first 24 hours) you will notice some deterioration in crust and crumb.

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