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Sourdough Discard Brownies

Make decadent brown butter sourdough discard brownies with a fudgy and moist center and crackly crust. Try more sourdough discard recipes, such as sourdough banana muffins and sourdough banana pancakes!

A group of Sourdough Discard Brownies.

What You Love About This Recipe

  • These fudgy sourdough brownies are a decadent dessert full of rich, chocolatey flavor.
  • Eliminate food waste, this recipe is a perfect way to use extra sourdough discard.

What are Brown Butter Brownies?

Brown butter brownies are a variation of classic brownies made by using brown butter instead of regular butter. Brown butter adds a rich and nutty flavor that works perfectly with the rich chocolate used in this recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is a staple in most pantries. You can also use whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour to meet your dietary needs, though I haven’t tested the recipe with those variations. 
  • Butter: You can melt butter and use it as is, but I prefer to brown the butter beforehand for a deep caramelized flavor. 
  • Chocolate: Satisfy your chocolate cravings using different types of chocolate, like unsweetened chocolate bars, chocolate chunks, and semi-sweet chocolate chips for extra fudgy brownies. 
  • Sugar: Sweeten the sourdough discard brownies with white granulated sugar. The sugar also give the brownies a soft, fudgy center with a crunchy edge.
  • Salt: Offset the sweetness of the dessert with salt for a perfect balance of flavor. 
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhance the flavor with a small amount of vanilla extract.
  • Sourdough Discard: I use unfed, room-temperature sourdough discard to make this recipe. If you keep your aged discard (I collect my discard in a separate jar in my fridge, adding to it when I feed my starter) in the refrigerator as I do, remove the jar 30 minutes before you’re ready to prepare the brownies to let the mixture to come to room temperature.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Add ingredients like chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, pecans, or candy like M&M’s or Reese’s to make the brownies even more delicious.
  • If you want to use an active sourdough starter rather than discard – go for it! And since active starter has more yeast than discard, the brownies will have more of a rise. 
  • Finish the brownies with cream cheese frosting for brownies, icing sugar, or a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

How to Make Sourdough Discard Brownies

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉ (176℃). Then, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is browned, for about 10 minutes.

Melted butter in a sauce pan.

Step 2: Remove the pan from heat once the butter browns. Break the chocolate bar and add it to the melted butter.

Melting chocolate added to the butter.

Step 3: Return the pan to a low heat and add the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Melting chocolate added to the brown butter.

Step 4: Remove from heat and add the water and vanilla extract. Then, stir in the eggs one at a time.

Tip: Stir the eggs quickly so the eggs don’t start to cook.

Add the sugar and then the eggs, one at a time.

Step 5: Add the sourdough discard. Then, stir in the flour and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.

Sourdough discard added to the batter.

Step 6: Line parchment paper into a 9×13 baking dish and pour the brownie batter into it, using a rubber spatula to remove the batter from the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.

Batter in a baking dish.

Step 7: Bake for 35 minutes, remove, and cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours before serving.

Brownies baking in the oven.

Expert Tips

  • You don’t need to feed the sourdough discard before using it in the recipe, but bring it to room temperature to help with the fermentation process and give the brownies a nice flavor. 
  • Spoon and level the flour into measuring cups for baking accuracy.
  • For the best results, use room temperature ingredients; this especially applies to the eggs.
  • To get a shiny, thin, crackly top, dissolve the sugar completely before continuing to prepare the brownies. 
  • Use the toothpick test to check the brownies. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to come out of the oven.

Serving Suggestions

Consider adding mix-ins to the easy sourdough brownies for more flavor. Chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts and chocolate chips are a popular addition, or you can include raisins, nut or seed butters, M&M’s, Reese’s, Nutellacoconut flakes, and orange zest. 

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Sourdough discard brownies taste best fresh from the oven, but you can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature. They will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: Let the brownies cool, and wrap them with plastic wrap. Transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Brownies freeze for one month.
  • Thaw: Defrost the brownies in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: If you prefer brownies gooey, warm them in a microwave for 10-15 seconds, and enjoy!  

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is sourdough discard good for?

Keep the sourdough discard in the refrigerator indefinitely as long as there is no visible mold. However, it may develop a grayish liquid on top called “hooch,” which you can pour off before using.

What is the difference between sourdough starter and discard?

The difference can be confusing if you’re starting with sourdough baking. An active sourdough starter has been fed water and flour and left out to sit until it is bubbly and about doubled in size.

Sourdough discard is the extra sourdough starter that is removed or “discarded” when feeding and maintaining an active sourdough starter – especially since a mature sourdough starter needs fresh flour and water to keep it active.

How to make sourdough starter?

It is easy to make your own sourdough starter. Combine equal parts whole wheat or rye flour and water in a jar – about 50 grams each. Stir well, cover loosely with a lid, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, discard half the mixture and add 25 grams of flour and water. Stir well, cover, and let sit for another 24 hours. Repeat this process of discarding half and refreshing with more flour and water every day for 5-7 days until the starter begins to bubble.

Once it is active, use the sourdough starter to bake sourdough bread and other recipes or store it in the fridge to maintain it long-term. Feed the refrigerated starter with flour and water weekly to keep it alive.

How do you cut brownies cleanly?

The hardest thing about making delicious brownies for me is getting clean and evenly cut brownie slices. Here are some tips for success: 

1. Start by preparing the baking dish with parchment paper, which makes it easier to lift the brownies out of the dish.
2. Wait for the brownies to cool completely.
3. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper and set them on a cutting board.
4. Use a sharp knife like a chef’s knife to cut the brownies. I also recommend running the knife under hot water between slices to prevent the brownies from crumbling and the edges from smearing.

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A group of Sourdough Discard Brownies.

Sourdough Discard Brownies

Tressa Jamil
Make decadent brown butter sourdough discard brownies with a fudgy and moist center and crackly crust.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20 Brownies
Calories 311 kcal
Ingredients
  
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ (176℃). Then, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is browned, for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from heat once the butter browns. Break the baking chocolate bar and add it to the melted butter.
  • Return the pan to a low heat and add the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and add the water and vanilla extract. Then, stir in the eggs one at a time.
    Tip: Stir the eggs quickly so the eggs don't start to cook.
  • Add the sourdough discard. Then, stir in the flour and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Line parchment paper into a 9×13 baking dish and pour the brownie batter into it, using a rubber spatula to remove the batter from the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, remove, and cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours before serving.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • You don’t need to feed the sourdough discard before using it in the recipe, but bring it to room temperature to help with the fermentation process and give the brownies a nice flavor. 
  • Spoon and level the flour into measuring cups for baking accuracy.
  • For the best results, use room temperature ingredients; this especially applies to the eggs.
  • To get a shiny, thin crackly top, dissolve the sugar completely before continuing to prepare the brownies. 
  • Use the toothpick test to check the brownies. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to come out of the oven.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Brownie | Calories: 311 kcal | Carbohydrates: 37 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 17 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0.5 g | Cholesterol: 56 mg | Sodium: 161 mg | Potassium: 99 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 29 g | Vitamin A: 396 IU | Calcium: 17 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating