When you have a sourdough starter there are times when you find yourself having to discard some if it. These sourdough discard chocolate brownies are a great way of using it up. I use my discard in my yeasted breads – it doesn’t do any of the rising but adds flavour. I fry it in a little butter which makes a tasty and very easy pikelet. If I am making pancakes I add my discard. On my sourdough courses we make crackers with it.
I often make these brownies to serve with tea and coffee at our cookery courses here in Ironbridge. This is the first time I have added sourdough discard but it won’t be the last. The acidity of the discard boosts the rests of the flavours, making it taste sweeter and more chocolately. They are much lighter in texture than normal. They are delicious.
A Note on Sourdough Discard
My discard was about 20 hours old when I used it. I wouldn’t particularly using a discard from a starter that has been in the fridge for some time or if your starter is a bit neglected. If my starter is neglected or fresh from the fridge the best place for my discard is in my food waste bin. What I want is something that has a bit of acid but isn’t overloaded. Anything too acidic will overpower the taste of your bake.
This recipe proves that you can add discard to pretty much all your baking. I made my brownies in the normal way except for omitting the 25g flour that I normally add and just added my discard. The discard happened to weigh 150g today* but I think the recipe would have been fine with more or less. So feel free to add however much discard you happen to have. If you wanted to make these brownies without the discard then just add 25g plain flour with the cocoa powder.
* I knew I was going to use it in a recipe today so I boosted my normal refresh a bit. My normal discard is between 50-100g.
100g unsalted butter
50g chocolate (I normally use plain but today I used milk)
2 eggs (preferably organic)
225g soft brown sugar
50g good quality cocoa powder
150g sourdough discard (you can use more or less) If you don’t have any then add 25g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
50g chopped nuts of your choice (my favourite are pecans)
Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4, 350F.
Melt the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or the chocolate will get too hot and seize.
Beat the eggs a little, just enough to add some air and it gets a bit foamy on the top. Stir the sugar, cocoa powder, sourdough discard, baking powder and salt into the eggs. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and the nuts and stir well to combine. Pour the batter into the cake tin and even the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is set but the batter is still wobbly underneath. The batter will firm up as the brownie cools. It is important not to overcook it, however tempted you may be to bake it for a few minutes longer.
If you would like to learn how to make sourdough you can spend a fun, relaxing day with us at our cookery school in Ironbridge.