Flaky Sourdough Biscuits

updated Mar 29, 2020
Sourdough for Beginners
Sourdough Biscuits

These buttery, flakey biscuits are the perfect use of your sourdough starter's discard.

Makes6 (3-inch) biscuits

Prep15 minutes

Cook18 minutes to 20 minutes

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Credit: Meghan Splawn

Making your very own sourdough starter requires just two basic ingredients: flour and water. But there’s a third factor that’s often overlooked — and that’s patience. After mixing up your starter, it can be hard to wait 7 to 10 days to reap the benefits, especially if you’ve got the itch to bake.

The solution? Bake biscuits with your discarded starter! A few days after you make your starter, you’ll begin to discard half of it at every feeding. But instead of throwing the discard down the drain, you can use it to make any number of baked goods — my favorite being a biscuit. The discard gives biscuits an extra tender and flaky texture, and eliminates the need for liquid altogether.

Perfectly calibrated to use up the discard from one sourdough starter feeding, these biscuits are incredibly easy and delicious — worthy of making a sourdough starter for in their own right. Here’s how you can make them right now with your starter’s discard.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

The First Thing to Make with Your Sourdough Starter Isn’t Bread, It’s Biscuits

The sourdough bread-making process involves a lot of waiting and down time, but sourdough biscuits are instantly rewarding. You’ll take the part of the sourdough starter that usually gets thrown away and use it in place of buttermilk. In less than 30 minutes, you have all the sourdough satisfaction you’ve been craving in the form of buttery, flaky biscuits. Plus, you get a preview of sorts into the flavors of your starter before you bake your first loaf.

This biscuit dough is likely a bit drier than you’re used to, so don’t stress if it feels dry while mixing and kneading, or if you leave some crumbs of dough behind. You’ll get six sandwich-sized biscuits from this recipe — perfect for bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches.

Sourdough Biscuits

These buttery, flakey biscuits are the perfect use of your sourdough starter's discard.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 18 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes 6 (3-inch) biscuits

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    sourdough starter discard


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. Place 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Grate 1 stick cold unsalted butter on the large holes of a box grater. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and use your fingers to toss and coat the butter in the flour, breaking up any clumps of grated butter.

  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and add 1 cup sourdough starter. Stir together with a spatula until a rough, shaggy dough forms.

  5. Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rough rectangle (about 5 x 7-inches), with a long side close to you. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour, if needed. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then pat it back down into its original shape. Repeat with the folding and patting, alternating folding from each side, the bottom, and the top until you have completed a total of 8 folds. At the end, the dough should be a little springy to the touch.

  6. Pat the dough until 1-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out 6 biscuits. If you don't get 6 the first time around, gather the scraps together into a ball, pat back down until 1-inch thick, and cut out more as needed. Discard the scraps of leftover dough.

  7. Place the biscuits on an ungreased, unlined baking sheet, arranging them so they just barely touch each other. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with butter or jam.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Warm in a low oven or toast in a toaster oven.