If you’re like 90% of the population who started making sourdough bread during the confinement, you may be looking for ways to use that sourdough discard. For those of you who are familiar with sourdough starters, you know how hungry they can get. Normally, I just shrug this off and know that’s it’s a small cost to have great sourdough bread. Yet due to the current food shortages and how hard it is to find basic ingredients, I cringe every time I have to toss some of my starter. So when The Boy Who Bakes posted a recipe for sourdough chocolate chip cookies, I knew I had to try it.
Baking with Sourdough Waste
So sourdough discard is basically 50% water & 50% flour. Hypothetically, you could use discard in any recipe that has flour and a liquid. Yet chocolate chip cookies don’t have any liquids, other than butter, so how do you add in the sourdough discard? One simple answer – browned butter. In Europe, butter is a minimum of 82% fat, the rest is water. So if you brown your butter before using it, you’re essentially getting rid of the water, which you can then replace with another liquid. In our case – sourdough discard.
What kind of chocolate?
The initial recipe calls for 500g of dark chocolate chips (3 US cups). When I first made these cookies, I added all 500g however the dark chocolate was too overpowering. So I pulled back the dark chocolate to 300g and then did 50/50 dark and milk chocolate. If you really do prefer dark chocolate, I would still only do 300g of chocolate.
You can use chocolate chips if you wish. They work just fine. I personally chopped up a tablet of chocolate. Then I added some chocolate callets, to play upon the different textures of the two.
How do I brown butter?
Browned butter is amazing. It can change dishes so easily yet I feel isn’t used very often. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan on medium high heat. The butter will start to foam, which is normal. Keep it on heat and the foam will subside. At this point you’ll want to watch it like a hawk, as it can burn before you know it. At the bottom of the pan, you should see little brown specks which are the milk solids. When you see that, it means that the water has evaporated and you can take it off of the heat.
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 225 g butter
- 380 g all-purpose flour, type 45
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 220 g granulated sugar
- 220 g light brown sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 240 g sourdough starter discard
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 150 g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- Chop the butter into cubes and brown in a medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat.
- Let chill for 30 minutes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, add the sugar and butter, then cream until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks and mix for an additional 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through.
- Add the starter and vanilla, then mix until fully combined. It should be smooth and look like a cake batter.
- Add the flour in three additions, scraping down the sides after each one.
- Add the chopped chocolate and mix until just combined.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F) and prepare a couple of cookie sheets.
- Roll the dough out into 70g balls and place on the prepared cookie sheets with ample room between them, so they don't touch during baking.
- Bake for about 16 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly browned and the centers puffed up.
- **Tip** If the cookies are a little out of shape, you can use a round cookie cutter that's a tad bigger than the cookie to 'nudge' it back into shape as soon as you remove them from the oven.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes prior to transfering to a cooling rack.
- Store in a sealed container for no longer than 4 days
- You can freeze the cookie dough prior to baking for up to a month
- Bake frozen cookie dough balls for about 18-20 minutes.
45 thoughts on “Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies”
These are fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly and used rye/AP starter. The taste and texture are both perfect.
Thank you Erin, I am so happy that the recipe worked out! Ohhh I’m intrigued about the rye/ap starter. I just might have to go try that! Thank you for stopping by!
For the sourdough discard – is it fed or unfed?
Unfed! I use the discard that I’m about to get rid of right before a new feed! Hope this helps!
Does it have to be chilled for 24 hours, or can I do just a few hours?
It doesn’t have to be chilled for 24 hours, I would let it chill for at least 2 hours though as it helps the flavors meld a bit! Enjoy!
I usually just make the recipe on the back of the chocolate chips, but I’ve always got massive amounts of sourdough discard so I had to try these. THEY ARE THE BEST!!! Ive never made a better chocolate chip cookie. Perfect amount of chocolate, and the brown butter makes them even better. Thank you so much for sharing 😁
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed them!
Is it 225g of browned butter or 225g before it’s melted and browned? I have a jar of melted browned butter and not sure how much to pour out for the recipe. Thank you sir your help.
Hello Rose, it’s 225g prior to melting and browning. Happy baking!
I was so excited to try this recipe because although I’m gluten intolerant, my body can handle sourdough; unfortunately, I didn’t check that the conversions to “US customary” were accurate, so I ended up using double the amount of flour required and the cookies were quite dense (380g is closer to 1.5 cups, but the conversion lists 3 cups). Will try again with the correct amounts!
Thank you for your comment. I think the issue may lie in how packed a cup of flour is. A sifted cup won’t weigh the same as a scooped cup etc. A cup of flour is about 120-140g depending on how it’s scooped, which is quite a wide range. This is why I am a strong advocate for using the metric system when baking! 😊 128grams will always weigh exactly the same no matter how you scoop it and ensures you always have tasty treats that turn out right! Hope the recipe turns out the next time you try it!
When you “chill” the melted butter – are you letting it cool on a counter or chill in the fridge?
Either works, it depends on how much of a rush you’re in. Ideally you want the butter to be about room temperature if not a bit colder, but not completely solid! Let me know if you have any other questions!
My new favorite chocolate chip cookies…maybe of all time?? I have made these four times in the last month. I have gotten two friends hooked on making them too. They’re addicting. Sourdough discard is SUCH a good excuse to make cookies.
I usually just use semisweet chocolate chips for the entire chocolate amount and have no complaints!
Thank you for the recipe!
You’re so very welcome!! Thank you for sharing and happy baking!!
I made these for the first time the other week and didn’t use baking powder and they turned out better than when I made them for the second time with both baking soda and powder.
Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad they turned out for you!
After recently receiving a sourdough start from a friend, I was wondering what to do with all the discard. I was sent this recipe and was immediately intrigued by it.
I tried it today and the results were great. The cookies spread out a little more than expected – I formed small balls about 3″ apart from each other – but suspect this is because I used about 2/3 browned butter and 1/3 canola oil (I also baked at 375ºF for 15m). The end result was nicely browned cookies which are crunchy on the exterior and chewy on the interior, after reaching room temperature.
Look forward to trying this recipe again in the future, and possibly experimenting with the ratio of oil:butter since I like the thinner, crispy cookies that it resulted in.
Thank you for your feedback! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe, let us know how the experimenting goes!
When adding the browned butter to cream with the sugar do you include the browned bits from the bottom of the pan?
Hello Jackie! It is entirely up to you! You can strain out the browned bits or leave them in. I tend to strain them if they’ve browned a bit too much and have a bitter taste, if not you can leave them in. I find that when it’s perfectly browned, it adds a bit of extra nuttiness to the cookies! Hope this helps!
I only have all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and dark rye flour. Can I use all purpose flour in this recipe? I’ve read two different ways and am not sure what to do. One says remove 2 tbsp flour per cup of all purpose, and one says remove 2 tbsp flour and add 2 tbsp cornstarch for each cup of all purpose.
All purpose is perfect!
Thank you. I was worried when it said type 45 lol.
Oh! That is just the flour equivalent here in France! As that is where I’m based and I do have quite a few local followers, I make sure that they can also follow along with the recipes! Happy baking!
Hi, can you use active sourdough starter for these or does it have to be the discard?
Hello Kaylee, Thank you for your comment. I have never tried with a full active sourdough. If you make them with an active sourdough, my main concern would be the sourdough flavor being too prominent and the dough raising too much. If you use an active sourdough, rather than the discard, I would suggest not letting it rest too long. You don’t want the dough to over-raise! Let me know how it goes!
Mine turned out nothing like the picture. The cookies were a very cakie texture. The taste was on. The texture was off. I followed the instructions measuring my ingredients. Did your cookies turn out like the recipe picture? Curious if I did something wrong.
Hello Rachel, I am sorry they didn’t turn out for you! I have never had a batch that has let me down, the photos were taken by me using this exact recipe. Did you measure with imperial or metrics measurements?
This looks so good! What a great way to enjoy a treat prepared the right way!
Thank you for your comment! Hope you enjoy the cookies & happy baking!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
You can freeze the cookie dough balls and pop them in the oven whenever you get a craving!
How can I double or triple this recipe? Would I double the amount if starter too?
Yes, I would double or triple all ingredients. Happy baking!
Thank you for the share!
These are amazing. I’m so thrilled to have wonderful sourdough cookies to share with my gluten sensitive grandkids. 😊 I have made these many many times now, usually just with semisweet chips since i always have some of those. I’m an RN at a local hospital so after a12 hour shift, there is definitely no baking happening. I have found i can leave these fermenting in the fridge for up to 3 full days and they are still just at amazing. VERY HELPFUL with an every changing work schedule. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for your comment Tracey! It just warms my heart!
Is this salted butter or unsalted butter used?
I use unsalted, however if you only have salted on hand, I would just leave out the salt in the actual recipe. Hope this helps!
My first sourdough discard recipe and it Turned out great! I didn’t even have all the right chocolate so it could’ve been* even better!
Thank you so much for your feedback! Thrilled that you enjoyed it!