I’ve been thinking about making a sourdough starter and baking bread ever since I finally got a Dutch oven this summer. Spending all our time at home recently opened up space for all kinds of long-term kitchen projects. I finally mixed up a 100% rye, 100% hydration starter last week and it’s been so fun to see it develop. Keeping my hands busy with rewarding cooking tasks has been so helpful in terms of getting out of my head lately. Cooking has always been a source of solace around here, but I never realized how much I depend on it as meditation. Highly recommend!
The seemingly counterintuitive thing about keeping up a sourdough starter is that you have to discard a good amount of it when you ‘feed’ it, which for me is twice a day. Without getting rid of some starter at every feeding, you’ll quickly build up way too much of it, which in turn will require way too much flour to feed it. But there does come a point, about a week in or so, when your starter is mature and the stuff you’re discarding can totally be used for baking. That’s where sourdough discard recipes come in. There are lots of them on the internet, and you can make anything from pancakes (we have a recipe for that here) to waffles, banana bread to English muffins. The other day, I wanted to use up my discard that I’d been saving in the fridge, but I was also really craving chocolate chip cookies, so I went for it and made these.
Once my starter got going, I saved my discard in a covered container in the fridge instead of composting it and about 5 days in, I had enough to make these cookies. The 100% rye 100% hydration starter recipe that I’ve been following is here (it’s super detailed), but I think that you could use any starter discard for these cookies. The flavor of the cookies will vary depending on the flour you use for your starter and how sour it is. My rye flour starter brought a lovely earthiness and depth to the flavor of the cookies. In terms of sourness, my discard was pretty young and barely sour, so there was just a hint of sourness that read more like complexity than straightforward sourdough flavor.
- ½ cup refined coconut oil - solid or semi-solid
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ½ cup sourdough starter/sourdough discard (I used this method)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- generous pinch of sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup dark dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 360°. Prepare a parchment-covered baking sheet.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar, and mix with a fork until evenly incorporated. Add the sourdough discard and vanilla, and mix well. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix until you have a unified cookie dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop out even portions of the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and shape it into round cookies (these cookies will not expand on their own in the oven).
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the cookies are golden and the surface is somewhat dry to the touch. Start checking at 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with more salt if desired. Let cool for 20-30 minutes, preferably on a cooling rack. Enjoy!