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Why is it called discard? I never throw it out. Carefully tucked away in the fridge, I use it in biscuits, scones, pancakes, and waffles. There’s more on my list too…
So many ways to use sourdough discard to obtain a rustic and delightful sourdough flavor in baked recipes. The more I work with sourdough discard, the more I learn how it shows up in recipes. I’m learning that it completely tenderizes and softens the end result while also offering its signature sourdough tanginess.Such a delight!
Related: Learn how to make an Easy Homemade Sourdough Starter!
The Difference Between Scones and BiscuitsI’ve read much about this topic, and it’s sometimes difficult to discern the technical difference between the two. They both are considered quick breads, and can go sweet or savory. My takeaways are:
- Scones tend to be dryer than biscuits, contain more sugar if sweet and often have some sort of inclusion like fruit, nuts and/or zest. They’re typically made with eggs.
- Biscuits are light, sometimes flaky and moist with a less sweet flavor profile than scones (if sweet). They’re made with butter, lard or some other fat and milk, cream or buttermilk. They typically don’t contain eggs.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake with Sourdough BiscuitsThis recipe comes together with ease, and is make ahead ready. In summary here’s how to make it:
- First, make the biscuits by cutting the butter into the flour mixture. Make a well and pour in the sourdough/cream mixture. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix the dough, then fold/knead until the ingredients create a cohesive dough.
- Second, pat or roll out the dough and cut it into rounds, knead and reroll the dough as needed to cut the remaining biscuits.
- Third, refrigerate for 20 minutes while preheating the oven.
- Fourth, prepare the strawberries by cutting into quarters, sprinkling sugar over the top and macerating for up to a few hours.
- Fifth, brush the biscuits with cream, sprinkle with sugar and bake the biscuits.
- Next, whip the cream.
- Last, build the short cakes with warm or cool biscuits.
Tips for the Most Tender Biscuits
- To keep these biscuits light and tender, start with cold, straight from the refrigerator ingredients. Sourdough is more difficult to incorporate into cream when mixing cold, but it will ensure the most tender biscuits for this shortcake.
- When making biscuits, the goal is to coat the pieces butter in flour like when making pie dough, rather than incorporating it into the flour like a cake or cookie.
- Work quickly when working the butter into the flour. The butter should remain cold and pliable throughout the mixing process. If the butter starts getting melty, pop the whole bowl in the freezer (before adding any liquid) for about 10 minutes. This will allow the butter to solidify, then you can carry on.
- Looking for a Sourdough Starter? I have an easy DIY a Sourdough Starter on the blog!
- When kneading the dough, use a folding and pressing motion, scooping up bits of flour and butter from the bottom of the bowl and pressing the dough over and on top of itself. This helps build fluffy layers.
- Because this dough has plenty of fat, I don’t worry about working the dough too much. It’s pretty forgiving for shaping, enrolling, and cutting.
- When cutting the dough, flour the cutter first, then press down and pull right back up. Avoid twisting the cutter. The cleaner the cut, the better the rise.
- Internal Temperature: to know when the scones are done baking, check the internal temperature using a digital thermometer. When done, they should read between 200 – 205 Fahrenheit (93 – 96 Celsius).
Biscuit Making ToolsTools I use to whip up this moist sourdough biscuit recipe (these are affiliate links):
- Bench Scraper – Keeps all the bits organized and together.
- Rolling Pin – For an even thickness on the biscuits.
- 2 3/4 – 3 inch Biscuit Cutter – This cutter is perfect for large cut out cookies too.
- 4.5 Qt Mixing Bowl – My all-purpose, favorite mixing bowl.
- Parchment Paper – Ensures easy release from the pan. It can be reused after baking these biscuits for another round!
- Sheet Pan
- Pastry Board – I use this SO much!
More Sourdough Discard Recipes to Love
- Easy Sourdough Biscuits
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
- Fluffy Sourdough Banana Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones
Strawberry Shortcake with Sourdough Biscuits Recipe
For the Biscuits:
- 2/3 C (145g) Heavy Whipping Cream + more for tops
- 1/3 C (100g) Sourdough Discard 100% hydration, stirred down
- 1 3/4 C (245g) All Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbs Cane Sugar + more for tops
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder aluminum free *see 5/21 update note below
- 1/2 C (114g / 1 stick) Unsalted Butter cold, just from the fridge, cut into 1/2" pieces
- Zest of One Lemon
For the Strawberries:
- 3 C (425g) Strawberries about 1 1/2 pints
- 1 - 3 Tbs Cane Sugar to taste
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 C (210g) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 - 2 Tbs Cane Sugar to taste
- 1/2 Vanilla Bean Pod, beans scraped or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Make the Biscuits:
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Make room in the refrigerator for the sheet pan.
- In a spouted measuring cup add whipping cream, and sourdough discard (just out of the fridge). Whisk until the starter is incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. To the flour mixture, add the cold butter. I like using my hands here, but a fork or pastry cutter may be used instead. Start incorporating the butter pinching and mashing the butter pieces in between your fingers, working quickly so the butter stays cold. The point is to coat the butter in flour, pinching and tossing the pieces. Once the flour and butter is incorporated, there should be small (pea size) and larger pieces (almond size) of butter remaining, coated in flour. If the butter starts to melt, put the whole bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm the butter back up.
- To the butter/flour mixture, stir in the lemon zest until evenly distributed.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the sourdough/cream mixture. Use a fork to pull the dry flour into the well, then mix until a shaggy dough forms. Put the fork down and use your hand to scoop up the dough and press it over and on top of itself, doing this several times until a shaggy dryish dough forms.
- Flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Lightly flour the top of the dough and knead it a few times (folding and pressing) until a cohesive dough forms. Lightly flour the top again and roll or pat the dough out to between 3/4" to just below 1" (1.9cm - 2.5cm) thick disk. Dip the biscuit cutter into flour, then cut the biscuits with a 2 3/4" - 3" (7cm - 7.6cm) biscuit cutter, without twisting the cutter, and transfer to the parchment paper-lined sheet pan, spacing them evenly and a few inches apart. Reroll the dough as needed (I do this twice). Refrigerate the biscuits for at least 20 minutes. Make Ahead: At this point the biscuits can be frozen, then transferred to a lidded container and held in the freezer for up to three weeks. You can bake completely frozen scones straight from the freezer same as you would refrigerated biscuits adding a few minutes on the bake time as needed.
- While the biscuits are in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Just before baking, brush the tops of the biscuits with cream and sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top. Bake the biscuits from refrigerated or previously frozen on a parchment lined sheet pan for 30-35 minutes and until golden (you'll need to bake a few more minutes when baking from frozen - keep an eye on the bottoms and internal temperature). The internal temperature will be between 200F-205F when baked through (93C - 96C).
- Store baked biscuits at room temperature in a covered container for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three weeks. Biscuits are best fresh, but if needed, they can be gently reheated at 350F (175C) for about 10-15 minutes. Wrap in foil when reheating to retain their softness.
For the Strawberries
- While the biscuits are in the fridge chilling, trim the green stems away from the strawberry and slice strawberries into rounds or quarters. Sprinkle the strawberries with sugar using some or all of the sugar depending on how sweet your berries are, and/or your taste. The sugar is optional, and sometimes I leave it off, but it helps create a bit of syrup. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice and if you like, add an empty vanilla bean pod. Stir, cover, then refrigerate for up to two hours. They will soften the longer they sit.
For the Whipped Cream
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the whipping cream, sugar and extract or vanilla beans. Whip until soft peaks form. Make up to one day ahead and store in the fridge in a lidded container.
- Cut a biscuit in half and scoop strawberries over the top. Dollop with cream, then top with the other biscuit half. Pile up more strawberries and cream if desired!