Sourdough Discard Dumplings

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There’s something truly magical about turning what was once considered kitchen waste into a culinary masterpiece. As a passionate home cook and avid user of sourdough, discovering the wonders of creating sourdough discard dumplings has been a game-changer in my kitchen. In this article, I’ll guide you through a simple yet delightful recipe that transforms discarded sourdough into heavenly dumplings with the perfect taste and texture.

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Perfect Taste and Texture

Imagine biting into a dumpling that’s both tender and slightly chewy, with a rich, buttery flavor complemented by a subtle tang. The marriage of these elements creates a symphony of tastes and textures that dance on your palate, leaving you craving more.

Versatility in Usage

These sourdough discard dumplings are incredibly versatile. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from classic chicken and dumplings to hearty stews and soups. The sourdough tang adds a delightful twist, elevating even the simplest of dishes to gourmet status.

sourdough discard dumplings

Tips and Tricks For Perfect Dumplings

1. Steaming Perfection:

When adding your dumplings to soup, it’s crucial to maintain a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil. The dumplings thrive in a steamy environment, not a vigorous boil. Boiling soup risks turning your dumplings soggy, so exercise patience and let them dance in a gentle simmer for the perfect texture.

2. Cold Butter for Tender Bliss

To achieve dumplings with the utmost tenderness, ensure your butter is cold when incorporating it into the flour. The cold butter creates little pockets in the dough as it melts during cooking, resulting in dumplings that are exceptionally tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

3. Flour Matters

Opt for all-purpose flour when crafting your sourdough discard dumplings. The higher protein content in bread flour might seem tempting for some recipes, but for dumplings, it could lead to an undesirable toughness. Stick with all-purpose flour to strike the ideal balance of tenderness and structure.

4. Maintain Dough Dryness

Resist the temptation to add any additional liquid to your dumpling dough, even if it appears a tad wet. The magic lies in the dryness of the dough, allowing the dumplings to absorb the flavorful soup while cooking. This ensures a perfect marriage of textures, with the dumplings soaking up the rich essence of the broth without becoming overly saturated.

If you haven’t gotten started in your sourdough journey yet, check out our guide on how to make a starter from scratch!

Overnight Ferment

Engaging in a long, overnight ferment offers a range of benefits, particularly when working with sourdough or certain types of dough. Here are some advantages of opting for an extended fermentation period:

  1. Flavor Development:
    • Enhanced Complexity: Long fermentation allows for the development of complex flavors in the dough. The extended time allows the natural enzymes in the flour to break down starches into sugars and proteins into amino acids, contributing to a more nuanced and flavorful end product.
  2. Digestibility:
    • Reduced Gluten Content: A longer fermentation period can break down gluten, potentially making the final product more digestible for individuals sensitive to gluten. This is particularly relevant for sourdough bread, where the fermentation process contributes to a decrease in gluten content.
  3. Nutrient Availability:
    • Increased Bioavailability of Nutrients: The fermentation process can enhance the availability of certain nutrients in the dough. Phytic acid, an anti-nutrient found in grains, is broken down during fermentation, making minerals more accessible for absorption.
  4. Sourdough Tang:
    • Intensified Sourdough Flavor: For sourdough enthusiasts, an overnight ferment intensifies the characteristic tangy flavor associated with naturally leavened bread. The slow fermentation allows the lactic acid bacteria to proliferate, imparting that sought-after sourdough taste.

To make overnight ferment dumplings:

  1. Combine all ingredients and knead lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. About an hour before cooking, take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest at room temp.
  3. After an hour, shape dumplings and cook.

Quick Dumplings

Preparing this recipe just before cooking makes an equally delicious and fluffy dumpling.

Sourdough Discard Dumplings

A chewy and fluffy texture with a delicious sourdough taste.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Fermentation Time (Optional)12 hours


  • Mixing Bowl


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter


  • Ensure your butter is exceptionally cold. Cut it into small cubes or grate it, and place in the freezer if need be.
  • Combine the flour and chilled butter in a mixing bowl, using your fingertips to rub the flour into the butter. Aim for a crumbly texture that retains a cold feel. 4 tablespoons butter, 1 cup flour
  • Introduce the baking powder, salt, and any kind of herbs you want to the flour mixture, gently stirring with a spatula or spoon. 1 teaspoon baking power, 1 teaspoon salt,
  • Whisk the egg and sourdough starter together, then pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients.1 egg, 3/4 cup sourdough starter
  • Carefully unite the wet and dry components, creating a dry dough. Exercise caution to avoid overworking it, as this could result in tough dumplings.
  • Shape the dough into 12 small balls using your fingers. Imperfections are acceptable, and the dough may appear slightly crumbly, which is entirely normal.
  • Ensure your soup maintains a gentle simmer, avoiding a boiling state. Delicately deposit the dumplings into the soup. Initially, they may submerge – remain calm; they will resurface within a minute or two.
  • Cover the soup with a lid and allow it to gently simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • You'll know the dumplings are done when they are slightly expanded, mostly floating, and have a firm and springy texture.

Batch Prepping

dumplings with sourdough discard

These dumplings make a great recipe to make up in batches and freeze for a fast and convenient meal addition.

  1. Prepare the dough as mentioned above and shape to desired size.
  2. Instead of cooking the dumplings, place the balls onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and flash freeze (place in the freezer until solid).
  3. Transfer the dumplings to a zip lock bag, such as these reusable ones, or similar air tight container and store in the freezer.
  4. When stored correctly, these dumplings can keep for 7-8 months.

Craving more sourdough discard recipes? Check out our easy tortilla’s, fluffy pizza crust, or fudgy brownies!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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