Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread (or Muffins)

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Discover a delicious way to utilize your sourdough discard with this unique Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread recipe. By incorporating a long ferment, we not only infuse rich flavors into the bread but also enhance its digestibility. With a perfect blend of ingredients, this bread is a delightful treat that combines the goodness of sourdough and the freshness of zucchini.

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Why Use Sourdough In Zucchini Bread?

Introducing sourdough discard into your zucchini bread recipe isn’t just a matter of reducing waste; it’s a transformative addition that significantly enhances the taste, texture, and overall quality of the bread.

  1. Distinctive Flavor Profile:
    • Sourdough discard contributes a unique tanginess to the bread, creating a complex flavor profile that goes beyond the typical sweetness of zucchini bread. The fermentation process in sourdough develops lactic acid and acetic acid, imparting a subtle sour note that adds depth and character.
  2. Enhanced Moisture and Tenderness:
    • The organic acids produced during the fermentation process play a crucial role in breaking down gluten and starches. This results in a more tender crumb and improved moisture retention. The sourdough discard acts as a natural hydrator, ensuring a softer and more luscious texture.
  3. Extended Shelf Life:
    • The acidic environment created by sourdough fermentation acts as a natural preservative. This can extend the shelf life of the zucchini bread, providing a longer window for enjoying the freshly baked goodness without compromising on quality.
  4. Improved Digestibility:
    • The long fermentation process initiated by sourdough allows for the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and proteins in the flour. This pre-digestion not only makes the nutrients more bioavailable but also contributes to improved digestibility for some individuals who may experience discomfort with traditionally prepared bread.
  5. Natural Leavening:
    • The wild yeast present in the sourdough starter serves as a natural leavening agent. This contributes to a lighter and airier texture in the zucchini bread, resulting in a well-risen and visually appealing loaf.
  6. Nutritional Boost:
    • Sourdough fermentation breaks down antinutrients present in the flour, potentially increasing the availability of essential nutrients. While not a substitute for a well-rounded diet, this nutritional boost is a welcomed bonus.

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

Long Fermented Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread

Performing a long ferment in this Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread recipe offers several benefits that contribute to the overall quality and character of the final product:

  1. Flavor Enhancement:
    • Sourdough Depth: Allowing the sourdough discard to undergo a long fermentation process enables the lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast to break down the flour. This process imparts a distinct sourdough flavor profile, contributing complexity and depth to the bread.
  2. Improved Digestibility:
    • Flour Breakdown: The prolonged fermentation allows the enzymes present in the sourdough starter to break down complex carbohydrates and proteins in the flour. This pre-digestion process makes the nutrients more accessible and may enhance the bread’s digestibility for some individuals.
  3. Texture and Structure Improvement:
    • Gluten Development: The longer fermentation time promotes the development of gluten in the dough. This contributes to a more elastic and structured crumb, resulting in a better-textured zucchini bread.
  4. Nutrient Availability:
    • Nutrient Release: The breakdown of flour during the extended fermentation process releases additional nutrients and minerals. This not only enhances the nutritional profile of the bread but also makes these nutrients more available for absorption during digestion.
  5. Preservative Effects:
    • Acidic Environment: Sourdough fermentation creates an acidic environment, which can act as a natural preservative, potentially extending the shelf life of the zucchini bread without the need for artificial additives.

Doing a long ferment on this recipe is incredibly easy. Just follow the recipe below, but instead of cooking the bread, cover the pan and keep it in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Bake as instructed whenever you’re ready and taste the benefits!

Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread

This bread recipe also makes great muffins! You will need to reduce the baking time to approximately 20-25 minutes, just check frequently with a toothpick inserted into the center.

Add a cup of chocolate chips to the batter before baking for even more sweetness!

Sourdough Discard Zucchini Bread

This zucchini bread holds the perfect amount of sweet and is incredibly moist thanks to the addition of sourdough discard!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Servings: 8 slices


Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts optional

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sourdough starter discard
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 ¾ cups grated zucchini (squeeze out excess liquid)


  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (176°C) and lightly coating a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with a thin layer of grease.
  • Take the zucchini and grate it using the larger holes of a cheese grater. Place the grated zucchini in a colander, exerting pressure to remove any excess moisture. Allow the zucchini to continue draining in the colander while you move on to the next steps.1 ¾ cups grated zucchini (squeeze out excess liquid)
  • In a generously sized bowl, use a whisk to blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and the finely chopped walnuts. Set this dry ingredient mixture aside.2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • In a separate bowl, employ a spatula to seamlessly combine the light brown sugar, eggs, sourdough starter discard, vanilla extract, and oil until a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the bowl of wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Incorporate the grated zucchini into the mix. 1 cup light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sourdough starter discard, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ cup avocado oil
  • Transfer the resulting batter into the pre-greased baking pan and place it in the oven. Allow it to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. (Refer to notes for additional guidance.)
  • Once the bread has completed its time in the oven, let it cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack. Finally, slice and serve your freshly baked zucchini bread.

Storing and Freezing

Storing: Once cooled, store the zucchini bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to a week.

Freezing: To freeze, wrap the cooled zucchini bread tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Craving more sourdough discard recipes? Check out our delicious pumpkin bread, sweet brownies, and fluffy waffles!

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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