Finding uses for sourdough starter discard, like these light and fluffy sourdough dinner rolls, adds to the fun of making sourdough bread

Looking out for sourdough starter discard ideas

In my never-ending quest to find ways to use my weekly sourdough starter discard, I’m slowly building up quite a repertoire of recipes…pretzels, bagels, spice cake, and more. So when I ran across a recipe that used sourdough starter, I immediately stopped to take a look….King Arthur Flour’s weekly Sunday roundup email had a recipe for Sourdough Dinner Rolls . Then, two days later, Sally’s Baking Addiction’s April Baking Challenge was announced as…wait for it…Soft Dinner Rolls. I’ve participated in those monthly baking challenges with my versions of chocolate cake pops, cheesecake, and dark chocolate truffles, so I thought it a sign from the baking gods that I should make sourdough dinner rolls (exactly how do you sacrifice a dinner roll, by the way?). And if I could merge the two recipes into a tasty third, then I’d have another sourdough starter discard recipe to add to my bag of tools…er…recipes.

Looking over the two recipes, they differed in a few small ways…King Arthur Flour’s version called for using (fed) sourdough starter (not discard), added in potato flour with the all purpose flour, and more butter than Sally’s version (about an ounce). Sally’s recipe called for an egg but no potato flour (and no sourdough starter, of course). How’d my “franken-recipe” turn out? We’ll get to that…

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread, Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Starter Discard
Yummy things come to those who use these ingredients for sourdough dinner rolls

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: General
Keyword: Bread, Dinner Rolls, King Arthur Flour, Rolls, Sally's Baking Addiction, Sourdough, Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Starter Discard, Yeast Bread
Servings: 16 rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (8 oz, 240ml), warmed to about 110°F (or 1 cup water + 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (5g)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (3 oz, 85g), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard (unfed) (4 oz, 113g)
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (11 1/2 oz, 325g)
  • 1/4 cup potato flour (1 5/8oz, 46g)

Procedure

  • Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. (If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula).
  • Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for two minutes.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (An oven with the light on works wonderfully)
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch square or round baking pans. You can also bake the rolls in a cast iron skillet or on a lined baking sheet.
  • When the dough is ready, knead it gently to deflate it. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange in prepared baking pan.
  • Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the rolls towards the bottom of the oven so the tops don’t burn.)
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil
  • Remove from the oven and allow rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Overnight Preparation: Prepare the recipe through step 5. Cover the shaped rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you need them the next day, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 4.
Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 5. Place shaped rolls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, and freeze until firm. Once frozen, the dough balls won’t stick together anymore and you can place them in a freezer bag if needed (they will keep for up to 3 months). On the day you serve them, arrange the dough balls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, then let them thaw and rise for about 4-5 hours. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked dinner rolls. Allow them to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
Baking Pan: You can bake the rolls in a glass or metal 9×13 inch baking pan...just bake the rolls on a lower oven rack and keep your eye on them to keep them from over-browning
Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour. All-purpose flour is convenient for most, but bread flour produces chewier dinner rolls. The rolls are still soft and fluffy no matter which you use. Either flour is fine and there are no other changes to the recipe if you use one or the other.
Potato Flour: Potato flour helps keep the rolls light and fluffy. If you choose not to use it, increase the amount of all-purpose flour to compensate.

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread, Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Starter Discard
Shaping the dough to a smooth ball, then it rests and rises (not unlike me after a hard workout)

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread, Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Starter Discard
Going from an amorphous blob to delicious, fluffy rolls

Making my changes

I had to see if using unfed sourdough starter discard was going to make a difference as that’s what I usually have an abundance of (Spoiler Alert…it didn’t). Also, I added more all-purpose flour to my dough to compensate for the increased liquid from the egg, but not much (again, about an ounce). The result was a soft, silky dough, easy to shape into balls. After shaping, I baked half the rolls in a 9-inch round pan and putting the other round pan in the freezer so I could have fresh-baked rolls another night. (They’re always better freshly baked!)

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread, Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Starter Discard
Light, fluffy, slightly tangy, utterly yummy…shall I go on?

 

Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread, Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Starter Discard
I so want these for dinner…and right now!

The results are in!

These sourdough dinner rolls were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! A soft, butter-flavored roll with just a tang of sourdough notes at the end. As I said in my Spoiler Alert, using the unfed sourdough starter discard didn’t measurably impact the flavor (although to be fair, I haven’t made these rolls using King Arthur’s exact recipe with fed starter…would they have more sourdough flavor or just more rise? Inquiring minds want to know…). All I know is that these would better be called “Sourdough maybe-they’ll-make-it-to Dinner Rolls”…they were that good. Oh, others can experiment by adding cheese or herbs or other whatnot. For me, just leave them plain and leave them with me…they might even make it to dinnertime.

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!

Tammy

Some of the links above are with affiliates that give me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping me!

 

 

 

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