Flaky Sourdough Discard Biscuits

This is the biscuit recipe I’ve been searching for my entire life. Before making these, I thought the perfect biscuits could only come from a can. But these biscuits are so much better than the canned stuff, they are flaky with layers upon layers of soft, buttery, rich crumb. I promise after you make these, you’ll come up with an excuse to eat biscuits every day. 

I found this recipe thanks to my new friend Erika, the genius mind behind the blog, The Pancake Princess. Erika hosts bake-offs where she pits the most popular recipes on the Internet against each other to see which one is the best. So you and I don’t have to try out 16 different biscuit recipes to see which one is the best. Thanks, Erika! 

These amazing biscuits come from Bon Appetit, and I modified the recipe by adding 120 grams of sourdough discard (of course). For something that bakes up so perfectly decadent these are extremely easy to make. Bon Appetit suggests making these in a food processor, but I don’t have one so I hand mixed everything, and still ended up with a soft and tender crumb. This recipe details my hand-mixed instructions but you can follow Bon Appetit’s directions if you prefer to use a food processor. 

Currently, I maintain a whole wheat starter, and although this recipe calls for a low protein, white flour (all-purpose) the whole wheat in my discard did not have a detrimental effect on the crumb. So whatever type of discard you have will work fine (rye, whole wheat, white, etc). Still, I would not recommend using whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose that this recipe calls for.

Lastly, it’s very important to keep this recipe as cold as possible to prevent the butter from melting before baking. This will ensure a tender, flaky crumb. So make sure your butter, starter and buttermilk are all cold.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This in no way impacts my recommendations.

Now on to the recipe! 

QuantityIngredientsBaker’s %
120 gramsDiscard starter (unfed, cold from the fridge)30%
180 grams Buttermilk or kefir46%
226 gramsButter (cut into ½ inch pieces and chilled)58%
388 gramsAll-purpose flour100%
16 gramsGranulated sugar 4%
10 grams (2 ½ teaspoons)Baking powder2.5%
2 grams (¼ teaspoon)Baking soda.5%
12 grams (2 teaspoons)Salt 3%

Preheat oven to 425°. 

In a large-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. 

Incorporate pieces of chilled butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the largest pieces of butter are the size of a pea. 

Use a pastry cutter to mix sourdough discard into dough, being careful not to over mix (it’s OK if your discard does not completely dissolve into the dough at this point) 

Gradually drizzle buttermilk or kefir into your dough mixture. Knead mixture lightly until it forms a shaggy dough (it will look a little dry)

Turn dough out onto a clean surface and pat into a 1″-thick square.

Using a knife or bench scraper, cut dough into 4 pieces. Stack pieces on top of one another, sandwiching any loose dry bits of dough between layers, and press down to flatten. 

Lift up dough with bench scraper and dust surface with flour. 

Roll dough into a 1″-thick rectangle and trim a thin border around sides of dough to create clean edges. Cut into a 4×3 grid to make 12 biscuits.

**Bon Appetit advises you not to reroll your scraps but I formed them into biscuits and they still baked up great. 

Transfer biscuits to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart; freeze 10 minutes.

Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. 

Reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake biscuits until deep golden brown on bottom and golden on top, 20–25 minutes.

Et Voila! 

Flaky, buttery biscuits that you come together in under an hour! Serve these warm with jam and butter or sausage gravy. 

Make ahead instructions: Unbaked biscuits can be frozen up to 1 month. Freeze, uncovered, on baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Do not thaw before baking, but add a few minutes to the baking time.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Deb says:

    You can grate cold butter into the flour mix. Best pastry hack ever. No need to cut it in with a pastry cutter. Use the coarse side of the grater.

    1. Ooh great tip, Deb! I’m scheming on a 100% whole grain version of this recipe, I’ll try your method for that.

  2. Amanda says:

    These biscuits are delicious! I didn’t get quite the rise you did but plan to try again. I did notice you mention mixing sugar in but don’t have it listed in your ingredients. I’m also trying to print the recipe and can’t find a print version. Do you have a feature that allows me to print a 1-2 page copy of the recipe with a picture of the biscuits without all the extra details? When I print from this page it’s 3-4 pages long.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the biscuits! Are your raising agents fresh? Or did you use buttermilk? The reaction between the acids and basics in the recipe usually helps with the height in these biscuits. I’m sorry but I don’t currently have that feature!

  3. Heather says:

    Can I sub the buttermilk for yoghurt?

    1. You can, but you may have to add more of the thickness of yogurt in comparison to buttermilk. I’d add water a little bit at a time until your dough comes together 😁

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