Muffins are one of my favorite bakes. From chocolate chips to cranberries, there are so many ways to customize these Sourdough Muffin Recipes. When it comes to adding a unique tangy flavor, I love incorporating sourdough discard for an extra layer of depth and richness.
How to use your sourdough starter
Sourdough bread is just the beginning when it comes to the potential of your discarded sourdough starter! From adding a lovely tang to keeping bakes moist for days longer, sourdough starter discard is a delicious addition to muffins of all types.
Why you’ll love these recipes
You can use up a lot of sourdough starter: If you're just getting started with sourdough or don’t bake bread very often, muffins are a delicious way to use up excess sourdough starter or sourdough discard.
Most of these recipes can be made by hand: A majority of these recipes can be mixed by hand with no stand mixer required.
Make them quick or fermented: Most of these muffin recipes come together in less than an hour, however, muffins are one of many sourdough recipes that
Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang: The acidity of sourdough enhances the flavor of the muffins.
Adds moisture to the batter: Water that’s locked in sourdough discard keeps muffins moist and tasting fresh for days longer.
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is any portion of your starter that is removed during the feeding process or any part that is not used to make bread. You can use it in other bakes and dishes or store it in the refrigerator for future use.
Can I add sourdough discard to any muffin recipe?
Adding sourdough discard to muffins isn’t as simple as simply chucking a cup of it into any muffin batter. Sourdough contains a lot of water, and this added moisture can adversely affect the texture and structure of muffins, causing them to flatten out.
Balancing the ratio of ingredients is especially important for muffins, so it’s best to use recipes that have been specifically formulated, tried, and tested using sourdough discard.
Equipment you need
Kitchen scale: Weigh your ingredients instead of measuring by cups and tablespoons for the best results.
Muffin tin: These recipes were formulated and tested using a standard 12-cup muffin pan. I love the quality of OXO and USA Pan. These are what I use in my kitchen and wholeheartedly recommend them.
Large cookie scoop: Makes dividing your muffin batter more exact. Having one is great for baking sourdough cookies as well!
Muffin liners: Prevents muffins from sticking to the pan. Optional but highly recommended.
How to get tall bakery-style muffin tops
Start with room temperature ingredients: Since muffin batter is essentially an emulsion, it's best to start with room temperature ingredients. Warm ingredients are easier to mix, leading to a smoother batter and lighter, softer muffins.
Test your leaveners for freshness: Chemical leaveners have a shelf life and eventually lost their effectiveness. Make sure yours works before starting a recipe by combining a pinch of baking soda and baking powder with a drop of vinegar. If the mixture fizzes, then your leaveners will work.
Stir the flour in gradually: Folding the flour in increments will prevent lumps and too much gluten development, resulting in plush, tender muffins with tall tops!
Start hot and turn down your oven temperature: Preheat your oven to 425 F and then turn down the temperature to 375 F when you put your muffins in the oven. The initial high heat will encourage your muffins to rise high while baking at a lower temperature will gently bake your batter without burning the muffins.
No peeking!: Do not open the oven door while your muffins are baking. Heat escapes every time the door is opened, if your muffins are not completely baked in the middle, this will cause your muffins to sink and become dense and gummy.
My Favorite Sourdough Muffin Recipes
Quick and Easy Sourdough Banana Muffins
Tall muffin tops with a plush interior and an intense banana flavor, you’ll love these Sourdough Banana Muffins. Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang and added moisture that will keep these muffins tasting fresh for up to a week.
Sourdough Discard Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping
With lots of tender cinnamon apples throughout the plush crumb and a crunchy brown sugar streusel crowning the tall tops these Sourdough Apple Muffins are guaranteed to be a household favorite.
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sweet, plush and filled with rich chocolate chips, these Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins are perfect for breakfast or a sweet ending to your day.
Soft Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Muffins
The perfect mix of crunchy and soft, these Sourdough Pumpkin muffins are fluffy and moist with irresistibly tall muffin tops!
Sourdough Discard Blueberry Muffins
Moist, soft and loaded with juicy blueberries, these Sourdough Blueberry Muffins are the best breakfast treat. The acidity of sourdough discard tenderizes gluten and adds brightness resulting in a delicious muffin that’s tender with tall bakery-style muffin tops.
Sourdough Chocolate Muffins
These Sourdough Chocolate Muffins are decadent, with a light and delicate texture. Sourdough discard and sour cream keep these muffins tender with a delicious tang that complements their rich chocolate flavor. These are perfect for an indulgent breakfast or a rich dessert.
Sourdough Discard Cranberry Muffins
Turn leftover cranberries into Cranberry Sourdough Muffins! Tart cranberries, orange zest, tangy sourdough, and a crunchy top for a burst of seasonal delight in every bite.
Sourdough discard recipes refer to dishes and baked goods where sourdough is not primarily used for leavening.
Examples include sourdough discard bread recipes that incorporate both commercial yeast and sourdough discard, or other recipes like sourdough chocolate cake or sourdough biscuits that rely on chemical leaveners such as baking powder or baking soda.
Sourdough adds additional moisture which has a tendency to make muffins flatten out as they bake. If you want to bake sourdough muffins with tall bakery-style tops, it’s best to use a tried and tested recipe.
Sourdough discard introduces a delightful tang that complements the sweet richness of muffins. The intensity of this flavor varies based on the specific acidity of your sourdough discard. If stored in the fridge for an extended period, it imparts a more pronounced taste to your bakes.
I store my excess sourdough starter in a jar inside the refrigerator. It can be stored for months as long as it doesn't grow any mold.