Note: Throughout the Quarantiny Starter Project I've been developing recipes at home to keep up with demand, for everything from sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and of course bread. We're calling these "beta recipes" as they haven't gone through the rigorous weeks-long testing process as the rest of the recipes on the site. That said, they've worked well for me at home and I'm excited to share them with you. If you do make them I'd love your feedback so I can continue to tweak, adjust, and improve them for everyone.
This is a recipe for some simple-but-delicious drop biscuits, using sourdough discard in place of buttermilk (and flour) for tang and for its acids, which react with the baking soda to produce lift.
Sourdough discard, if you aren't already swimming in it, is what's left over when you finish feeding your sourdough starter. Instead of throwing out the excess, you can frugally collect it in a container and stash it in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks before using in recipes like this one. Discard recipes do not need the starter to be capable of leavening, since they typically include a chemical leavener such as baking powder and/or soda. (Though, as I mentioned above, the acid in the discard can serve to react with the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide.)
Sourdough Discard Drop Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits
A ¼-cup (#16) portion scoop can be used to portion the batter. To refresh day-old biscuits, heat them in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes.
1¼ cups (177 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ cup milk
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (226 grams) 100% hydration sourdough discard (cold)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Whisk milk and sourdough discard in medium bowl. Add 8 tablespoons melted butter and stir until butter forms small clumps.
2. Add discard mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.
3. Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
If you're interested in starting your own tiny sourdough starter or using the one you have, check out these resources: