I often make these brownies to serve with tea and coffee at my bread making courses in Ironbridge. This is the first time I have added sourdough discard to the recipe but it won’t be the last. The acidity of the discard boosts the rests of the flavours, making it taste sweeter and more chocolately. They are much lighter in texture than normal. They are delicious.
If you don’t make sourdough bread and don’t have a starter then don’t worry you can still make these. I explain how below.
A Note on Sourdough Discard
My discard was about 20 hours old when I used it. I wouldn’t particularly using a discard from a starter that has been in the fridge for some time or if your starter is a bit neglected. If my starter is neglected or fresh from the fridge the best place for my discard is in my food waste bin. What I want is something that has a bit of acid but isn’t overloaded. Anything too acidic will overpower the taste of your bake.
This recipe proves that you can add discard to pretty much all your baking. I made my brownies in the normal way except for omitting the 25g flour that I normally add and just added my discard. The discard happened to weigh 150g today* but I think the recipe would have been fine with more or less. So feel free to add however much discard you happen to have. If you wanted to make these brownies without the discard then just add 25g plain flour with the cocoa powder.
* I knew I was going to use it in a recipe today so I boosted my normal refresh a bit. My normal discard is between 50-100g.
No sourdough discard?
If you don’t have any sourdough starter then don’t worry you can still make these delicious brownies. My recipe without the discard just replaces the discard with 25g flour. You can use spelt, wholemeal or plain flour.
100g unsalted butter
50g chocolate (I normally use plain but today I used milk)
2 eggs (preferably organic)
225g soft brown sugar
50g good quality cocoa powder
150g sourdough discard (you can use more or less) If you don’t have any then add 25g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
50g chopped nuts of your choice (my favourite are pecans)
Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4, 350F or use the baking oven of a 4 oven Aga.
Melt the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or the chocolate will get too hot and seize. You can also melt the in the microwave by placing in a microwaveable bowl and pinging for 10 seconds at a time until they are almost melted and then stirring to finish the melting process.
Beat the eggs a little, just enough to add some air and it gets a bit foamy on the top (this helps with the crusty top that makes these so good). Stir the sugar, cocoa powder, sourdough discard, baking powder and salt into the eggs. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and the nuts and stir well to combine. Pour the batter into the cake tin and even the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is set but the batter is still wobbly underneath. The batter will firm up as the brownie cools. It is important not to overcook it, however tempted you may be to bake it for a few minutes longer.
This recipe first appeared on my other website for my cookery school Veg Patch Kitchen. If you would like to learn more about my bread making courses you can click on the button below.