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Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

What to do with all the sourdough discard? When I’m “pruning” Ed (remember my slightly unreliable sourdough starter, Ed? He’s doing well, thanks! We’re pretty close now. 💕), I always feel bad about tossing so much starter.

So the other day, when I decided to make these Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies, it was for purely unselfish and food waste avoiding reasons. Ahem. Thank goodness my altruism was rewarded with wonderfully delicious chocolate chip cookies with an unmistakeable sourdough tang, but also added depth of flavor because the recipe calls for browning the butter that goes in the cookie dough. So many wins all around. I made a mini version of them because sometimes it’s just nice to pop a small cookie than work your way through one large one. But you do you, this is a judgement-free zone.

Thanks for the inspiration Edd Kimber of The Boy Who Bakes, and for a keeper recipe!

xoxo Donata

Sourdough chocolate chips cookies with flaky sea salt

Ingredients Makes 25 cookies

1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, diced

3 cups (380g) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp flaked sea salt

1 cup (220g) caster sugar

1 cup (220g) light brown sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 cup and 1 tablespoon (240g) sourdough starter discard (100% hydration)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups (500g) dark chocolate, roughly chopped


To make the cookies, we first need to brown the butter. Don’t be tempted to skip this because this isn’t just done for flavor, it also removes the water content from the butter which is being replaced by the starter. If you skip this step the resulting recipe will have a very different texture.

Place the butter into a saucepan and over medium/high heat cook until the butter melts, bubbles and then foams. Keep a close eye on it as it can burn quickly. When the milk solids have browned the water will have evaporated off, so remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes or so, to cool slightly. Once browned you should have 185g unsalted butter left (that’s if using butter with an 82% fat content). While the butter is browning, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.

When ready to make the cookies place the butter and sugars into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk for a couple minutes to combine and to break up any lumps. Add the egg yolks and whisk for 2-3 minutes on medium/high. Don’t worry if this looks separated or greasy at the moment, it will come together once we’ve added the starter.

Place the bowl on your scale and measure in the required sourdough discard, adding the vanilla as well. Mix in for a few minutes or until the mixture becomes smooth and fully combined, it should look a little like a thick cake batter. Add in the flour mixture and mix in on low speed, just until everything comes together as a dough.

Finally, switch to the paddle attachment and add the chocolate, mixing briefly until evenly distributed. Press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface of the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before baking (my preferred time frame to bake these is between 4-24 hours).

Recipe note: With regular cookie recipes you can leave the dough in the fridge for up to three days, but with these cookies remember that even though the discard may be less active than your usual starter, you are adding sourdough to fresh flour, so over time the dough will ferment a little more, so the longer you leave the dough the stronger the finished flavor.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper. Roll the cookies into balls roughly 70g (2,5 oz) in size, placing 6 per baking tray, with plenty of space between each one as these will spread. Sprinkle the cookies with a little flaked sea salt.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the outside. If the cookies come out a little puffy looking, give the baking tray a firm tap on the counter to help them flatten a little. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Stored in a sealed container these will keep for 4-5 days. You can also freeze these balls of cookie dough for up to a month, baking straight from frozen with just a minute or two of extra bake time.

Sourdough chocolate chips cookies with flaky sea salt

Recipe by Edd Kimber via

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