This sourdough pumpkin bread was born out of a lot of waste. Like loads of other people, I’ve taken up sourdough baking during the last few months. I’m loving baking bread more often and have found a recipe that is wonderful. Butttt, I can’t stand to waste the starter discard. It’s been painful to throw out all that flour every time I feed the starter. Especially when flour was so scarce! So, in an attempt to waste less, I’m determined to make more recipes that help me use up that extra tangy discard that’s usually tossed out when I feed my starter.
Sourdough starter lends a lovely, subtle acidic flavor to whatever you add it to. You can put it in all sorts of baked goods in place of some of the dry and wet ingredients– cookies, quick breads, pancakes (more on this soon!), waffles. One thing to keep in mind is that when you feed a mature sourdough starter, it’s pretty active for a day or two, so when you’re adding discard starter to other baked goods, you should use starter that was fed at least two days ago so that the yeast has had time to calm down. You’re not using the discard starter as a sole leavener, but simply to add flavor. The first thing I made with my discard was this sourdough starter banana bread recipe that was incredible. It inspired me to fancy up my favorite quick bread–pumpkin– with a dose of my starter.
This sourdough pumpkin bread is everything I wanted it to be. It’s light but full of warm spices and toasty pecans. It has a slight acidic tang from the starter that goes perfectly with the gentle sweetness of pumpkin bread. It’s my new favorite pumpkin bread and I imagine I’ll make it a few more times this fall.
If you’ve already got a sourdough starter going, or you’re thinking about making one, starter discard is an unsung hero. It’s so much fun to make fresh sourdough at home and it’s equally exciting to find new flavor combinations as you add starter discard to recipes you already love, like this sourdough pumpkin bread. Happy Baking!
If you like this recipe for Sourdough Pumpkin Bread, you might also like:
Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
A perfectly spiced pumpkin bread with toasty pecans, brown sugar and a subtle tang from sourdough starter discard.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 can pumpking puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted & roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp powder sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan and line with parchment.
In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
Combine the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula until the pumpkin has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. While the pumpkin is reducing, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the sourdough discard, and the eggs.
Once the pumpkin has reduced to 1 1/2 cups, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the sugar mixture until completely combined. Whisk in the starter mixture. Fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until no dry flour remains. Fold in the pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or an instant read thermometer reaches 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven and cool on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, then serve.