Using sourdough discard as an ingredient is one of my new favorite things to do. It reduces waste as I feed my starter, adds a tangy twist of flavor, and helps to leaven my banana bread in a natural way allowing for an incredibly moist texture. You won’t regret giving this sourdough walnut banana bread a try!
Sourdough Starter Discard
If you tend to feed your starter every day, you most likely have quite a bit of starter that you are getting rid of after each feeding. Usually, when I have sourdough discard, I’ll put my leftovers in the fridge for a day or two in case I end up using those leftovers for a recipe! Never made a starter before? No problem! Subscribe to my mailing list in my sidebar of this site to learn how to make your own sourdough starter to get… STARTED!
Baking With Sourdough Starter
Using sourdough discard in various recipes is not as complicated as it may sound! Most sourdough starter recipes are made at 100% hydration, meaning that the starter is made up of equal parts of water and flour. This makes using the discard in a recipe straightforward because if you happen to have 100g of discard, you can remove 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water from your recipe knowing that your starter will take its place. Using discard in recipes like this Sourdough Walnut Banana Bread recipe, or even within a muffin or pancake recipe is such a great way to play with that discard and avoid wasting it!
What’s so great about banana bread?!
Banana bread does not have to be boring by any means. By playing with using different flours, a number of different inclusions, and various sugars – you can take a basic banana bread into the loaf of your wildest dreams!
Measure by volume, not by bananas
When it comes to making banana bread, I would suggest measuring the bananas by volume/weight instead of a number of bananas. A lot of recipes will mention using a certain number of ripe bananas, but I’ve found that using a specific unit of measurement helps to get the best most consistent results every single time.
Why do you want to use old bananas?
Usually, banana bread recipes require the use of ripe or “old” bananas. This is due to a number of reasons!
- Ripe bananas can be used as an egg replacement in baking as they help provide structure as the loaf rises
- The soft consistency makes the bananas much easier to mash uniformly
- This makes the bananas incorporate more smoothly into your batter
- Ripe bananas are sweeter and much more full of concentrated flavor as they ripen
When are your bananas considered ripe?
The darker the banana… the better. Once your banana skin has a number of brown freckles and large brown spots, they’re ready to be used! Honestly… there’s no banana that’s “Too ripe” when it comes to banana bread making.
To start the ripening process, allow the bananas to ripen at room temperature. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, they could be ready in a few days or in a week. If you want to quicken the process, I would suggest placing the bananas in a brown paper bag for a few days and then check in on them!
Freezing your Bananas
Never throw away those “old” dark brown bananas! Stick the bananas in the freezer with the peels removed in an airtight container to use the next time you make banana bread – your future self will thank you!
Once your banana bread is baked, cooled, and sliced, place it in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the fridge for longer shelf life. The banana bread should be good for up to seven days if kept in the fridge. After one week, wrap the leftovers in plastic and place them in the freezer to enjoy later.
Helpful Equipment for making Banana Bread
Sourdough Walnut Banana Bread
Banana Bread with Sourdough Starter
- 150 g All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 215 g Ripe Bananas
- 200 g sourdough discard
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp bourbon extract
- 150 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 185 g brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g chopped walnuts
- 100 g Oats
- 100 g Brown Sugar
- 100 g Cold, Unsalted Butter
- 9 g Sea Salt
- 100 g All Purpose Flour
- Using a food processor, pulse oats until they’ve slightly been broken up
- Place the oats, sugar, flour and sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix using the paddle attachment.
- Slowly add cold bits of butter and mix until crumbly.
- Place crumble in an air tight container and place in the fridge until you’re ready to use!
Banana Bread with Sourdough Starter
- In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together to combine.
- In a separate bowl add the bananas and use a fork or potato masher to mash. Add the sourdough, vanilla and bourbon extract, stirring until evenly mixed.
- Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer, and cream together using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. This should take about 4 minutes – then add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions.
- Add the banana/discard/extract mixture and mix until combined.
- Finally, add the dries in two separate stages, mixing gently to combine. and gently fold to combine.
- Bake for about 55-60 minutes or until you’ve checked for doneness with a toothpick and it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 25 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.