When you have a sourdough starter, sometimes you have a lot of discard to use up. This fudgy sourdough brownie recipe is the perfect sourdough discard recipe, plus it’s a healthier spin on regular brownies and we even have a gluten-free sourdough option!
Why I Love This Recipe
- It’s sourdough! Which means it’s just plain better for you. So many people today have a hard time digesting our modern wheat, so utilizing the pre-digestive powers of sourdough means an easier time on our tummies.
Plus, if you have a sourdough starter, you also have a lot of discard! Don’t throw that discard out, bake with it!
- One bowl recipe – The entire recipe comes together in just one bowl! Sure, I have all the ingredients measured out in smaller bowls, but that’s purely optional and you can actually just dump each ingredient into the large bowl. This means less cleanup for a tidier kitchen!
- Super fudgy – If you saw my post on the seven pantry staples I’m never without, you know that my bonus staple was CHOCOLATE! That means I’m able to whip together these brownies anytime for a delicious treat my whole family will love.
If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, then that’s the first thing you’ll want to get going.
If you’re not sure how to do this you can join The Art of Homemade Bread Masterclass where I walk you through exactly how to start your sourdough starter, feed and maintain it, plus multiple recipes for getting started.
Be sure you also know the seven sourdough starter mistakes you might be making and learn how to avoid them. Plus the 33 things I wish I knew before I started baking with sourdough.
How to Store Brownies
Once brownies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container for up to a week.
How to Freeze Brownies
Some families may not want to eat an entire pan of brownies before they go bad (although I’m not sure who these families are!). But in case you’re reading this, and you’re one of them, you can absolutely bake them up and freeze them for later.
Once brownies have cooled completely, cut brownies into squares and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Store them all in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
How do you know when brownies are done?
Because all ovens will bake differently, it’s important to know how to tell when your brownies are done. You also don’t want to over-bake your sourdough brownies because they’ll be dry.
You’ll know your brownies are done when a knife, inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. The edges of your brownies will look set, but the center may appear slightly under-baked.
As the brownies cool, they’ll continue to cook, which is why we recommend letting them cool completely (or at least 10 minutes) before cutting into them, otherwise they’ll likely crumble and fall apart.
I don’t have bakers chocolate, can I just use chocolate chips?
If you don’t have bakers chocolate, you can substitute chocolate chips, however, you’ll want to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe since bittersweet chocolate is unsweetened.
I haven’t tested this method, so am unable to recommend measurements.
Why doesn’t this recipe call for flour?
This is a true sourdough recipe, meaning there is no added flour. Many recipes that call for sourdough starter, then add additional flour without a “souring” time, are no longer true sourdough recipes.
The point of eating sourdough is that it’s easier to digest. We don’t want to change that by adding additional flour.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Absolutely! Use your favorite gluten-free sourdough starter for a completely gluten-free sourdough brownie recipe.
- Sourdough starter – this can be an immature or mature starter as the sourdough isn’t actually acting as a rising agent in these brownies. You’ll want to be sure your starter has been fed within 12 hours and is at room temperature (cold starter from the refrigerator might seize up the chocolate).
- Butter – use real butter for this recipe! Many brownie recipes call for vegetable oil, but we prefer the flavor of real butter.
- Chocolate – what’s a brownie without chocolate? You’ll want two kinds of chocolate for this recipe; baking chocolate (or bittersweet chocolate) for the brownie batter, and semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips to top the batter half-way through baking.
- Sugar – any sugar will do, but we prefer using unrefined evaporated cane juice, sucanat, or rapadura. Avoid using a liquid sweetener as this recipe needs the bulk of the sugar to bake correctly.
- Eggs – an excellent use for those farm fresh eggs! (Check out this post if you’re looking for more information on how to handle farm fresh eggs.)
- Vanilla – you can use vanilla extract, but I actually prefer using a vanilla bean paste as I feel the depth of flavor is just so much better.
To make this recipe whip together quickly, I like to measure out all my ingredients ahead of time. If you don’t want to worry about dirtying up more dishes, then just have all your ingredients out with the correct measuring cups and spoons.
You’ll also need a double-boiler for the first step of this recipe, which is to melt together your butter and the bittersweet baking chocolate.
Fill a small saucepan halfway with water. Place a large glass bowl over the top of the pan, then add the chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.
While the water is coming up to a boil, butter an 8×8 pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Once the butter and melted chocolate are smooth and combined, remove the bowl from the double-boiler.
Add sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
Add sourdough starter and eggs and mix well with a whisk until the batter is smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven, at 350 degrees, for 10 minutes.
Remove brownies, top with chocolate chips, then place back into the oven and continue baking for about 15 minutes, or until baked through and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
Gluten-Free option! If you have a gluten free sourdough starter, this recipe would work well (we love using a rice flour for a sourdough starter!).
Did you make this recipe? If so, we’d love for you to give us a rating in the recipe card below. Also, we want to see your brownies, so tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily!
Fudgy Sourdough Brownies
- 4 oz baking chocolate bitter sweet
- 1/4 cup butter cubed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter fed within 12 hours
- 4 whole eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips semi-sweet or milk chocolate
- Create a double-boiler by filling a small saucepan halfway with water and placing over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- Place a large glass bowl over the top of the saucepan, then add the chocolate and butter together in the bowl, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.
- While the chocolate and butter are melting, butter an 8×8 pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the double-boiler.
- Add sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and mix well.
- Add sourdough starter and eggs and mix well with a whisk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into your greased pan and bake in the oven, at 350 degrees, for 10 minutes.
- Remove brownies from oven, top with chocolate chips, then place back into the oven and continue baking for about 15-20 minutes, or until baked through and a knife, when inserted into the center, comes out clean.
- Remove brownies from the oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.