Sourdough Flatbread Recipe (With Active Starter or Discard) (2024)

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Soft and chewy with little blisters, this easy sourdough flatbread recipe is a quick way to add fresh bread to any meal.

Sourdough Flatbread Recipe (With Active Starter or Discard) (1)

I am an absolute lover of homemade sourdough bread and it has been my favorite go-to carb for our family dinners. But, sometimes I get a bit distracted or miscalculate how much time I need to make a fresh loaf.

Luckily, all is not lost! This sourdough flatbread recipe is my favorite quick bread that is bursting with incredible flavor!

Below I will share with you two ways of making this fantastic sourdough flatbread recipe. The first option is with an active sourdough starter. This method includes a long fermentation process for all the health benefits of sourdough. The other is a no-wait method made with sourdough discard. There will still be some fermentation from the discard, but it is a much faster recipe.

Don’t have your own active sourdough starter? Let me teach you how to create an active and bubbly starter in just a week! I’ve also included a free download of your daily sourdough schedule with clear step-by-step directions.

Both options are made with basic ingredients that you will find in the pantry, but the end results are anything but basic! These simple ingredients will give you soft, pillowy sourdough flatbread that will satisfy any carb-craving.

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What is Sourdough?

Sourdough is a slow-fermented food. When you use sourdough starter in long-fermented recipes, such as roasted garlic and rosemary sourdough bread, homemade sourdough bagels, or this easy recipe, a sourdough starter will break down the phytic acid that is naturally found in wheat.

Phytic acid can be tough for our bodies to digest, prohibiting us access to the nutrients in our food. Making bread with sourdough starter and allowing it to ferment does the tough work for us. This then makes our food easier to digest and more nutrient-dense.

What is Sourdough Flatbread?

Sourdough Flatbread is a flatbread made with the addition of a sourdough starter.

Since flatbread is traditionally an unleavened bread, using a sourdough starter isn’t needed to help the bread rise. Instead, using an active sourdough starter can give this recipe additional health benefits.

If you choose to allow your bread to long ferment, the sourdough starter will break down the phytic acid in the wheat, which in turn allows our bodies to absorb nutrients with less effort. How cool is that?

I like to mix up the dough the night before and then fry it up the next day for dinner.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

Delicious:

Sourdough flatbread is simply delicious on its own. With a chewy bite and blistered bubbles, it is full of flavor. But, it can also be a canvas for endless opportunities!

Use as pizza bases for your next pizza night, dip into roasted red bell pepper hummus, or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar for a quick sweet treat. Is your tummy grumbling like mine?

Health benefits:

Below you will find two methods for making this sourdough flatbread recipe – the long ferment or the no-wait method.

The long ferment option allows the sourdough starter to break down the phytic acid naturally found in the wheat, which helps our bodies to absorb the nutrients more easily.

Quick recipe:

If you choose to make this recipe using sourdough discard, you can have fresh sourdough flatbread ready on the table in just 30 minutes! It’s the perfect recipe for when you are in a pinch.

No food waste:

If you’re like me, I’m always looking for new recipes to use up your sourdough discard. Some of my favorite ways have been through sweets like sourdough discard blueberry buckle and sourdough discard banana bars.

But, when I am craving something savory, sourdough discard recipes like this sourdough discard flatbread or sourdough crackers will do the trick!

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Ingredients:

Flour – All-purpose flour creates a soft and fluffy flatbread.

Sourdough starter – You can use an active sourdough starter or sourdough discard for this recipe.

Milk – This helps to soften the flatbread dough for a chewy bite.

Baking Powder – Using baking powder gives this sourdough flatbread just a little extra lift. Make sure that it is a double-acting baking powder. It will say so on the package. Double-acting baking powder will react when the ingredients are mixed and when it is heated. Just what we need when we fry the flatbread in the cast iron.

Olive Oil – Adding olive oil to the sourdough flatbread helps to make it soft and gives great flavor.

Salt – Any unrefined or kosher salt will do, but my favorite isRedmond’s unrefined saltfor some extra minerals!

Supplies:

Mixing Bowl

Dough whisk

Rolling Pin

Non-stick pan or Cast-Iron Skillet – I just got my own Lodge Cast Iron and I have been so impressed with the quality!

Plastic Wrap or Tea Towel

Bench Scraper or Sharp Knife

How to Make Sourdough Flatbread

Create the Dough

To a large bowl, add the flour, sourdough starter (active or discard), milk, baking powder, olive, and salt.

I like to mix the ingredients with a dough whisk, but you can also do so with a wooden spoon or by hand. Mix until most of the flour has been incorporated.

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Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface.

Knead the Dough

To knead the dough, grab a piece and fold it towards the center and press the heel of your hand into the dough. Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Repeat for about 2-3 minutes. The dough may look a little lumpy, but that is okay.

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If the dough is looking dry, sprinkle a little extra water. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little extra flour.

Leave to rest

If you are using an active sourdough starter, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, or I like to use a reusable shower cap. Leave in a warm place to ferment for 18-24 hours.

If you are using an unfed sourdough starter, cover the dough with a tea towel, and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. I’ve left it for longer – 2-4 hours. This allows the gluten to relax so it is easier to stretch.

Shape and Fry

Once the dough has rested, take a bench scraper or sharp knife and cut it into 8 equal parts. I will cut the dough into quarters and then cut each piece in half. They don’t have to be perfectly equal pieces, just eyeball them.

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Before you begin rolling out the dough balls, sprinkle a little extra flour on your work surface and on the rolling pin. Roll out each dough ball one at a time. You want them pretty thin, about a 1/8 inch. They don’t have to be a perfect circle to be perfectly tasty!

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Don’t have a rolling pin? You can use an empty bottle or carefully stretch the dough with your hands.

Preheat your cast iron pan to medium heat. Grease the hot pan with a little bit of olive oil or vegetable oil. Place one flatbread in the cast iron at a time.

Cook for a couple of minutes. The dough will start to bubble and puff up.

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Before I flip to the other side, I like to pour a little olive oil on top of the flatbread for extra flavor and blisters. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Remove from the pan and repeat until all of the sourdough flatbread has been cooked.

How to Eat Sourdough Flatbread:

There are so many delicious ways that this sourdough flatbread can be enjoyed! Plain and simple, serve them as a side in place of sourdough bread or homemade rolls. Making this sourdough flatbread takes a fraction of the time it takes to make homemade sourdough bread, but it will still meet the marks for every carb-lover!

We also love to eat sourdough flatbread as a snack with dips. Slice into wedges and serve them Mediterranean style with hummus or tzatziki sauce, olives, and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Or, mix some melted butter, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro for another delicious dip.

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Sourdough flatbread is a fabulous substitute for pizza crust! It’s light and chewy just like your favorite pizza dough. I’ll like to fry them up in a hot skillet, top them with our favorite toppings, and then broil them in the oven until the cheese is nice and melted.

My family also enjoys using sourdough flatbread as a wrap. Stuff your favorite morning toppings like scrambled eggs, pan-fried potatoes, cast iron skillet bacon, and cheese for a delicious breakfast. Or, roll up sliced turkey, cheese, and crunchy lettuce for a quick and light lunch.

How to Store:

Sourdough flatbread will stay fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container or sealed bag for optimal freshness. After the second day, you can store them in the refrigerator till day 5. Reheat in a frying pan on low heat until pliable and warm.

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FAQs:

What flour should I use to make this sourdough flatbread recipe?

All-purpose flour makes this sourdough flatbread soft and pillowy. Choosing higher protein flours like bread flour, whole wheat flour, or spelt flour will give a more delicious nutty flavor, but will also make a more dense flatbread. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you will need to add more liquid to the dough.

Are sourdough flatbread and sourdough naan the same thing?

Flatbread is an unleavened bread, typically made with flour, water, and salt. Naan bread is a variation of flatbread, like pita bread, tortillas, and matzah, for example. Traditional naan recipes, like what you order from Indian restaurants, will add plain yogurt to get that extra soft and chewy bite. In some homemade naan recipes, some bakers will substitute yogurt for Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even plant-based yogurt.

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Can I bake them in the oven instead of in a skillet?

Absolutely! If the stovetop is occupied, the oven will do the trick! Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and lay your flatbread on a baking sheet. Cook the flatbread for 3-4 minutes on each side or until puffed and brown. Since you are not using oil as you would in the skillet, the flatbread may be a bit crispier.

Can I add mix-ins to my sourdough flatbread dough?

Absolutely! Just before you are about to knead the flatbread dough, sprinkle in some shredded cheese, minced garlic or onion, dried herbs, or even some everything bagel seasoning. For a sweet version, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar once you pull them from the frying pan. Talk about yum?!

Happy frying!

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More Sourdough Recipes Like This:

Cheddar and Chive Sourdough Irish Soda Bread

Sourdough Discard Blueberry Buckle

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Sourdough Bread

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Sourdough Flatbread Recipe (With Active Starter or Discard)

Yield: 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Additional Time: 1 day

Total Time: 1 day 14 minutes

Soft and chewy with little blisters, this easy sourdough flatbread recipe is a quick way to add fresh bread to any meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (260g)
  • 1 cup Active Sourdough Starter (226g) or Sourdough Discard (285g)
  • 1/2 cup milk (105g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (4g)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (13g)

Instructions

Create the Dough

  1. To a large bowl, add the flour, sourdough starter (active or discard), milk, baking powder, olive, and salt.
  2. Mix until most of the flour has been incorporated. I like to mix the ingredients with a dough whisk, but you can also do so with a wooden spoon or by hand.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface.

Knead the Dough

  1. To knead the dough, grab a piece and fold it towards the center and press the heel of your hand into the dough.
  2. Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Repeat for about 2-3 minutes. The dough may look a little lumpy, but that is okay.
  3. If the dough is looking dry, sprinkle a little extra water. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little extra flour.

Leave to rest

If you are using an active sourdough starter, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, or I like to use a reusable shower cap.

Leave in a warm place to ferment for 18-24 hours.

If you are using an unfed sourdough starter, cover the dough with a tea towel, and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. I've left it for longer - 2-4 hours. This allows the gluten to relax so it is easier to stretch.

Shape and Fry

  1. Once the dough has rested, take a bench scraper or sharp knife and cut it into 8 equal parts. I will cut the dough into quarters and then cut each piece in half. They don't have to be perfectly equal pieces, just eyeball them.
  2. Before you begin rolling out the dough balls, sprinkle a little extra flour on your work surface and on the rolling pin.
  3. Roll out each dough ball one at a time. You want them pretty thing, about a 1/8 inch. They don't have to be a perfect circle to be perfectly tasty!
  4. Preheat your cast iron pan to medium heat.
  5. Grease the hot pan with a little bit of olive oil or vegetable oil.
  6. Place one flatbread in the cast iron at a time.
  7. Cook for a couple of minutes. The dough will start to bubble and puff up.
  8. Before I flip to the other side, I like to pour a little olive oil on top of the flatbread for extra flavor and blisters. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  9. Remove from the pan and repeat until all of the sourdough flatbread has been cooked.

Notes

  • Sourdough flatbread will stay fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container or sealed bag for optimal freshness. After the second day, you can store them in the refrigerator till day 5. Reheat in a frying pan on low heat until pliable and warm.
  • If the stovetop is occupied, the oven will do the trick! Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and lay your flatbread on a baking sheet. Cook the flatbread for 3-4 minutes on each side or until puffed and brown. Since you are not using oil as you would in the skillet, the flatbread may be a bit crispier.
  • For some added flavors, sprinkle in some shredded cheese, minced garlic or onion, dried herbs, or even some everything bagel seasoning just before you are about to knead the dough. For a sweet version, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar once you pull them from the frying pan.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Sourdough Flatbread Recipe (With Active Starter or Discard) (2024)

FAQs

Can I use active sourdough starter instead of discard? ›

Once you have an established + healthy sourdough starter, you can start to use your sourdough discard in recipes! That way, you don't have to ever throw it out. Some recipes call for just sourdough starter or sourdough discard, while in others you can use either active starter or discard.

When can I use sourdough starter discard in recipes? ›

Remember, you can't use the discard from your homemade sourdough starter for the first 7 days. You can use sourdough discard in all kinds of sourdough discard recipes, including these no wait sourdough recipes, overnight sourdough discard recipes and sourdough discard recipes that use up a lot of discard.

What to do with sourdough starter after its active? ›

Feed it once more. Once it doubles and bubbles within 8 hours of feeding, it's ready to use in a recipe or go into the refrigerator for long-term storage, where you'll only need to feed it once a week. Speaking of storage, check out this stoneware sourdough crock.

Do you discard every time you feed sourdough starter? ›

It would be best if you discarded some portion of your starter each time you feed it unless you want to continue to let it grow. Eventually, you need to discard the used “food” (flour and water) that's been used to sustain your starter during the last fermentation period.

What is the difference between sourdough starter and active sourdough starter? ›

Active starter and discard both come from the same sourdough starter. However, they are in different phases. Active starter has been fed flour and water within the last 12 hours or so and is growing until it hits its peak. Once it begins to fall it is considered discard.

What happens if I forgot to discard starter before feeding? ›

If you didn't discard a portion of your starter each time you feed it, two things would happen: Your starter would grow to an enormous, unmanageable size. Your starter would likely become more and more inhospitable to the bacteria and yeast we want as the mixture would become ever more acidic.

What happens if you bake sourdough starter discard? ›

Similar to case #2, above, discarded sourdough is used in recipes with no additional flour called for, so it can be baked immediately. The discarded starter's flour is already fermented and it adds sourdough flavor to the recipe.

Do you have to discard every 12 hours for sourdough starter? ›

Starter that's kept at room temperature is more active than refrigerated starter, and thus needs to be fed more often. Room-temperature starter should be fed every 12 hours (twice a day) using the standard maintenance feeding procedure: discard all but 113g, and feed that 113g starter with 113g each water and flour.

Can you use 2 day old sourdough discard? ›

Can I Use Old Sourdough Discard? You can use old sourdough discard if it's been stored in the fridge, however, you really want to use it up within a week - 2 weeks max. It's better to use "fresh" discard in a sweet sourdough discard recipe.

How long can sourdough starter sit out before using? ›

If your sourdough starter is new and less than a month old, it might not be able to survive very long without feeding. I wouldn't go more than 24 hours without feeding a very young sourdough starter (it may survive longer than this unfed however you will leave it open to the risk of mold).

Can you overfeed sourdough starter? ›

Yes, you can overfeed your sourdough starter. Audrey explains: “Every time you add more flour and water, you are depleting the existing population of natural bacteria and yeast.” If you keep adding more and more, eventually you'll dilute the starter so much that you'll just have flour and water.

Can you use day 1 sourdough discard? ›

I recommend keeping sourdough discard for about one week, but I do know others who keep it for much longer. After one week, there is a higher risk of mold or bad bacteria growing on the discard.

Can I leave sourdough discard out overnight? ›

I left my sourdough discard out at room temperature for a few days. Is it okay? As long as your kitchen isn't too warm (I'd say 78°F or higher) your starter/discard will be fine stored at room temperature for at least a few days without feeding. The flavor will get more acidic the longer it sits.

Can I leave my sourdough starter out overnight after feeding it? ›

Can I leave my starter out overnight after feeding it? Yes, if you have just fed it. Since the night is rather long, feed it in a 1:4:4 ratio so that's not over fermented by the morning. If for example you use a 1:1:1 ratio, the starter would have peaked in the middle of the night, and collapse by the morning.

What can I use in place of sourdough discard? ›

Sourdough discard: If you don't sourdough discard saved up, feel free to use active sourdough starter.

Is sourdough starter and sourdough discard the same thing? ›

Only a small portion of the sourdough starter is reserved and fed during each feeding, the rest is referred to as discard, since typically it is thrown away. In efforts to reduce waste, discard is often collected from multiple feedings and stored in the fridge until enough is allotted to be used for discard recipes.

Can you use day old sourdough starter? ›

At room temperature (70 F), sourdough discard should last about 1-2 days. Beyond that, it won't go bad necessarily, it will just become more acidic as time goes on (especially in warm weather). Not ideal for sweet recipes. In the fridge, it will keep for about a week or so, and in the freezer it will last indefinitely.

Do you need to feed discard? ›

Absolutely! A jar of sourdough discard serves as an insurance policy against starter death. If you have some discard on hand, remove a spoonful of it and feed it fresh flour and water in a clean jar. You should have a bubbly starter ready to bake with after a couple of feedings, depending on the discard's condition.

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