Sourdough starter can be used two ways: as leavening for raised bread replacing or in addition to regular yeast, or to provide flavor.
I used my sourdough starter discard as a flavor enhancer for soft pretzel breadsticks using this recipe from King Arthur Flour. Not only did it add a very nice, tangy flavor, but since my sourdough is made with whole wheat and I used white bread flour for the breadsticks, the whole wheat added a nice speckled look. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get pictures. If you have a bread machine that has a dough setting (for the mix and rise) it is pretty much fool-proof. You could, of course, also knead it by hand or in a stand mixer.
You can also add sourdough to pancakes and muffins. I made some pretty good muffins this way. Because of the acid in the starter and the baking powder, the texture turns out very light and fluffy.
I’d like to try adding sourdough to a biscuit recipe. I think I’d use my regular recipe, cut the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the sourdough with the milk.
Image via Flickr by Scott Wilcoxson