I’m a bit obsessed with this cookie.
A few days ago I saw Edd Kimber post on Instagram about using sourdough discard in cookies and I was immediately intrigued. The main reason I’m put off keeping a sourdough starter at home is that I usually don’t have enough time to bake bread every week, so I end up using up a lot of flour to keep it alive but don’t do enough with it. Luckily though, my housemate has been keeping a starter due to all of the extra time we have at the moment.
When I heard about this ingenious way of using sourdough discard, I couldn’t wait to try it out myself. The science behind it is all about water levels in the recipe. 100% hydration sourdough starter is 50/50 water and flour. So for example; if you add 200g of sourdough starter into a recipe, you need to take 100g flour and 100g water out from the original. Flour is easy to simply re-calculate but water is a little more difficult.
I decided to try and adapt Sarah Kieffers iconic ‘pan-banging cookies’. My perfect cookie is crisp and rippled around the edge with a soft centre (which is exactly what this recipe provides.) There are a few ingredients in this cookie recipe that contain water. Firstly; the extra added water, then the egg and finally the butter. In order to add in the starter and its water I took out the original added water, the egg white and browned the butter to evaporate off the water. This all together gave me 100g of water to add back in which meant I could use 200g of sourdough starter. A great amount to use up and enough to impart a lovely flavour.
I also played around with the quantity of salt, sugar and chocolate chips as well as the size and method. It ended up not really resembling the original recipe but I am so happy with the results.
These beautiful cookies are a wonderful mix of nutty brown butter flavour, flaked sea salt and warm oozing dark chocolate. By banging the cookies halfway through baking, they purposely fall and create beautiful ripples along the edges. I’m always thinking about what a ‘perfect’ cookie would be to me, but I’m pretty sure its right here.
Ingredients – Makes 20 cookies
- 225g unsalted butter
- 280g caster sugar
- 40g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 200g sourdough discard (100% hydration – 50%flour 50%water)
- 185g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. flaked sea salt
- 200g 70% dark chocolate chips
- First we need to begin by making the brown butter. Place the butter into a saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook until the butter is bubbling, brown and has a golden foam on top. Pour the browned butter into a bowl to cool for 20-30 minutes. It should now weigh around 185g.
- Once the butter is no longer hot, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add in both the sugars and whisk for 5 minutes to ensure everything is combined and cool.
- Add in the egg yolk. At this stage the mix may curdle a little but that is normal. Add in the sourdough discard and combine on low speed. Combine the plain flour, baking soda and sea salt in a bowl and gradually add into the mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl down, mix on low speed and gradually add in the chocolate chips. Cover the surface with clingfilm and put into the fridge for 2 hours to firm up.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and prepare a few baking trays with baking parchment.
- Spoon the dough into 50g pieces and roll them into balls. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking trays leaving enough room for the cookie to grow, at least 2 inches. I usually bake 4 per tray. I like to bake around half of the cookies now and keep the rest covered in the fridge for the next few days or freeze them.
- Sprinkle each cookie with a little extra sea salt and place a few extra chocolate chips on top if your feeling extra indulgent. Bake for 8 minutes. Lift the tray and bang it down a few times in the oven. This technique will help to create that perfect rippled cookie. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Tap the tray again as they come out of the oven. The cookies should be golden brown, crisp on the edges but soft and gooey in the centre. Leave to cool on the tray.
- Store in an airtight container, best eaten fresh!