Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread recipe is a delicious and easy way to use up sourdough starter in subtly sweet and spicy pumpkin bread. Topped with sweet and salty pepitas, this just may be the most perfect fall bread idea!
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe has all of the season’s warm spices and is just perfect for the cooler days of fall. This slightly tangy and spicy quick bread is perfect for this time of year where it’s all about pumpkin!
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe
If you’re a sourdough-bread baker, you know it could make you shed a tear if you have to toss a whole cup of that lovely starter whenever it’s time to replenish your starter.
Since it pains me to toss out the sourdough discard, I’ve been hunting for new recipes to use it up every week! If you have ripe bananas to use up, try our sourdough banana bread. Another great pumpkin idea is this sourdough pumpkin coffee cake! AND if you are looking for a super easy sourdough starter recipe, try this one out! I was inspired to make my sourdough pumpkin quick bread after I saw King Arthur's Flour's recipe.
How long does it take to make Sourdough Pumpkin Quick Bread?
This easy quick bread recipe takes less than 15 minutes to put together. In no time, your whole house will be transformed to a relaxing dream with the scent of this gorgeous bread. I have another one baking in the oven right now while I write this post and it smells delightful! And it all starts with this fantastic sourdough starter recipe.
Can I make this pumpkin bread without a sourdough discard?
The answer is yes! You could use plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures in place of the sourdough starter to get a little tang and moisture. So don't fret if you aren't a sourdough baker: simply replace the starter discard with unsweetened yogurt (with active cultures).
I get excited looking at my starter!
Can you make muffins with this pumpkin bread recipe?
Yes! You could easily make this recipe into muffins! Simply prep your muffin pan with baking spray (or butter)and fill each tin 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, or your tester comes out clean. Kids love them and they also freeze really well!
How to use discarded sourdough starter to make a quick bread?
A sourdough baking question often asked is, “How can I use that “discarded” starter instead of throwing it away?"
A great way to use up sourdough starter is in a quick bread!
A very short baking reminder: a quick bread is made with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast. Since you aren't using yeast and waiting for it to proof, it is quick!
For this particular recipe, we are using baking soda (and powder) that helps to raise the batter while baking in the oven. The sourdough discard helps to give it a little extra lift and also a lovely mild sourdough tang.
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Some baking tips for making this Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe:
- We used a 9x5 loaf pan, but you could use 4 mini loaf pans. They make super gifts during the holidays!
- This recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice which is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice . You could use any combo of these spices if you don't have pumpkin spice mix and make it your own.
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree in this recipe and not pumpkin pie filling. I have sometimes grabbed the filling instead of puree by mistake, so check the label! If you by mistake use the filling, it will be too sweet as the filling has sugar and spices already in it! Pumpkin puree is just the cooked and pureed pumpkin (just what you need for this recipe!).
This sourdough pumpkin quick bread was just what I needed to get me into fall feelings (even though it’s still feeling like summer in my part of the world!). The sourdough gives it a slightly tangy flavor and it has the most incredible crumb. Moist and bursting with fall spice. Excuse me while I enjoy slice with my coffee and a good book…just paradise!
Looking for an amazing vegan pumpkin bread? This is the one!
If you’ve tried this Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe or any other recipe on Savoring Italy, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. It makes my day hearing from my readers and I do respond to every comment!
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- PUMPKIN BREAD
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2/3 cup coconut oil (or your favorite mild flavored oil)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- CANDIED PEPITA TOPPING
- 1/3 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or any mild flavored oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or butter and flour the pan).
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs and whisk well. Add the oil, sugar, starter and vanilla. Stir until it is all combined. Add the pumpkin and mix until incorporated. Use a spatula to get all the ingredients from the side of the bowl and combine them.
- As soon as you prep batter, prep the candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds). There are two ways to make it: you could heat up the pumpkin seeds with the honey and oil in a small skillet until it is combined, OR if you have a microwave, microwave it for 10 seconds to melt the honey and help it combine easier.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle the candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds) over the top (INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO CANDY THEM IS ABOVE).
- Bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (every oven is different. We baked ours for about 65 minutes). If getting too brown, cover lightly with foil after 45 minutes. For the smaller pans bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool for 20 minutes, then slide out of pan and transfer to a cool rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Use only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. I find canned pumpkin more consistent for baking and personally don't use fresh pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin could be too wet for the bread and you won't get the same results. All images and text ©Savoring Italy. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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Sara Welch says
Such a delicious recipe and perfect for fall! Looking forward to enjoying this all season long!
Thank you, Sara-happy you like it!!
I could eat a whole loaf! This pumpkin bread is delicious!
Thank you, Anna! It is a problem, LOL!
This is amazing, I've never seen a flavored sourdough like this!
Dorothy Reinhold says
I am loving the idea of making four mini loaves to give as gifts! This looks delicious!
What a great idea! I regularly use sourdough starter for bread but it never occurred to me to use it in something like a sweet pumpkin bread. This sounds so good, I look forward to trying it!
Hi Kimberly-It's so much fun to use it in a quick bread (and just delicious!). Thank you!
Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says
This Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread is seriously making me hungry!
This bread is so yummy! Love those candied pepitas on top!
Thank you, Taylor! They really make the bread extra special! 🙂 Happy Baking!
I’m in middle of preparing for this. May I ask, did you need to buy the seeds commercially? My sugar pie pumpkin had very tiny seeds inside shells, about the size you’d expect. My starter is fairly new, so have been waiting a couple days. Heavily seeded bread is just a Wonderful photo!
Hi Angelina-Yes, I did buy a package and they were salted (I wanted that salty-sweet combo). Excited you have a starter and you will try the bread! thank you-hope you enjoy the bread!! Happy Baking! xx
Donna M Magnani says
The family voted it 10 stars out of 5! What's not to like? This bread is quick, versatile, forgiving, and the best-tasting ever! I'm new with sourdough and so had a vat of discard to use up (that's how I found this website and recipe). I love that the discard can be unfed! The first time I made it, I didn't have pepitas on hand, so I candied walnuts instead--oh so good! The second time, it was the sweet/salty pepitas--again, so good. Now, I'm alternating toppings on the mini loaves I give for gifts. Oh, and the third time I made it, I accidentally used corn starch instead of baking powder (no excuse other than the containers looked the same, smh)--and it STILL rose beautifully. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Hi Donna...thank you!! That is so nice to hear that you added corn starch by mistake and it still rose. I'm betting it's the starter!! What a great idea to give as gifts...you just gave me an idea! I'm going to make one to bring to a holiday party tomorrow. Buon Natale to you and your family! XX
Heather Mack says
Kids loved it! Left off the seeds, sadly, some day my littles will appreciate a little crunch on top that isn’t chocolate chips. Didn’t want to use vegetable oil but realized too late I didn’t have enough avocado oil. It still turned out amazing and rose beautifully. We’ll be making again soon.
I think it's fantastic to make it with chocolate chips on top! That's what I'll do next! I know, the seeds can be a tough sell! Happy you all enjoyed it, Heather. Thank you for letting me know! xx Happy Baking!
Monica Medrek says
If I just fed my starter by accident. So how long do i wait to use it in this recipe? 6 hours enough? 12? Thanks.
Hi Monica-I usually use my starter discard at the end of the week. But you could use the fed starter and just replenish your starter. It's just a nice way to use up the discard, but the fed starter will also work! Happy Baking! XX
Could I reduce the sugar in this recipe to 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup? or would this modify the end result?
I already used less sugar than is typically used for a pumpkin bread. The sourdough discard is well, sour, and the pumpkin is not that sweet, so I think it would have a very blah taste. It's up to you. You could reduce it more if that's more to your liking, maybe start with 1/4 cup less. It's easier to reduce sugar with a banana bread because the bananas have so much natural sweetness.
This recipe looks wonderful and I’d love to bake it but we have massive flour shortages in the UK at the moment and I can only get my hands on self rising. Would it work to use that and adjust the baking powder?
Hi Ellie-Same has been happening here! I just found some at a different market than where I typically go. I think it will work fine. Happy Baking! XX
Thanks so much for getting back to me. It worked great x
Nice to hear it worked with your adjustments!
This loaf is fantastic!!! It is nice and moist with wonderful flavour. Thank you for the recipe!
Hi Jenn-Thank you for letting me know. Really happy you enjoyed it! Happy Baking! XX
Maureen Brown says
Hello friends, I was looking for something to do with my extra Amish Cinnamon Loaf starters, and found these recipes. Amish Cinnamon Loaf involves a different process; you begin with a basic sourdough starter, then stir and feed it for 10 days and after feeding it on day 10 you remove 4-1 cup starters before you make the bread. You either give the starters to friends or put them in the freezer until you want to begin the process again. I had quite a few starters in the freezer, so I decided to make this bread with one, even though the process was different. And it worked!!! The pumpkin bread was wonderful! So I thought that I'd share this revelation with everyone.
Hi Maureen-How great to know you used your Amish starter and the bread turned out nicely! I have been wanting to make an Amish starter and pass along to friends. You have inspired me! Happy Baking! XX
Great recipe, thank you! I've been looking for more ways to use my discard and this was perfect. I didn't have pumpkin on hand, but I substituted apple sauce and turned them into apple spice muffins. Turned out great!
Hi Valerie-Thanks so much for letting me know and how cool you subbed apple sauce! Sounds amazing!! Happy Baking! XX
Nathan S says
Great recipe. I swapped for sweet potato as we didn't have pumpkin and it came out delicious! Good idea on keeping it from getting too dark on the top
Hi Nathan-thanks for letting me know about the sweet potato swap...sounds fabulous!! Will try it like that next time! Happy Baking!
Janet Cotgrave says
How much is "a can" of pumpkin puree? I have homemade pumpkin puree and don't know what size cans it comes in. Thanks!
Hi Janet-The can size I use is 15 oz which is 425grams...hope that helps!
Just made a loaf and have been waiting for it to cool. It is heavenly! Our grocery store didn’t have the salted pumpkin seeds so I used regular seeds and it was wonderful! I love how it’s not so super-sweet but is a perfect amount of sweetness. Great recipe!
I haven’t tried this recipe yet I wanted to know if I can use fresh cooked Kabocha Squash instead of canned
I haven't made it with fresh squash puree', but I know it will be watery. Just be sure to strain it really well so you don't end up with a soggy bread.
I've made this bread several times over the past few weeks in both loaf and muffin form. You can't go wrong! It tastes amazing every time. I made my own pumpkin spice mix so it may take you a couple tries with different amounts of each spice to find a combo you like the best, but it will be good and moist no matter the flavor.
Hi Sydney-I do change up the spices sometimes, and I love the subtle spice differences. Happy Baking!
Could I make this a savory pumpkin loaf? My husband is on a low-sugar diet. Do you know what I could reduce the sugar volume to?
Hi Laura-I've never made this completely sugar-free. Keep in mind the sourdough discard has it's natural tang. You could experiment with making it sugar free or using your favorite sugar substitute...I just cannot vouch for how it would turn out.
This is a fabulous recipe that I have returned to so many times!
Hi Ann-THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your feedback! So happy you love it! Happy Baking! XX
Is there a way to adjust ingredients if I don’t quite have a full cup of starter? Thank you!
Sure, add less and add in some milk (or dairy-free milk)...or even an unsweetened yogurt.
Very delicious! I skipped the topping (maybe just this time), subbed honey for sugar (scant 3/4 C), increased salt to 1/2 tsp and upped it to 4 tsp of pumpkin spice. Tasted great with some butter. I can’t wait to taste it again, tomorrow!
Hi Farren-I like that you added more pumpkin spice!! I like the spice flavor more pronounced, too!So happy you enjoyed it! THANK YOU for taking the time to write me xxx Happy Baking!
It's delicious! I reduced 1/4 cup of sugar, add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, sprinkle a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds and streusel on the top. Yum!
Hi Frances-Thank you for the kind comment! I'm happy you found delicious results reducing the sugar and adding in the walnuts...YUM!! Happy BAKING! XX
Has anyone tried einkorn sourdough discard? Thanks
Hi Rany-I have not, but maybe someone has a recipe to share here with you!