Recipe: Sourdough Discard Peach Cobbler

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

After four weeks of experiments, which means four weeks of eating cobbler leftovers at our house, here you have it! This recipe requires no scale, uses up old sourdough starter discard, and is the perfect way to enjoy fresh summer peaches when they're in peak season. The topping is biscuit-like with a bit of a crunch on the outside and a fluffy interior perfect for soaking up the juices from the peach filling.

New to sourdough baking? Start here.

Sourdough Discard Peach Cobbler

Serves 4-6

You'll need two mixing bowls and a 2-quart baking dish (about 2 liters or a 9x9 cake pan) for this recipe


3 pounds whole ripe peaches

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Squeeze fresh lemon juice, about 1 tablespoon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Heaping 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Scant 1 cup sourdough starter discard, unfed and at room temperature


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Wash the peaches and slice into thin slices, cutting around the core.

3. Place sliced peaches in a bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar, about 1tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix well.

4. Taste the peach mixture and add more sugar if you prefer. This recipe is on the lower end of sweet, as that's how I prefer it. However, adjust to ensure the filling is to your liking before proceeding.

5. After ensuring the filling is to your taste, sprinkle 1 tbsp of cornstarch onto the peach filling and mix well. Set filling aside.

6. In a separate bowl mix a heaping 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and scant 1/4 teaspoon salt.

7. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut 5 tbsp unsalted butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces are about the size of almonds.

photo of flour with butter cut into it into small pieces

8. With a large spoon or your hands, mix in scant 1 cup sourdough starter discard. Knead gently and fold until all flour is incorporated. This step can be a bit messy and depending on the hydration of your starter you may need to gradually add in more flour until the dough is just slightly sticky, but holds together. See the video below for an explanation.

9. Once you have a slightly sticky, almost biscuit-like dough, you're ready to proceed. Add the peach mixture to the bottom of your baking pan, spreading to make an even layer.

10. Using your hands, rip off pieces of dough and lay on top of the peach mixture to make a thick layer of topping. Doing this by hand saves time and saves you from having to dirty the countertops rolling out the dough, but feel free to shape and place the dough topping however you'd like. Some like to roll out the dough about 3/4 of an inch thick and cut it into actual biscuits, making a biscuit layer of topping. Do what you like, just be sure to leave some space around the edges of the pan for steam to escape while baking. Optional: For a sweeter, richer cobbler, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter and drizzle over the topping. On top of that sprinkle 2tbsp granulated sugar. Then proceed to next step.

unbaked sourdough discard peach cobbler in its baking pan on top of white table

11. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown around the edges.

12. Serve warm! Best enjoyed with ice cream.

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