Make This: Sourdough Starter Crumpets (Zero Waste!)

April 28, 2020

Making sourdough is fun but what’s more fun in my opinion is making stuff from the starter discard you’d otherwise throw away. Turns out you can make crumpets in minutes using your discard and just a couple other pantry ingredients you’re very likely to already have…

Unlike the sourdough bread itself which takes time, patience and a bit of trial and error, sourdough crumpets are ready in minutes — plus, you can make batches whenever and just store them in the freezer for later. It seems there are lots of different recipes and techniques for making crumpets out of sourdough starter, but what I wanted to do was basically use up the starter and not really use many other ingredients or cupboard supplies, as that kind of defeats the point.

This recipe here ‘upcycles’ your sourdough discard and uses just starter, bicarbonate of soda, a little bit of salt and a little bit of sugar. No extra flour, no wait time, just easy peasy crumpets. Oh, and I use egg poaching rings in a frying pan to shape them. The rings are kind of essential, but you could always fashion some out of foil to start with if you don’t have them… 

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 crumpets)

250g sourdough starter (every time you feed my starter, you pour about ¾ of it away. Instead of throwing in the bin, save in a Tupperware in the fridge and add to it each day. That’s what you’re going to use here.)

¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon sugar

Butter or oil for frying


Grease your frying pan and the inside of your poaching rings, pop them in the frying pan, and put it on a medium heat (I use 5 on our induction hob).

Put your starter, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, then stir in your bicarbonate of soda and you’ll notice is fluffs up wonderfully in seconds. This is my favourite bit! 

Spoon your mixture carefully into the rings, filling each one to the top and avoiding, if possible, it going all over the sides. 

Trial and error has taught me that the crumpets work best if you cook them slower on a medium-low heat, rather than just blasting them on hot as the bottoms burn and they’ll drop in the middles, so be patient. You’ll see bubbles form and they’ll start to look like crumpets within a few minutes. Once they’re starting to look cooked and most of the mixture on the top surface has cooked, flip them over and cook for a couple of minutes further on the other side. If you flip them too soon before they’re cooked through, they’ll droop.

Leave them to cool for a few minutes (ideally on a cooling tray) then pop them out of their rings and voila, you just made crumpets out of stuff you’d otherwise throw away!