Sourdough Cornbread

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Sourdough discard cornbread is just one of those delicious, stick to your ribs recipes. The combination of tangy sourdough starter discard and slightly sweet cornmeal creates a mouthwatering flavor that will leave you craving more.

Made with just a handful of ingredients, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want something warm and comforting without spending hours in the kitchen. It’s a great accompaniment to smoked brisket, along side chili, or even as a grab and go snack.

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This sweet sourdough cornbread recipe is dedicated to your ribs!

Slice of sourdough cornbread on a white plate.

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Tips


  • Although this recipe is written with a two hour bench rest, that can be skipped to help fit the recipe into your schedule a bit better – the dough will just have a little less sourdough flavor!
  • I always bake my cornbread in my 10 inch cast iron skillet, but a 9×9 baking pan has roughly the same volume, so if you prefer squares, feel free to use a 9×9, no need to preheat the pan, just grease it well before transferring the batter and keep an eye on the baking time.
  • The freshness of your baking powder really matters in this recipe because it is the leavening agent! If you’ve been rocking the same baking powder for the last few years, it might be worth testing by adding a small amount of baking soda into a tablespoon of vinegar. You want to see vigorous bubbling.

Key Ingredients

Sourdough discard: This recipe owes its delicious tang to the discard used in the recipe. You can use active starter, but it isn’t necessary because the baking powder is responsible for the rise in this recipe.

Cornmeal: When you’re shopping, look for medium-grain cornmeal as it offers the best texture and flavor. Coarse-grain can lead to a too crumbly crumb. If you can only find fine-grain, that will work but will result in a finer, smoother crumb.

Honey: I love a sweet cornbread, almost cakey, moist and delicious, and one way that I’ve found to get the right balance of sweetness and tender crumb is to use raw honey – and I give myself bonus points for using honey from the hives right in my backyard!

Ingredients required for cornbread made with sourdough discard.

Step By Step Instructions

The process for making cornbread sourdough is a little different than if you were to make it the traditional way, so take a moment to read through the steps prior to starting because it will certainly feel unfamiliar!

Build The Pre-ferment

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 3/4 cup whole milk, and 1/2 cup sourdough discard in a medium bowl until completely combined.
  2. Cover the bowl and set aside to ferment for 2 hours.

Finish The Batter

  1. To the top of the preferment, sprinkle 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Stir until completely combined – the dough will be very thick and dense at this point.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium bowl, then add to 1/2 cup honey, 2 large eggs, and whisk well to combine.
  3. Add butter mixture to the preferment, and fold in with a whisk or slotted spoon until just incorporated but avoid over-mixing. Cover bowl and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place a 10 inch cast iron skillet into the oven and preheat to 400F.

Bake The Cornbread

  1. Carefully remove heated skillet from oven and place on a heat proof surface.
  2. Add a dollop of butter or lard to the skillet (I prefer lard) and swish to grease the pan.
  3. Taking care to not deflate the patter, pour it into the skillet. Smooth the top, if desired.
  4. Bake at 400 for 22-25 minutes or until a tester stick comes out of the middle clean.
  5. Allow to cool (at least slightly) before slicing and serving.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • This recipe requires simple ingredients, simple processes, and only 2 bowls!
  • Adding sourdough discard gives such a great tang that counteracts the sweetness and adds tons of moisture for a perfectly tender, balanced bite.
  • This golden brown, moist sourdough cornbread tastes as good as sunshine feels.
Two slices of sourdough cornbread with a pat of butter.

Batch + Storage

Batch

This recipe makes one 10 inch round loaf. The recipe can be doubled, but I prefer to make 2 separate batches when I’m working on recipes like this, I feel that doubling can impact the rise.

Storage

While your cornbread definitely tastes best fresh, it can be stored by placing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. I like to warm up my leftover cornbread in the microwave for a few seconds and smear with whipped honey butter or peach jam.

Make Ahead

This recipe is literal make-ahead magic. It freezes and thaws incredibly well.

I’ve found if you turn the cornbread out of the skillet after it’s cooled enough to move onto a wire mesh rack and then allow to cool to room temp, you can either wrap it in single-serve wedges OR, wrap the entire cornbread in plastic wrap, slide it into a freezer bag, then pop in the freezer for later!

When ready to use, simply pull the bread out of the freezer, unwrap, and place on a cooling rack 1-2 hours before you want to serve.

More Sourdough Discard Recipes

Want My Secret For Perfect Cornbread?

Here’s my secret. There are 2.

  1. Let the batter rest while the oven preheats. This allows the leavening power of the baking powder to shine.
  2. Cook in a preheated and greased cast-iron skillet – this allows the crust on the cornbread to be crispy, but also to cook evenly, as the heat is coming around the entire cornbread, instead of trying to cook in a cold pan, where you’ll get uneven baking.

Now, go forth and make perfect fluffy, delicious, cornbread!

Melting butter on a wedge of sourdough cornbread.

Variations + Substitutions

As written, this easy sourdough discard cornbread recipe is really a blank slate! Get creative with it – you’ll be happy you did.

If you love this recipe, please give it a star rating or leave a comment below! This helps me to create more content you enjoy!

📖 Printable Recipe

Slice of sourdough cornbread on a white plate.

The Best Sourdough Cornbread

Allyson Letal
Indulge in the perfect blend of tangy and sweet with this unique sweet sourdough cornbread recipe. This delightful twist on a classic comfort food incorporates the subtle tanginess of sourdough, beautifully balancing the natural sweetness of cornmeal to create a moist, tender, and irresistibly flavorful bread that's sure to impress.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Course Sourdough
Cuisine American
Servings 8 wedges
Calories 348 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

Build The Pre-ferment

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup cornmeal, ¾ cup whole milk, and ½ cup sourdough discard in a medium bowl until completely combined.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside to ferment for 2 hours.

Finish The Batter

  • Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium bowl, then add to ½ cup honey, 2 large eggs, and whisk well to combine.
  • To the top of the preferment, sprinkle ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Stir until completely combined.
  • Add butter mixture to the preferment, and stir until just incorporated but avoid over-mixing. Cover bowl and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place a 10 inch cast iron skillet into the oven and preheat to 400F.

Bake The Cornbread

  • Carefully remove heated skillet from oven and place on a heat proof surface. Add a dollop of butter or lard to the skillet (I prefer lard) and swish to grease the pan.
  • Taking care to not deflate the patter, pour it into the skillet. Smooth the top, if desired.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until a tester stick comes out of the middle clean.
  • Allow to cool (at least slightly) before slicing and serving.

Notes

Variations + Substitutions

BATCH

This recipe makes one 10 inch round loaf. The recipe can be doubled, but I prefer to make 2 separate batches when I’m working on recipes like this, I feel that doubling can impact the rise.

STORAGE

While your cornbread definitely tastes best fresh, it can be stored by placing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. I like to warm up my leftover cornbread in the microwave for a few seconds and smear with whipped honey butter or peach jam.

MAKE AHEAD

This recipe is literal make-ahead magic. It freezes and thaws incredibly well.
I’ve found if you turn the cornbread out of the skillet onto a cooling rack and then allow to cool to room temp, you can either wrap it in single-serve wedges OR, wrap the entire cornbread in plastic wrap, slide it into a freezer bag, then pop in the freezer for later!
When ready to use, simply pull the bread out of the freezer, unwrap, and place on a cooling rack 1-2 hours before you want to serve.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 527mgPotassium: 157mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 294IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 2mg
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