Finding ways of using up sourdough starter that has to be discarded when the starter is fed is one of the great challenges of a sourdough baker. This unique sourdough granola bar recipe is one of the more interesting ways of doing that. When Sourdough Surprises announced that this month’s challenge would be sourdough granola bars, I was skeptical. However, it turns out that the starter works pretty well in this recipe. Not only binding the ingredients together, the starter gives the granola bars a slight rise and softness. It does confuse my head though – they look like granola bars but have the scent and slightly tangy taste of sourdough bread.
The original recipe comes from Wild Yeast, but I adapted it to use the ingredients that I had on hand. I used chocolate almond butter, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, mini chocolate chips, oats and dried cherries as my base. Since I keep a very small (and often very neglected) amount of starter in my refrigerator, I had to feed and grow my starter a bit to have enough to even make a small batch. I saved the discard to work with in addition to the fed starter so that I wasn’t wasting any though, which is really the point of this recipe. If you’re tired of making pancakes all the time, these sourdough granola bars are worth a try to mix things up.
- 75g/2.5 oz dried cherries
- 40g/1.4 oz sunflower seeds
- 50g/1.7oz almonds, coarsely chopped
- 50g/1.7oz rolled oats
- 45g/1.5oz mini chocolate chips
- ½ tsp. salt
- 50g/1.7oz chocolate almond butter
- 50g/1.7oz honey
- 100 g/3.5oz refrigerated 100%-hydration sourdough starter
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5 bread pan.
- Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dried fruit, seeds, nuts, chocolate chips, oats, and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together the almond and the honey.
- Add the almond butter mixture and the starter to the fruit mixture. Mix with your hands until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, until nicely brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.