Sweet, nutty, and aromatic, we levelled up this brown butter sourdough cornbread with its caramel-like flavour profile. Take the extra couple minutes to brown your butter for a deeply rich and aromatic sweet bread.
Though this recipe is excellent without the sourdough discard (brown butter! honey!) the discard adds a pleasant undertone that really separates it from other cornbread recipes. So if you’re drowning in discard from your sourdough starter, this is a good way to use it.
Though you don’t have to brown the butter for this recipe, it really does improve the cornbread – which can often be a bit blah. By using a combination of nutty brown butter, slightly sour discard, and floral honey, this is a very interesting cornbread indeed.
Cornbread is usually served alongside chili, soups, and stews, but it makes a great breakfast or snack, too! Since this version is lightly sweetened, it’s excellent in the morning, warmed and served with a pat of butter.
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose (white) flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sourdough starter discard
- Two eggs
First, make the brown butter (see below for full instructions and tips). It’s important for this to be the first thing you do as the butter has to cool before mixing it into the cornbread. Preheat the oven ,grease your baking dish with more butter, and set it aside.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Once your butter has cooled down to about skin temperature (touch it to check), whisk the sourdough discard and honey into it, followed by the eggs. Adding the discard and honey first really ensures it’s cooled down before the eggs go in to avoid scrambling.
Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to just combine. Pour the cornbread batter into the greased baking dish, then bake for 15-18 minutes. It should be a nice golden brown on the top and edges when it’s done – don’t over-bake, though, you don’t want dry cornbread.
How to Brown Butter
A light coloured saucepan or pan is better than a dark one, if you have it. Enamel is great.
In this pan, melt the butter over medium heat, whisking frequently to make sure it’s heating evenly. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam and light brown specs will form at the bottom of the pan. The colour will progress from yellow to a toasty brown colour, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Once the butter has browned, set it aside to cool. If the pan that you melted it in isn’t appropriate to add other ingredients to, then pour the browned butter into a medium bowl to cool down.
While it is possible to make this sourdough cornbread dairy free, vegan butter can’t be browned in the same way that dairy can. It still tastes good without the browned butter, though, so a good vegan butter can be subbed in if you prefer.
Spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour can be used in place of the white flour, and maple syrup can replace honey (though it’ll be less sweet). Don’t have unsalted butter? Reduce the salt to ½ a teaspoon.
Recipe Tips and Notes
Use either a 9×11 in. (23x28cm) baking dish here, or a 9.5-inch (24cm) diameter round dish as pictured. If your container is a bit larger or smaller, that’ll be fine too – just adjust the baking time accordingly.
This is a semi-sweet cornbread, but if you’d like it sweeter, you can drizzle the top with a little more honey when serving. We haven’t tried making this gluten free or vegan, but here’s a vegan cornbread recipe, and a good 1:1 GF flour blend would probably work here.
More Sourdough Discard Recipes
Cornbread Worthy Main Dishes
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.
- ½ cup (110 g) unsalted butter, sliced, plus more for greasing
- 1 ½ (250 g) cups fine cornmeal
- ½ cup (75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup (200 g) sourdough discard
- ½ cup (150 g) runny honey
- 2 large eggs
Make the Brown Butter
- In a light coloured pan or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, whisking periodically.
- As the butter melts, it will begin to foam and light brown specks will form at the bottom of the pan. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until the colour progresses from yellow to a toasty brown colour.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer to a medium bowl if you can't mix ingredients into the pan.
Make the Cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and grease a 9x11 in. (23x28cm) pan or 9.5 in. (24cm) diameter round pan. Set aside.
- Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Once the butter has mostly cooled (skin temperature or cooler), add the discard and honey to it, and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and whisk again until fully mixed.
- Pour the butter mixture into the cornmeal mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until just combined.
- Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top as well as you can.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before cutting and serving. Leftovers will keep in a sealed container for a couple of days, but cornbread is best the day it's made.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 417mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g
This is an approximation of the nutrition offered in this recipe, and is created using a nutrition calculator.