Sourdough Discard Poppy Seed Lemon Bread

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

In a rush? You can skip straight to my sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread recipe at my tumblr. Or you can jump to my Just the Basics section.

Let’s face it: sourdough starters take a lot of work if you want to keep them active for artisan-style breads. If you feed your starter daily rather than keeping it in the fridge, you probably have a lot of discard that you need to use up.

But rather than trashing your discard, why not use it to bake quick bread?

My poppy seed lemon quick bread is a fun and tangy dessert that takes almost no effort to make. Just stir together the ingredients, pour the batter into a pan, and bake. Minimal mess and minimal work but maximum flavor.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

Sourdough Without the Fuss

The tangy flavor of the sourdough meshes perfectly with the tart flavor of the lemon extract. It’s light and summery, and it’s perfect for breakfasts or snacks. If you want to make some drizzle, you can turn this quick bread into a dessert loaf and serve it to your friends and family.

If you have a busy schedule or last-minute event, this recipe is a great option. No need to wait for this loaf to rise. As a quick bread, it comes together in about an hour. Baking powder gives the bread a fluffy texture, and you don’t have to worry about yeast or timing your starter so it’s at its peak.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

Sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread stays fresh when covered at room temperature for about 3 to 4 days. If you can’t eat all the bread right away, you can freeze the loaf for up to three months.


Prep time:  10 Minutes
Rise time: None
Cook time:  50 to 55 Minutes
Total time: 1 Hour to 1 Hour 5 Minutes


If you want to make this quick bread, you’ll want to check your pantry for the following items:

  • 180 Grams (1 1/2 Cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • 201 Grams (1 Cup) White Sugar
  • 6 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoons) Baking Powder
  • 5 Grams (1 Teaspoon) Salt
  • 3 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoons) Poppy Seeds
  • 226 Grams (1 Cup) Sourdough Discard
  • 55 Grams (1/4 Cup) Milk
  • 2 Grams (1/2 Teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Grams (1/2 Teaspoon) Lemon Extract
  • 112 Grams (1/2 Cup) Butter, Melted
  • 1 Large Egg


  • 32 Grams (1/4 Cup) Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 10 Grams (1 to 2 Teaspoons) Milk

Remember: the glaze is completely optional. Sourdough discard Poppy seed lemon bread is sweet on its own and doesn’t need the drizzle to taste like a heavenly dessert. Feel free to eat it with just a smidge of butter or jam.

Additional Equipment

Don’t forget to have these items on hand before you start baking:

Of course, you don’t have to use these items exactly. If you have similar equipment on hand, feel free to use what you’ve got.

I like to recommend products that I use regularly. As an Amazon associate, I do earn some money for clicks on affiliate links, but my opinions are still my own.


Do you have all your ingredients ready? Have your mixing bowls and measuring cups on hand? Then let’s get started by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).

As the oven preheats, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a large mixing bowl.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread dry ingredients

Next, combine the sourdough discard, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, melted butter, and egg until thoroughly combined.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread wet ingredients

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is just moistened. There will be a few clumps, and that’s okay. Do not overmix, or your loaf will sink in the middle.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread batter

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch baking pan. If your loaf tends to sink in the middle, line your pan with parchment paper before pouring in the batter, so you can easily lift it out after baking.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread ready to bake

Bake your bread at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 55 minutes. The crust will have a rich golden color. If you have a probe thermometer, the internal temperature should read at least 195 degrees (90 degrees Celsius).

Keep the bread in the pan and place it on a wire cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

Use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the bread from the pan, or simply lift the bread with the edges of the parchment paper. Place loaf on the wire cooling wrack to finish cooling and then transfer to a plate when you’re ready for the glaze.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

As the bread cools, stir together the powdered sugar and the milk to create the glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the top.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

Sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread stays fresh for 3 to 5 days at room temperature when sealed in a container. Make sure the bread has completely cooled before storing or it will sweat and turn soggy.

If you plan to freeze your bread, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic first and then cover with aluminum foil. When frozen, the bread will last about 3 to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight to enjoy it for breakfast the next day.

Just the Basics

sourdough discard lemon poppy seed bread

Sourdough Discard Poppy Seed Lemon Bread

A tangy, tart summer loaf that comes together in about an hour. Serve with optional glaze or a bit of jam.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 276 kcal


For the Bread

  • 180 Grams All-Purpose Flour (1 1/2 Cups)
  • 201 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1 Cup)
  • 6 Grams Baking Powder (1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 5 Grams Salt (1 Teaspoon)
  • 3 Grams Poppy Seeds (1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 226 Grams Sourdough Discard, Fed, Unfed, or Discard (1 Cup)
  • 55 Grams Milk (1/4 Cup)
  • 2 Grams Vanilla Extract (1/2 Teaspoon)
  • 2 Grams Lemon Extract (1/2 Teaspoon)
  • 112 Grams Butter, Melted (1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Large Egg

For the Glaze

  • 32 Grams Powdered Confectioner's Sugar (1/4 Cup)
  • 10 Grams Milk (1 to 2 Teaspoons)


  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius).
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
  • In a smaller mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients: sourdough discard, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, butter, and egg.
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  • Pour batter into a lightly greased (or parchment lined) 9-inch by 5-inch baking pan.
  • Bake at for 50 minutes to 55 minutes. Internal temperature should reach at least 195° Fahrenheit (90° Celsius).
  • Let cool in pan on wire cooling rack for 15 minutes.
  • Turn out bread onto wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Mix the powdered sugar and milk to form a glaze. When bread has cooled, drizzle glaze over the crust.


Overmixing will lead to a sunken loaf. Only stir until the ingredients are just moistened. A few lumps are fine. 
Parchment paper can help keep the loaf from sticking to the pan. 
Keyword Bread, Dessert Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Quick Bread, Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Starter

Secrets to Success

Sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread doesn’t require a lot of finesse or experience. You can mix the batter together, pop it in the oven, and soon you’ll have an amazing dessert loaf to enjoy.

I do have one or two small secrets for creating better quick bread, however. First, do not overmix. If you overmix your bread, it will turn out dense and the middle will sink.

It’s okay if your bread does sink in the middle – even my featured loaf has a little bit of a dent. It should still taste magnificent, even if it doesn’t look picture perfect.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread

My second recommendation is to use parchment paper when lining your baking pan. Parchment paper will keep your bread from sticking to the sides, so you don’t lose the edges of your bread. As a desert bread, the crust is more delicate than a sandwich loaf.

Although lightly greasing the pan can help prevent sticking, parchment paper makes it much easier to lift the loaf out and turn it out onto a cooling rack.

Nutritional Information

This dessert bread has a lot more sugar than your average loaf. If you’re watching your weight or keeping tabs on your sugar intake, keep the following nutritional information in mind.

sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread nutritional information

This nutritional information was calculated based on 10 slices of bread per loaf. If you cut your sourdough discard poppy seed lemon bread into smaller or larger pieces, you’ll need to adjust the calories per serving to account for the change.

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