• Potato scallops (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Making batter from your sourdough starter discard is a great way to use it. It adds a depth of flavour and a slight sourness which really complements the potato. 






Skill level

Average: 1.4 (114 votes)

This batter also works really well when making classic fish and chips, but don’t forget the tartare sauce if you do! 


  • 3 large (about 300 g each) floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Sebago
  • vegetable oil, to deep fry
  • sea salt flakes, to sprinkle 

Sourdough starter batter

  • 100 g cornflour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine salt 
  • 200 g sourdough starter discard (100% hydration), chilled 
  • 100 ml sparkling mineral water, chilled 

Tartare sauce

  • 235 g (1 cup) whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 2 tsp baby capers, rinsed and drained, finely chopped
  • 2 baby gherkins (cornichons), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 1.5 hours

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). 

2. Peel the potatoes and cut lengthways into 1 cm-thick slices. Place in a large roasting tin and add enough boiling water to cover. Cover the roasting tin with foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften and are firm yet tender when tested with a skewer. Remove from the oven and set aside, uncovered, for 1½ hours or until cooled to room temperature. 

3. Meanwhile, to make the tartare sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and place in the fridge until needed. 

4. Use your fingers to transfer the potato slices to a clean tea towel (or two layers of paper towel) in a single layer to drain. Pat the slices with another tea towel (or more paper towel) to dry the top surfaces. 

5. Add enough vegetable oil to a large saucepan to reach about 6 cm up the side of the pan and heat over medium-high heat to 190°C on a thermometer. 

6. Meanwhile, to make the sourdough starter batter, sift the cornflour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the sourdough starter and mineral water and use a balloon whisk to stir until evenly combined. Add to the dry ingredients and use the whisk to stir, gradually incorporating the cornflour, until smooth and evenly combined. 

7. Working in batches of 4, take a dry slice of potato and dip into the batter, allowing any excess to drain off. Carefully slide into the hot oil and repeat quickly with another 3 slices. Cook for 7-10 minutes (see Baker's Tip), turning the slices occasionally, until the batter is crisp and golden, and the potato slices are tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the potato scallops from the oil one at a time and transfer to paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining potato slices and batter. Serve immediately sprinkled with salt flakes and accompanied by the tartare sauce. 


Baker's tip

• The key to a crisp outer for these potato scallops, is to keep the oil at a consistent temperature during cooking. The oil temperature will drop slightly when you initially add the scallops but adjust the heat as needed to keep it at 190°C. 


Recipe from Not Just Bread by Anneka Manning. Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kat Hunt. Food preparation by Vanessa Miles. Download the free ebook with all of these recipes right here.