“Sourdough” Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 1, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe takes two days to make but it’s totally worth it! You begin by making a fake-out sourdough starter to give the cookies that sourdough tanginess. A little white vinegar is added into the dough just to reinforce the pungent flavor and give the cookies a little lift and a soft texture.
Grant Melton

Makes: 2 dozen cookies
Prep time: 48 hrs
Cook time: 15 min


  • 1/2 cup dark rye flour
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 10-ounce bag dark chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping
In This Recipe


  1. Place the warm water and dark rye flour into a 16-ounce glass jar and, using a fork, mix well to combine until a little sticky dough ball has formed. Once combined, place a lid on top of the jar but do not tighten. The dough may look a bit small for the jar but, it’ll need some room to grow. Leave the jar in a cool, dark place with a fairly constant temperature for two days. After day one, the mixture will look fairly similar what it looked like on the previous day. By day two, the dough should nearly double in size, have many large bubbles throughout and a pungent, sour scent. Once you’ve made your “starter,” you’re ready to make the cookie dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Add the butter and all of the “sourdough starter” mixture into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On a low speed, mix the softened butter with the sourdough until combined. Next, add in both sugars and cream together. Add in the egg and mix for a minute more. The mixture should look a bit more loose compared to most cookie doughs, that’s fine. Add in the vinegar and then the dry mixture little at a time until fully combined. Once a light, fluffy dough has formed, add in the chocolate chips and mix by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. Using a one-ounce sized scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet tray, leaving a few inches between each cookie. Bake for 6 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, and bake for 6 minutes more. Remove from oven and top with a pinch of flaky salt. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough, or freeze the cookie dough balls to bake later.

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Reviews (7) Questions (2)

7 Reviews

Yoojin L. October 2, 2018
Love how the sourdough tanginess balances with the sweet! YUM.
PhillipBrandon October 2, 2018
For those of us with active starters, how much starter, and at what point in feeding would you use for this recipe?
Paola October 5, 2018
I’m planning on using up some discard starter at the next feeding, seeing as the main purpose is flavour...discard will have plenty!!
Author Comment
Grant M. October 5, 2018
I'm not super familiar with sourdough starters but in this case the "starter" is mainly used for flavor. I would saying using 1 cup of the starter (or starter discard) would be sufficient. If you try it out, let me know how it works!
Paola October 7, 2018
My starter is not the most “loved”, so I used what was salvageable of discard after getting rid of the hooch. I had just over 3/4 cup to use. I reduced the other ingredients, as possible, to get the consistency you describe for the dough. Cookies are cooling now...but the edge I sneaked myself while transferring from tray to wire rack was mighty good! I will be adding these to my rotation of “discard” recipes 😊
Hungry H. October 2, 2018
Looks great! Can whole-wheat pastry flour be used in place of rye?
Author Comment
Grant M. October 5, 2018
Yes! It may be slightly less "sour" but it will work! PS I love whole wheat pastry flour for cookies! Enjoy.