Sourdough Ginger + Oat Bars

This lovely little recipe is one of those wonders that comes from just giving something a try. I like to mix sourdough starter with rolled oats to do a number of things, whether turning them into my sourdough breakfast cookies, granola, or some kind of snack bar. This bar is like a cross between a bar and a cake. The oats bring a density and texture that makes it kind of like a hearty muffin. I use a LOT of ground ginger here and a touch of molasses to bring a wintery warmth.

If you want these to be even more evocative of a dark gingerbread cake or cookie, feel free to tinker with the ratio of molasses to coconut sugar and up the ginger if you like. That’s just you in the kitchen.

These freeze beautifully, so cut them, pop them in the freezer, and take one out to thaw for a midday snack, teatime, or fika.


Makes 12 bars (bake in an 8×8 glass baking dish; a metal pan will also do)

Sourdough Ginger + Oat Bars


2 cups rolled oats

sourdough discard + water

100 g whole wheat flour (I used home-milled red fife)

1 heaping T. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

2 T. coconut sugar

soy milk (or milk of choice)

2 T. oil (e.g., avocado, olive, canola)

2 T. unsulfured molasses (blackstrap, if you can get it)


  1. At least 8 hours ahead (preferably overnight), soak the oats: In a glass bowl, mix sourdough discard (~2 to 4 T., or more if desired) with enough water to loosen sourdough and moisten the 2 cups of oats. Stir together thoroughly, cover, and let sit at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven and line baking dish. Set oven to 350 F and line an 8×8 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper (I cut a large square and then slice diagonally from each corner toward the center so the ends of my cuts match the corners of the dish).
  3. Measure out dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk together until evenly mixed.
  4. Crumble the oat mixture into the large bowl, breaking up pieces into small bits. (Don’t forget to listen when you first uncover it!) Mix into the dry ingredients.
  5. Make a well in the center of the large bowl, and measure the oil, then the molasses. Add a bit of milk and mix, adding additional milk as needed until a thick batter comes together (think hearty muffin batter consistency).
  6. Tip the mixture into the lined baking dish, smooth out so all the way to the edges and even on top. Let sit for 5 minutes before going into the oven.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes (if using metal, it may bake a bit faster). It is done when set; test with a toothpick if you like.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes before removing from the dish. Cool completely before slicing into 12 bars. Freeze for keeping fresh for on-the-go and take-to-work snacks! Thaw gently in a microwave at 30% power or in a toaster oven wrapped in foil.

Lovely served with pomegranate gems or a sweet orange such as a Blood orange or Cara cara.


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