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Use It Up

May 7, 2010

I’m taking a bread class.  Sourdoughs specifically.  I’m a month in and my greatest challenge is keeping up with the homework.  I don’t mean I’m falling behind on the reading – rather, I’m having a hard time dealing with the “starters” I have to keep alive.  Will it live?  Will it ripen?  Did I feed it in time?  What am I going to do with 2 kg of 100% hydration starter?

I spent today online looking up recipes to use this stuff up rather than throwing my time and effort away.  You really only need to keep “alive” what you need for recipes.  However, every time you want to use a starter you have to feed it equal to its currant mass.  This leaves you with a lot of sourdough you don’t really need for two people 😉

I settled on three recipes.  I know – this sounds like a lot of bread to have laying about.  But I found three unique recipes – ones that would produce breads at different times.
The first one I choose to do was a bread from class.  I wanted to see if I could produce the results at home without supervision, a proofer or a stone oven.  This bread is an Olive & Garlic Loaf which completes in about two and a half hours, including rising and baking times.  It is pictured above and tastes wonderful.  Success!

The next one I chose was a recipe for something I could freeze.  This was a Sourdough Waffle Recipe and I found the recipe at Gnowfglins (God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season) *whew*  The Poster did not specify the hydration ratio of their starter.  I should have added more flour – I doubted the look of it the whole time.  Any how, they weren’t as wonderful as I would have liked.   But J-Snap, myself and our friend Davidson snapped them up despite the lack of complete perfection.  I managed to freeze about eight of the fourteen or so.

The final recipe I started was a Sourdough Cinnamon Roll recipe from The Fresh Loaf via Not So Humble Pie.  With a thirty-six hour completion time, you’ll be heading back for an update.  But this got another 150g of starter out of harms way.

Waste not, want not – right?  Plus, it felt good to feed the hungry guys around me today.  It inspires me to nail these cinnamon rolls tomorrow.  More to follow.


p.s. Today I used up 400g + 500g+ 150g of my “100% Starter.”  I successfully made my remaining reserve starter batch about 1kg-  a much more manageable amount to keep in my small fridge until the next time it’s needed for class.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 7:26 AM

    how many starters are you keeping? What amounts do you keep?

    I’ve started feeding my two starters (WW and AP) at 60% and leaving them on the counter. So I feed them twice a day. BUT, I only keep them at about 45g.

    Two things to keep in mind – 1) You don’t have to keep a lot of starter. It only takes about 12 hours to take a small bit of starter and increase it.
    2) You can more than double it if you want. Each time I feed my starter I don’t just double it, I increase it times 9. It goes from 5g to 45g, but of course you don’t have to double it.
    So, you can keep a small starter and have only a small amount of discard (or less active sourdough for other recipes) and then feed it more to reach the desired amount for the recipe at hand (being sure some tiny bit is left over for the starter, like 5g).

    I caught your blog based upon the tag “sourdough.” Maybe I’ll run into it again. Make sure to show some crumb shots! 🙂

  2. May 7, 2010 3:51 PM

    I am keeping two starters because I need to have them to take to this class with me. I have a 100%, a 60% and an additional two just for this week: One for Swedish Rye and one for Pumpernickel.

    I have to keep tons of it alive at this point because I am required to use about 1 kg/week of each for in-class projects. When the class is over I promise I will go down to keeping small amounts as per your great instructions!

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