Why don't we share ideas as to what to do with left-over sourdough starters?
May be it is the recession! But I find it hard to throw out half or more of a perfectly good starter when I refresh it and it is not the right time to bake bread. Like many busy people in small households, baking more than once a week is not always realistic. Many will say that it is not a lot of money down the drain (litterally!), yet these pictures of starving children shown by the nuns of my childhood come back to memory and I just can't throw these nice living yeast organisms down the drain to end their lives in a pumping station somewhere on a a coasline.
So, I did some research, including The Fresh Loaf forum and found a few like-minded souls kind enough to share their ideas. I came up with pizza crusts (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4520/baking-week) and focaccia (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5025/two-sourdough-focaccias-raisin-and-savory). Someone mentioned pancakes but I have not sourced a recipe yet.
Yesterday, a nice rainy day in England, after making Shiao-Ping's 'Molase and Rye Bread' - a success - I studied those recipes and set to work making 2 pizza crusts which used 100g of my large jar of left-over. The dough balls were left to 'mature' in the fridge overnight and I folded the dough this morning - it looked great. One ball is now in the freezer, for another day, and the other in the fridge to be baked shortly.
The focaccia recipe gave me some concern as I calculated the hydration to be 30%. A quick note to the author to sort this is awaiting an answer but I checked in some of my recipe books and assessed that the hydration should be around 60-62% so I might just work out the recipe using this factor.
At the moment, every time I refresh my starters (I had 3 going last week), I throw the left over in a big Kilner jar in the fridge and - when I think of it - add in a bit of flour and water to keep it alive. It is proving to be very resilient as the pizza crust experience has proven. The only little problem is that if one keeps starters at different hydration, it is difficult to know for sure the hydration of the bulk resulting.... that is where experience in making dough must come in useful.
I am sure there are more ideas out there. Please share them with us.