Last weekend I baked with two ideas in mind. One, to make use of some of my sourdough discard (more on that later). And two, to make bagels. I buy two bags of bagels every week; my family eats them like it's their job.
For the starter, I found two recipes for sourdough English muffins. They were similar and both looked good, so I thought I'd do one recipe of each. I had made English muffins before and was really pleased with the results. My wife ate them for several days, thinking they were Thomases' before she realized I had made them. I followed both recipes, staggering my times so they would be ready to bake at different times. Both came out about the same: dense, doughy, and kind of flat. They were still edible, but not nearly as good as the yeasted ones I had made before. I think if I make them again, I'll either just make the yeasted ones or will add a bit of yeast to my sourdough discard.
The bagels, on the other hand, were a huge hit. My parents and aunt were here visiting, and everyone said they were the best bagels they had ever tasted. I used the BBA recipe, with the cinnamon raisin option, as that's the favorite around here. The only thing I did differenty was that I made the dough and baked them on the same day, as my schedule didn't allow for the overnight retardation of the dough. I am making them again this weekend, and will use the 2-day method to see how it compares.
I also made my weekly loaves of sourdough from my starter. The one thing I did differently this week was that, after I took out the starter I needed to make the bread, I only refreshed the starter up to one cup, which gives me the 2/3 cup I need for my bread next weekend, and another 1/3 to refresh for the next batch. Inspired by Mini and some of the other bakers, I'm trying to cut my sourdough starter back to the point where I don't have any discard.