The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

'storing' discarded starter question

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chickie's picture
chickie

'storing' discarded starter question

I've been tossing my discarded starter into a bowl to use later in other recipes (quickbreads, waffles, cookies and the like).  During the week when I'm not baking as much, the bowl can get a bit full, plus I always seem to be wanting that bowl for something else, LOL.  I have an empty plastic gallon jug that used to have distilled white vinegar in it, I rinsed it out well and put the starter discard in there so I can have my bowl back, leaving the cap off so I don't get any WMD. 


Does anyone see a flaw in this?


TIA
Cheers,
chickie
Seattle

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

....but there are those who say that keeping starter in plastic is a no-no.  I've got all my starters, 3 of them, in plastic containers and never had any problems.

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I think you're OK storing your discard in a jug.  You must have a high-hydration starter.  Mine is 100% hydration, and there's no way I could get it into or out of the opening of a gallon jug.


If you are leaving the lid off, you might want to cover the top with plastic wrap held on by a rubber band.  No sense letting extra beasties get in.

MajorMac's picture
MajorMac

Is is possible to freeze the levain/starter? I don't do much baking during the summer - too hot - and would like to continue the starter from the season before?


I use to live in CA and had a starter going for 5 years and know how nice the flavor can develop, so if feasible this would be terrific. Thank you.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello MajorMac,


I know you can freeze starter, though I've never done it myself. I checked the archives here at TFL and found this from ace baker Mike Avery:


"My suggestion for long perioids of storage is to feed some starter until it is fresh and lively, feed it one more time to a thick consistency (like 65% hydration), and then freeze half of it and refrigerate half of it.  That way, you have a fall back plan in case the refrigerated starter doesn't make it."


Here's a link to the whole thread:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6737/help-storingfreezing-starter-please


Hope this helps,


Soundman (David)

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Mac, yes, you can freeze starter.  Reinhart gives tips for doing that in BBA.  I'm sure someone else will chime in with specifics; if not, I can look it up when I get home.  You can also dry some starter and store it indefinitely that way.  Someone recently posted about doing that in order to mail it.

chickie's picture
chickie

Thanks PaddyL and gaarp!  Your answers make me happy because you've helped me keep my easy solution.


I forgot to mention that I'm a 'press 'n' seal' gal and have the stuff on all my starter containers, including the top of the plastic jug my discard goes into.  If I lay it on top of an opening, it sticks in spots (even to plastic!) but not in a tight seal unless I were to make it.


gaarp, my 'white' starter is 100% hydration (1:2:2) and after a 12 hour sit, its texture is similar to an overly thick milkshake, one much too thick to consume with a straw.  I measure 1/4 c of the starter out and plunk the rest in my funnel that is comfortably resting in the top of the plastic jug.  It doesn't slither into the jug right away but by the time I've finished washing and measuring (just the water, I liked the idea of pre-measuring flour into baggies and just do a dump of that portion) and mixing, the discard is almost all the way through the funnel.  Whatever is left goes in pretty quick with the help of a poking chopstick.  


I don't really feed the discard so it stays pretty thin.  I'm thinking because it hasn't had anything to eat?  Kinda like a super model maybe?  LOL


Cheers,
chickie