The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

can you combine starter "wastes" in a container in the fridge, and let them accumulate?

photojess's picture
photojess

can you combine starter "wastes" in a container in the fridge, and let them accumulate?

and then bring the container out weekly to feed, and use that?


I just started my own (1st) starter last night, following Wild Yeast's blog, ( and I have read everything on here I can get my hands on too....), but I'm wondering if you really have to discard the waste, after it's fully alive?  I know she recommends making the english muffins, but I'm wondering if they could be saved up to do that?


This topic is soooo overwhelming, from starting it, to maintaining it, and the concept of swtiching hydration rates that David posted about in another thread is mind boggling!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You can certainly accumulate starter discards, but I would continue another starter for regular feedings and use the discards for any of the uses that have been mentioned in previous threads on this subject.


For example, I have one jar of recently fed starter and had another jar of discards that I used up this morning to make sourdough pancakes.


David

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

It sure tastes good! My husband says it has the best texture of any bread yet. Of course, I've been struggling with whole grains so this seemed incredibly easy. (never thought I'd say that!) I used the "1-2-3" ratio of starter, water, starter that was mentioned in another thread. Added a bit of salt. OOPs! Almost forgot but added with a second folding about 45 minutes into proofing. Proofed in a fairly warm environment. This was a fairly wet dough since I used a pretty wet starter that I was trying to wake up from not being fed for awhile, it was fed yesterday twice at volume 1:2:2 starter, flour, water.


I put it in a basket with some flour to try that technique (don't like the basket but maybe because I need a real banneton and a real peel). Anyway, thought it was going to spread out too much but boy did it get some oven spring! Holes and crust are incredible!


When I do this again I'll proof longer for more sourdough flavor but it sure was nice to have bread ready for dinner and it tastes good with or without the extra tangy flavor.

photojess's picture
photojess

it would be used for the non essential bread baking,and for the goodies!


Thanks!

Nomadcruiser53's picture
Nomadcruiser53

The SD waffle recipe at KA is also a fabulous way to use up starter discards on weekends. Dave

photojess's picture
photojess

for another suggestion.  I've had fun looking at all of their recipes on their site.

hc's picture
hc

Starter discard, I learned today, doesn't necessarily behave like active starter. Example: I tried to make pizza dough with starter from my discard jar this afternoon. None of it was more than a week old. I mixed it for a minute or so and then SQUELCH, it disintegrated into the consistency of ... remember what happens with chewing gum when you eat peanut butter at the same time? Like that: gloopy and almost like the gluten had shredded into tiny little bits. I don't know if it was the built-up acidity or the critters releasing proteolytic enzymes (maybe both), but it took a bunch more flour to get it somewhere near a properly dough-like consistency. Then when I baked it, the flavor was very strange in a bad way, almost corrosive, even, kind of like how I imagine battery acid would taste. I wasn't expecting anything great but this is definitely not something I'll be trying again!


I still have some discard sitting in the jar but now I'm wondering if I should just pitch it. Would it even be worth trying to make pancakes with it?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Maybe it helps to think of your discard as a flavoring and not as the main ingredient.  Make a pancake recipe and then add 1/4 c  of the old starter for flavor.  Make a straight (instant yeast) bread and add up to a 1/2 cup old starter to it for flavor.  Be careful not put too much old starter in your recipe and it should turn out fine.  What's too much? I think you've been there.  It shouldn't take over or dominate a recipe, just add a little flavor. 


Mini

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Like hc, I learned a lesson to avoid using discards- even relatively fresh ones at that- in making pizza dough, even when the discard starter is at a low level compared to the total flour amount.  In a recipe that called for 5 cups of flour, I used maybe a half cup, and retained the yeast amount and other ingredients, except for the water which I compensated for.  I wasn't expecting much effect from the addition except for some flavor, so, I was surprised that I ended up adding more flour and time to kneading the dough to get gluten formation. (I had made the original recipe before so I knew what to expect).  And the resulting gluten still wasn't up to snuff;  the dough tore easily upon stretching when it came to baking.  I now vow to sticking to a formula when making pizza dough.  I wonder if the big food manufacturers have done controlled experiments that may explain this.

photojess's picture
photojess

interesting.  I have no idea, so I'll be interested to see what other's say.

ejm's picture
ejm

In my relatively brief experience (about a year and a half) of maintaining a wild yeast starter, I found the discard is pretty useless for anything except flavouring. The amount of discard I had was small because my starter was small so I would just add it to anything that required flour and water (biscuits, pancakes, cookies, bread made with commercial yeast).


I don't think I would combine the discards from day to day though. Without being fed, they break up, turn to alcohol and then become pretty funky.


Incidentally, the discard was GREAT for making onion rings.


-Elizabeth

photojess's picture
photojess

then just maintaining the starter in the fridge, and feeding it once a week.  I'm talking using on a weekly basis also.  I'm thinking it would just be small adds, hopefully, so there shouldn't be a whole lot being wasted at the daily feedings from the starter sitting on the counter, but I have no idea yet.


Then, what's to say, I couldn't get enough up to use the wastes as a different hydration, then feed, and use right away.


What makes the wastes so different, if kept in the fridge, except that it was stirred down, and then added without being feed, before being added to the cold batch?  Should it possibly be fed seperately, then added?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

To keep a starter healthy and vigorous, your feedings should at least double the starter being fed. Just adding a "small" amount of flour to a large amount of starter won't keep it in condition to raise bread.


Now, if you start with a healthy starter kept in a firm state, it will keep in the refrigerator for a couple weeks before getting soupy. Even if it gets soupy, using a bit of this and feeding it a couple of times (more than doubling it each time) will revive it.


David

photojess's picture
photojess

thanks David.  I know it as to be at least a 1:2:2, and have seen others at 1:4:3, 1:5:5, and 1:6:6.


Do you have a preference to the ratio you use?


My new little starter is growing bacteria beautifully, so hopefully in another 10 days or  so, I'll be able to report back as to my first sourdough loaf.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, jess.


I feed my starter at 1:3:4 (starter:water:flour). I use a flour mix for feeding that is 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% rye.


I use the starter with this mix for many breads, but when the recipe calls for a specific kind of starter, I do one feeding to make that type of starter. I also convert to a firmer or more liquid starter as called for.


David

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I've decided to change my starter maintenance method.  I've been keeping it pretty dry in the 'fridge and using 10 - 20 grams at a time.  The batch in the 'fridge has been there 5 weeks.  Today I just threw the entire left over, 5 week old, 200 grams into the last mix of a 1000 gram batch of dough.  The dough was a little putty-like, but it baked up OK and there is quite a bit of flavour as a result. Not super oven spring, but not flat either.  More experimental data...


:-Paul


 

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I gave up on saving old starter. There is simply too much old starter and not enough need... I want my sourdough experience to be an ongoing luxury, not a forced issue. If I actually WANT some sourdough English muffins, pancakes, or whatever, I'll use some ripe starter for the flavoring. The rest gets pitched. I'd burnout too quick trying to use every last drop.


- Keith

noyeast's picture
noyeast

I have used the excess starter to bake a loaf of bread but its' ability to rise the dough can be poor to moderate.  A teaspoon of yeast helps to end up with a good resulting loaf.


I have not "saved up" excess starter for this purpose, instead I use it within a day or so.


Paul.

photojess's picture
photojess

(Again following Wild Yeast's instructions on her site) do I need to keep so much beginning starter going?


right now, I'm keeping 75 gms of starter, and adding 75gms of water, 25 gms of rye, and 50gms of white flour to it, till tomorrow, then will be switching over to all white,  While it's still in the developing stage, do I need to be using so much?  This is wasteful in my opinion, or can I drop the amts down as long as they are all equal.  At this point, can I keep it at 10 or even 20 gms or is that too little to get this starter going?


thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

on flour.  One can reduce easily to 20g with no ill effects.  Reduce the water and flour as well as long as they are proportional (divide by 3.75).


Mini 

ejm's picture
ejm

I was using only 30gms starter, (adding 30gm flour, 30 gms water). After building it up, this was plenty of starter to make two decent sized loaves and still have 30 gms left over to keep it going.


However, I wasn't making wild yeast bread often enough and it was precisely this issue of what to do with the leftovers after feeding that made me decide to accidentally-on-purpose murder my starter.


-Elizabeth


My recipe for wild yeast starter based on one in Piano Piano Pieno by Susan McKenna Grant is not unsimilar to the Susan's "Wild Yeast" recipe.

photojess's picture
photojess

with no ill effects, I think.


I realize the initial soar of fermentation was the bacteria and not the yeast, but now it's a small amt of starter in a fairly big container, and I can't tell you if it's rising at all or not, vs just spreading out.  I won't be able to watch it until the weekend, to see how it acts at 4 or 8 hours.


Last night, I dropped the kept starter to 20 gms, and added 20 gms each of water and flour, and then this am, I bumped to 20 gms of starter and 40gms of flour and water each.  I think I'm going to switch it to a much smaller glass jar now though, so I can keep track of it better. 


Tonight is night 4, and it's just goo with some bubbles, so I'm just going to keep feeding it twice a day, and I'm not here to do a third feeding  with my work schedule.  My indoor house temp is in the low 70s.


Is everything ok?  I think I read on here, that right around this time period is when things should start picking up, right?

Nomadcruiser53's picture
Nomadcruiser53

I fed my starter once a day (usually before bed) when I created it using a 1/1/1 (starter/pineapple juice/flour) It took 8-9 days to really get going, but it did. Now I do a 1/3/4 (starter/water/flour)once a week and keep it in the fridge. I take it out a few hours before feeding and it seems to be doing ok. Dave

photojess's picture
photojess

I'll move it to the fridge too.  I can only bake on weekends.  I have to say, that despite having kids, this is a lot of fun.  kind of like a virtual pet...something that relies on us to keep it alive!

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin


despite having kids, this is a lot of fun.



and no potty training necessary! ; D

photojess's picture
photojess

and doesn't cost much either....no braces, clothes, car and gas, etc.