The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slop Bucket Sourdough

davidg618's picture

Slop Bucket Sourdough

Some of you will remember the tale of the miner who froze to death in the Yukon, with the last BTU in his body, curled about Maude,  he saved her. Maude was his sourdough starter, named after a favorite memory. I never told you his name. It's Hurcules; friends called him Herk. As his legend grew, he became known as Sourdough Herk, Maude's savior.

With Sourdough Debra's help--oops, that's Ms. Debra Wink I mean--It appears my new starter is saved.  I'm diligently feeding it ever eight hours. I have eight days to go before, by Ms. Wink's estimate, it will be officially ready. Meanwhile, I'm biting my fingernails--a habit picked up post-puberty when I started worrying more than I'd done pre-pube--waiting to test it out.

One of the side-effects of feeding a starter every eight hour, regardless of how small a quantity you're feeding, is Discard. Discard, if you save it, piles up. I'd forgotten that over the last couple of years, before I trashed my old starter. My old starter was a Refrigerator Queen, pampered, yes, but only once a week (or so). Discard had been forgotten.

I rarely throw away anything. That's why my kitchen, home office, and wood shop are cluttered. Now don't think the TV show "Hoarders". I've enough of a mild case of OCD that I keep things orderly...well, mostly. So it was natural, when it came time to discard my first Discard, I thought of Herk. It goes without saying, Herk never discarded a gram of Maude! Why, why that would be like...well, it doesn't matter; no need to talk about kittens here.

So I started saving Discard.

It's now Day 6 or 7--I lost track, so being cautious I'm assuming its Day 6--eight days to go.

I've already got a lot of Discard.

Early days, I'd visions of sourdough pancakes, sourdough biscuits, sourdough batter fried 'round fish, or, maybe, green tomatoes.

Discard just kept growing--on it own, as well as my additions--every eight hours.

Now my fledgling starter seems to be doing wonderfully. With Marine drill precision timing it peaks every 7 hours, and with equal discipline I feed it. And I collect Discard. I've named its collection container Slop Bucket.

I'm also getting impatient--another post-puberty habit--I want, very much, to see the final results from my new starter: Bread!

So I reasoned, it's not cheating if I make bread with Discard. After all, if it wasn't for my deep respect for Herk, I'd have thrown Discard away, and, besides, if baking with Discard is even slightly successful, it will be a precursor of what's to come. Right?

I did it. Today.

I know, I know. It's not the real thing. That's eight days away. Not to worry, in eight days this wannabe will be history. Herk would understand.

David G



Jaydot's picture

It may not be the real thing, but it looks like a really nice bread!
I have two chooks who take care of the discard, they process it into very tasty little eggs - not sour at all :). 

GSnyde's picture

I like your name for this bread, David.  But I doubt you'd see a bake shop with a bread so named on their bill of fare.

Nice looking loaf, even if it isn't real.


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink


It's the real thing now, and you should be baking with it. It isn't cheating... honest.  I'm not the sourdough Nazi ;-)  I only advise not refrigerating for the first few weeks, because it hasn't reached its potential yet. But by my count, it's only been four days, because that's when the yeast started growing.

Nice looking bread!

Mebake's picture

There you have it, David, Our Sourdough mentor Debra acknowledges your starter performance! Show us the crumb, though :)

davidg618's picture

There's only two of us here to eat bread, and another loaf, from a long-ago bake, is only half-gone. I'll post a crumb shot when we cut into it. It's next in the cue.

David G

breadsong's picture

...really good, that is!
Wishing your new starter a long and happy life!
:^) from breadsong

davidg618's picture

Thanks for the well wishes.

David G

longhorn's picture

Looks very good David!

I do it too but I call mine Garbage Can for that is where the starter would otherwise go!

I agree. I think it makes pretty good bread. Yesterday I baked a 60% White Whole Wheat loaf. It was a little dry and underproofed so has relatively fine crumb - but it eats quite well!

Good work!