The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Leftover starter properties

GregS's picture
GregS

Leftover starter properties

I've seen recipes using leftover starter, English Muffins for example, but I'm not sure if there is supposed to be any activity in the leftover. Some of what I have saved looks like a proteolytic goo. I'm sure there are bacteria in there, but is that important or is the remainder just a flour/water paste?

GregS

Ford's picture
Ford

Refresh it and see.  After all, if the starter raised your bread the left over starter should be active as well.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Often times leftover starter is a sticky, gooey flour/water paste with questionable yeast activity and a lot of acid.  Most recipes that utlize it add additional flour to take care of the sticky/gooey part and then use baking soda both for leavening and to neutralize some or all of the acid.  I freeze my discards and then when I have enough, use them for pancakes.  If I want mild pancakes I use more baking soda to neutralize the acid, and if I want tangy pancakes I switch some of the baking soda to baking powder (multiplying by four to get same leavening power).

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

...in a buttermilk biscuit recipe - strictly for flavor.  I use 1/4 cup starter per 2 cups flour and dissolve the starter in a scant cup of buttermilk before adding to the dry ingredients.

FF