The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recycling rye starter

lenb's picture

Recycling rye starter

I bake mostly with rye and end up with lots of excess starter when feeding my main batch.  I keep the excess in the fridge and would like to bake with it.  I have no idea what to do although I do have 

Any ideas on how I can use it.


Thanks and happy baking.


pmccool's picture

1. Just make more bread using the discard as the levain

2. Use it up in pancakes or waffles

3. Dry a portion of it for backup

4. Use it to boost flavor in breads, even in yeasted varieties


JeremyCherfas's picture

I agree; pancakes. Just a bit of water to get the consistency you like, a pinch of bicarbonate of soda if you want extra lightness, and a glug of oil. Delicious.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

I never throw away starter leftovers of any kind.  White, wheat, rye:  they all go into a Tupperware I keep in the fridge.  I don't even have to watch it.  Just as soon as the container starts filling up my wife starts asking for pancakes.  We eat it up faster than I can feed my starter!

I use 1-2 cups of starter, 1 egg, a tablespoon (or two) of oil, and enough water to bring it all to the consistency I like.  Then I add 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda to a scant 1/4 cup of warm water and stir it up to dissolve the soda.  Stir it into the batter, watch it foam (think elementary school science project:  volcano demo), then stir it down enough to get rid of a lot of the bubbles, and cook your breakfast.  If you don't do this the pancakes turn out so lacy that they lack substance.  We don't aim for potholder pancakes, but they have to hold at least some syrup!

Yes, I have occasionally just set out a levain, let it age for a day or so, and then used it just for pancakes without worrying about baking bread.  The longer it sits and develops acidity, the better the breakfast. :)


LP14's picture

Good suggestions above! I usually turn discard into harvest crackers or my favorite whole grain, seedy caramelized banana bread. Muffins work well too. I've pretty much incorporated sourdough discard into anything I bake that calls for flour and liquid (for about 1/4 the total).

King Arthur also has a really nice selection of discard recipes:

lenb's picture

Wanted to thank all who posted replies.  I may start feeding my starter even more frequently.

Happy baking.