Using stiff sourdough discard
I am working on a NMNF starter, but currently I have discard of 62.5% hydration to use. I want to make a loaf of bread, but I don't know where to begin. I want to use as much discard as I can. The discard has been refrigerated for about 3 days.
If I have a 8stiff sourdough discard at 62.5% hydration, how do I use it in a recipe that doesn't specify starter hydration?
1. Do I assume the recipe means to use 100% hydration since it didn't specify?
If that is the case, I think I would take the 195g of discard (120g rye flour and 75g water) and add water to make it 100%. 120 - 75 = 45 so I would add 45g of water to the refrigerated starter. This would give me 240g of starter. The recipe may call for more or for less than that amount.
2. If I have extra after taking it to 100%, what do I do with the extra starter not needed for the recipe? Trash it? If I add it back to the other 62.5% starter in my refrigerator, that changes it from 62.5% to higher hydration so I shouldn't do that.
3. Do I have to feed it 3 times and let it double 3 times before using it? Or can I add yeast to the recipe and use the discard only for flavor?
4. How do I know my starter has the right kind of beasties in it? This worries me more than anything.
5. My rye starter is just a ball of dough and has been for a week. It has never grown at all. It never rises. No bubbles. I divide it every day and feed it. Kept 74-78°F. I remove 100g starter dough and feed it 60g rye flour and 50g water every day. I have no idea if it is doing its job or not.
This is such a headache...learning how to make sourdough starter for my diabetic husband. I may tell him he is just going to have to give up bread, since I am so frustrated with creating the starter and using the starter discard. I spend all my time reading posts and not baking anything or reading bread books. He may be buying sourdough from the store even though I know it is not very good. I have a headache and my eyes are crossing......