The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

zero waste sourdough starter

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

zero waste sourdough starter

baking with jack tip # 71

I have been baking with sourdough for decades. Initially, I followed bread cookbook recipes that would have me discard 70% or more of the starter.

Serendipitously, One bread baking day, I forgot to save some of my starter for the next bake. I had set the bowl of starter in the sink with hot soapy water!! I scraped about a half a teaspoon of starter stuck around the rim of the bowl into a clean small bowl, added Little bit of water, and flour, and murmured, “please grow”. And it did after several feedings!  That was 25 years ago, and I still use the same robust starter.

so the point is, you do not need to maintain a ridiculously large amount of sourdough starter. It Is wasteful.  You  change the acidity and flavor profile with the levain you build up from the initial tiny amount of starter.

Baking with Jack, shows you how.

Danni3ll3's picture

Been doing the same thing for several years. Check out the No Fuss No Muss or NFNM posts that Dabrownman has put up. We keep our starter in the fridge and then use small amount of that to build up for a bake. 

Martin Crossley's picture
Martin Crossley

Yes, I do it this way too - in fact I just retain 10g or so of the levain, just before I add it to the main dough. I feed that once before storage, so I’m generally keeping 30-40g between bakes. With smaller quantities than that it gets rather fiddly weighing everything.

I do sometimes end up doing a discard if I’ve not baked for more than a couple of weeks and I feel the stored starter needs to ‘come out to play’.