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what to do with leftover sourdough starter

krekdayam's picture

what to do with leftover sourdough starter

In Poland, I recently had some great soup. Accompanied by some nice Pivo, Zurek is a great way to battle the cold. There are dozens of recipes on the internet, but it is rye starter with things, a very flexible recipe. Half of a boiled egg and the rye starter are the only constants. So good, and good for you.

Floydm's picture

Zurek is awesome.  I tried making Zurek a while back and didn't have much luck but I should try again.

SylviaH's picture

Sounds very good and the photo looks yummy...would be nice to have a recipe!


dstroy's picture

Thank you! Post your recipe please!! <3 <3 <3

I'm actually making a simple soup which I've forgotten the name of, which we'll have with some of Floyd's bread tonight. I'd love to have some good Zurek again, something we've only had success making using little packets that my grandmother gave me last time we were in Warsaw, but that's just not the same.

davec's picture

I love soup, but I know nothing of zurek.  I, too am looking forward to your recipe(s).


johnster's picture

While I typically describe my ancestry as "Euro-mutt", a full 25% of that is Bohemian.  We used to eat out at Bohemian restaurants a lot back while growing up in Chicago, and I often had these WONDERFUL Bohemian-Czech-European soups that I still long for, now.  Both goulash and liver dumpling soups are the first ones that come to mind.  Yes, recipes would be outstanding! 


By the way, I'm happy to share my recipe for Bohemian dumplings made with stale bread, although it's so simple that I feel embarrassed!  (I had to learn how to make these from scratch since outside of Chicago, I cannot find this type of frozen dumpling at the grocery store any more.) 


Floyd, I read your post about your last attempt at Zurek and about your frustration with the Kielbasa.  If you are interested, there is a phenomenal site about making your own sausage that I just love, and have gotten a few recipes off of:


The sweet Italian is on my hit list!




tbednarick's picture

I would really enjoy the dumpling recipe and serving suggestions.  My husband is of Czech and Hungarian decent and loves traditional recipes.



johnster's picture



This is the recipe taught to me by a German exchange student which I, later, corroborated with two other cookbooks: one was "Czech Cuisine" by Joza Brizova and Maryna Klimentova, and I cannot recall the other book.




4 cups bread cubes (stale)

4 cups flour (I use AP flour)

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp salt




Cut the bread into cubes early in the day and leave out to dry.  

When ready to cook, mix flour, yolks, salt, and milk together into a paste.  It will be a wet and sticky dough.  Gradually, work in the bread cubes.  You only need to work them enough to get them integrated into the dough.  (Some will fall out, and I just work them right back in.)

Form into two logs about two to two and a half inches in diameter.  Place in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, then roll over and continue to boil for another 10-12 minutes on the other side.  

When you pull them, check the center by cutting them open.  The dough should be cooked through.  If there is any raw dough in the center, put back in the water until finished.


Cut slices one inch thick and serve with gravy (my favorite) or butter (my mother's favorite).  


I serve these with roasted duck with homemade gravy made from the thickened drippings (definitely, eat this dish AFTER your blood cholesterol test, and not before!), along with saurkraut.   They are also served with roasted pork, or fried pork tenderloin.


I hope that you enjoy!



tbednarick's picture

Thank you so much.  I think I will try this with a pork roast with saurkraut.  I just won the good cholesterol award at my Dr. this week, so no worries :)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Slightly different method of mixing but basically the same...


leftover bread dumplings, semmelknödel  

These Dumplings are air drying a little bit before hitting the boiling hot water.  After frying, the bacon in the corner is intended as dressing for hot cabbage salad.  Everything for a crispy crust pork roast, Austrian style!   Yummmmm!

gaaarp's picture

Mini,  would you mind posting your recipe for dumplings?  Those look fantastic!


md_massimino's picture

This soup looked fantastic, so I went on a googlequest to find a recipe.  This one looks like the real deal, and it has pictures and detailed instructions for every step along the way.

I'll be making a version of this next weekend, but substituting my rye starter for the zakwas referenced in the recipe.


md_massimino's picture

I made this soup last weekend and it was astounding!  A great winter meal, especially with a home baked hunk of rye to go with it.  I server it for the adults at my son's birthday party and it was a raging success.  I'll definitely do it again.

The recipe below this post also looks really good, gonna try that one next.

krekdayam's picture

I have never written an exact recipe for food, working in R&D, I have a compulsive need to always change something. It surprised me that someone actually would be interested in a recipe for Zurek, so I have made it thrice in the last weekI have taken notes aplenty.  The following is not true to the process, or the authentic recipe of Zurek in Poland, but it's true to the spirit of this soup.  


300g Rye sourdough starter, best if it hasn't been fed for a couple days and has a really strong smell

750 g Beef broth ( 4 -5 bones baked for a couple hours at low temperature, 175 C, then put everything into a pot with around 900 g water, boiled for an hour or so, reduce it to 750 g

300 g total Potato, 1 big one, or or 2 small ones (potatoes if you know Dan Quayle),

An Onion,  a head of garlic, and olive oil (around 150 g total) Olive oil is probably not authentic in Warsaw

200 g fried mushrooms

150 g smoked sausage

50 g bacon

400 g  sour cream, or tart yogurt

Maybe 20 g sal, depending on the sausage and how much was put in place in previous steps.

2 boiled eggs, cut into 8 total pieces


Lipotor and Zettia    



1) Roast the potatoes so they are crispy on the outside, soft on the interior.. boiling makes them soft, frying carries the oil, the objective is that they don't decompose when they are in the soup

b) fry onions, garlic, and mushrooms  in the olive oil, salt as desired

iii) cook the sausage and bacon... smoked is the most flavorful option 

IV) In a pot, add everything..the meat components, the mix of cooked onions, mushrooms, and garlic, the broth, the yougurt (or sour cream if it is available)

Five) bring to boil,  add potatoes and eggs at the end so they dont decompose 6) eat the soup . accompanie with the pivo

VII)  Enjoy the pivo while cooking, and while eating, Take Lipotor and Zettia to compensante for the indulgance


The best result was to use milk instead of water in making the beef broth, but that isn't authentic