The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Non-baking ways to use starter?

banananutmuffin's picture

Non-baking ways to use starter?

So since starter is basically a mix of flour and water, I'm thinking it can be used in less conventional ways. For example, I've been thinking about using my discarded starter as a thickener for beef stew and gravy. Has anyone tried this successfully? Are there any other non-baking (but still cooking) ways to use starter?

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

But waffles 

banananutmuffin's picture

Yeah, I make waffles a lot. And biscuits. Muffins. Brownies. I was thinking more along the lines of batters or thickeners or roux...

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Don't think gravy will work. How about dumplings? Crepes? Pancakes? Suppose anything where flour and water are the main ingredients. 

dabrownman's picture

pasta, cookie dough, dumplings, cakes, pie dough, latkes, kreplach, rugelach, matzoh balls. meatloaf, oriental wrappers, tortillas, Masa...  I've tried them all and they all work really well but now have no left overs at all -  not ever!   I like the not ever better but still make levain for all of them :-)

RobynNZ's picture

The Sourdough Surprises group used their starters in batter for fried food in their June project. I first learned of the group because Trailrunner alerted us to their pasta project.  Check out the rest of the archives, soon you'll find yourself making extra starter!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

test a spoonful first on a hot pan and see if it sets up.  That should give you ideas about using it for batter dips and for thickening gravy and such.  You might also be able to add a spoonful of flour to thicken a very thin starter and make crepes.  Stack and cool, roll up and cut home made tart noodles for broth soups.  Freeze also well.  

I wouldn't expect much browning or colour from mature sourdough starter.  Dipping and dredging into bread crumbs or shred bread or flaked nuts (coconut, nut flour) might be a way to get browning and added flavour.  

Might be an interesting Fondue pre-dip before a chunk of meat hits the hot oil.  Might want to add a little oil (sesame?) to the starter or some spices.  Curry or crushed smoked peppers.  Worth a try and report back.

Spread thin on parchment or plastic wrap and dry it.  Flip and dry some more.  Crumble (grind into powder) and use to flavour yeasted doughs.  Chips of wheat sourdough will soften up when soaked in water for a few hours.  

Forgot to mention sourdough facials and cold compresses for first aid.  

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I wanted to make an aurore/veloute sauce to put over some grilled root veg tonight and wondered if anyone had ever recruited leftover SD starter for such duty.  Turns the classical béchamel protocol on its head, but by god this worked.  And wouldn't you know, I ask TFL if anyone's made a white sauce with leftover starter and here's Mini ideating away 5 years ago.

If anyone's interested: 

1.  Dilute leftover starter to thin white sauce consistency (150-200% hydration?) with whatever stock you have on hand. Add more stock and a t or T of AP if you need more volume.

2.  Add flavors: tonight these were tomato paste, marsala, thyme, oregano, tiny drip of honey [starter was acidic] + salt.  Roasted garlic would work. 

3.  Microwave on 50% power for 6 minutes with one stir halfway through to thicken, esp if extra flour was added.  More traditional method would have called for a double-boiler but...this is 2019. 

4.  Put in food processor and drizzle in EVOO (lighter Provençal style - no butter) until glossy emulsion forms (a la mayonnaise).  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Heat and spoon over veg.

Crazy.  But crazy good. 

Buon appetito!