The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour Commitment

Fost9508's picture
Fost9508

Flour Commitment

Something I have been thinking about is the amount of flour required for starters and sourdough.  It seems that if you don’t want to waste flour you either need to be baking daily/weekly or finding a use for the excess starter.  I don’t eat enough bread to constantly be baking so I’m curious what people do if they want to bake every couple of weeks while not wasting a bunch of flour.  

me I would like to keep doing this, but don’t like throwing away 80-100 grams of flour daily.

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Keep the starter in the fridge, only feed when you run low, or if it's losing activity. When done well, you can have no discard, or only occasionally if you don't bake for a while and need to feed the starter before using it.

Works better if you keep a rye starter.

Fost9508's picture
Fost9508

What would you feed schedule look like then while in fridge and then when you need to get ready to bake?

 

thanks

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Here is an example of a system for this sort of approach: https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40918/no-muss-no-fuss-starter

I'm less systematic, just have a 100% hydration rye starter. When baking, make a one or two stage levain from a tiny amount of starter, and it works well. Whenever I run low one the starter, or the levain is not very vigorous, I feed the main starter. Depending on how much I have left, I might discard some, or might not.

Discarded starter is kept in a separate jar in the fridge and occasionally used for discard bread, knackebrod, pancakes, banana bread, or whatever else.

Benito's picture
Benito

Keep the smallest amount of starter possible that way discard will be minimal.  I am currently baking twice per week, because I do overnight levains I don’t need much starter for each bake because the levain builds are high ratio, 1:6:6 for example.  Therefore when I feed my starter I only start with around 5 g of starter and then do fairly small feeds 1:3:3 or 1:4:4 and that gives me enough starter to do my two bakes and very little to discard when I need to feed again in 1 week.  

If you’re not feeding your starter at a minimum every two weeks you will want to do at least one build before making a levain.  So if you’ve kept at most 5-10 g of starter, you could refresh it by feeding it 1:2:2 so 5:10:10 and then have 25 g of starter.  Then to build a levain for one loaf of around 900 g many of my levains are about 115 g so you could take 20 g of your refreshed starter and build your levain 20:50:50 and have 5 g extra which you could add to your starter leaving you with 10 g of starter that has been refreshed and then can sit for up to two weeks to be used without refreshment.

Very little waste if any at all.

Benny

citygirlbaker's picture
citygirlbaker

Agree with Benny.  I keep 20g of starter and feed it 1:1:1 (which is still more than I need for baking around 2x a week so am thinking about keeping an even smaller amount).  I'll then build a levain prior to a bake.  This allows me to feed my starter 2x a day (1x every 12 hours) and not feel totally guilty about flour waste. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Another idea is the "scrapings" method: use all of your starter when baking except whatever sticks to the walls. Then every time you bake, feed the leftover scrapings in the jar, let it peak outside, use in the recipe, and then put the scrapings in the fridge. Repeat at the next bake.

This is the method from Bake with Jack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj6YpNCUYYQ

I suspect it works better with a rye starter than wheat (and whole grain than white flour), to keep the leftovers healthy for a log time.

zachyahoo's picture
zachyahoo

To be honest, I'm not concerned about this. I keep a small amount of starter in the fridge. I only end up throwing away a few spoonfuls of starter generally, so I'm not overly worried about the waste