Sourdough inspiration!

I’ve not done a whole lot of baking before, but I’m trying to get more into it, especially as I’ve had a lot of free time over summer.

I started up a sourdough starter a few months ago, which I’ve not tried before. So far I’ve done basic sourdough bread, pizza, some cracker things (which were amazing and crisp straight from the oven, but soft and bready by the morning, even being kept in a jar).

I’m enjoying doing the bread, but my amount of free time is going to drop shortly, so I doubt I’ll be getting round to making a loaf a week. Of course, with sourdough, you need to keep it going, which means either chucking starter out every week, which I don’t want to do, or making something with some.

So… any suggestions? Preferably stuff that doesn’t need active attention. Simple mix and use/leave overnight or suchlike is perfect, stuff that requires kneading (and associated cleanup) or attention to not over-prove less so. Though saying that, I’m still going to try some more elaborate stuff sometimes, just not every week.

Thanks for any suggestions!


Bon Appetit’s Brad made pizzelles with sourdough which is probably more work and time-intensive than you want but I wonder if you couldn’t mix some starter into waffle batter?

Actually this idea is very similar to wonky’s idea.

Hmm, I’ve never tried making waffles- I’m English, they’re not such a big thing over here. Neither are pancakes, except one day of the year, and ours are a lot thinner and more crepe like.

Do you know any fairly basic recipes? When I’ve looked at US pancake recipes before, they tend to include stuff that isn’t that easy to get hold of here, or things that aren’t quite the same as UK versions.

I used to have the “best waffle recipe in the world” until I started making sourdough waffles, which put my old ones to shame. Crispy outside, light and chewy inside, absolutely perfect. I like this recipe:

I’ve tried the pancake version as well, and it’s not as impressive.

Dammit, I start a thread in the hopes of avoiding throwing stuff out, 4 posts in and I need to buy a waffle iron… :smiley:

If the waffles don’t turn out to be the hoped-for solution, I suggest hunting for ingenious methods of making kneading and clean-up simpler and easier.

Just wait until we get to the recipes that require a wood-fired oven.

If you have a hiking boot, you just make pancakes and…

On topic: No-Knead bread

The King Arthur Flour website has a bunch of recipes for discarded starter.

You don’t need to feed your starter every week. I keep Steve in the fridge and refresh two days before I’m ready to bake. He’s a bit neglected right now, since we’ve been away, but he’s come back to life just fine this iteration.

I prefer a firm style starter, rather than the wet batter type. I feel like it’s easier to tell if it’s active - if it doubles in volume in 12 hours, it’s good to go.

This is a blog post featuring Maggie Glezer’s wisdom which I followed in the care and creation of Steve.

The cost of keeping a sourdough starter alive is like, 15 cents of flour a week and even less if you keep it in the fridge. I know it feels wasteful to toss edible food in the trash but its far less hassle than constantly having to come up with sub par recipes just to “use” the starter.

A starter is a lifestyle and anything that you can do to keep the starter going is ultimately better than “more efficient” solutions that are marginally harder and cause you to abandon the starter.

If its time to feed and you can’t think of something then and there to use the starter for, just toss the unused starter in the trash and don’t give it a second thought.

edit: similarly, I don’t really advocate for most people keeping their starter in the fridge. If you’ve ever found a tupperware container at the back of the fridge that’s been there for months, chances are, that’s what’s going to happen to your starter given enough time.

Label its jar with its birthday and give it a name.

Your starter is alive. Don’t think of it as wasting food so much as feeding a member of the family!

Or perhaps like a tree, needing pruning as well as fertilizer. If not every pruned branch makes it into the fireplace, we don’t consider it a terrible loss.

There is something else you can do, if you don’t want to bake every week. It does take some planning when you’re ready to gear back up again, though.

Paint your starter on the back of a very clean cookie sheet and allow it to dry. You can then flake it off and keep it in the freezer indefinitely until ready to use.

To reanimate, simply place flakes in your standard flour/water mixture, leave out and let it do its thing for a couple of days. Not-quite-instant starter!

Here’s a sourdough pancake recipe you might like to try:

The night before, mix well (to incorporate some air) 1 cup of your sourdough starter with 1½ cups of all purpose flour and 1 cup of warm water (85°-90°). Leave at warm room temperature (70°-85°) overnight, covered well with plastic wrap.

The next morning, remove 1 cup of the starter mixture. You can refrigerate or toss, as you prefer.

Then mix the remaining 1½ cups of starter with

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon of sugar (or more if you like)
1 Tablespoon of melted butter
¾ Teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon (generous) of baking soda
2 Tablespoons of milk

Try to have your ingredients at room temperature. This will help to make more tender pancakes.

Bake on a 400° griddle.

Jennifer already has a name… I’ve had it two months, I live by myself, c’mon:stuck_out_tongue:

Some good suggestions, thanks! Jennifer’s batter style, and does generally live in the fridge. At the front, where it’s less likely to get ignored. But I know me, it’s less likely to get ignored if I’m using it to make stuff, if I’m just discarding bits, that’s when it gets forgotten. I will try and dry some out as an emergency backup though.
On a side note; it’s really annoying, you search for sourdough recipes in this country, you just get pages of the same 3 recipe sites, which basically have the same few bread recipes, slightly tweaked.

Nothing wrong with that, if all the recipes are good ones. One excellent bread recipe is worth 20 mediocre ones.

I have no problem refrigerating my starter. I take it out Friday morning, and let it sit out all day while I’m at work. When I get home, I use 200 grams for my dough (I make 2 ~2lb loaves every Saturday), take the 50 grams that are left and put them in another container with 100g flour and 100g water, stir it up really good, and put it back in the fridge. Zero discard, zero waste. Sometimes I leave it out to make enough for sourdough pancakes Saturday morning, but only if I want to, not to “use up the discard” or anything.

I think gozleme may be your answer. It is a stuffed Turkish flatbread that you cook in a frying pan or on a hot plate. You can get away with filling them with anything you have on hand. This page pretty much covers the process. Really popular are minced lamb, onion and spinach gozlemes spread with hummos, chillis and greek yogurt. I have recently taken to making versions with spiced fruit. You only need a small amount of dough to make a meal for two or three people.