Sourdough backlog

A three-day weekend meant I had time to work through my backlog….of sourdough.

Here’s the thing with sourdough. You feed your little pet but you don’t feed all of it because if you do, you end up with more than you know what to do with. You feed only a portion of your starter and either throw the rest away or use it. (King Arthur Flour has blog posts devoted to how to use up your excess starter.)

Several weeks ago I fed the whole thing. And then did the same the following week. Think of it like a nest full of baby birds, all chirping “feed me!”

Fast forward to this weekend, when I had about 32 ounces of beautiful sourdough starter, filling multiple containers. Yeah, I know it’s just flour and water, but the idea of feeding only 4 ounces and throwing away the other 28 ounces of beautiful bubbling starter was just wrong.

In addition, in the back of my head I could hear the chef who teaches my current baking class, lecturing us about how we should never throw anything away, because it can always be repurposed. For example, accidentally use way too much salt in a dough? Make some kind of dough decoration. Mess up the cookies so they don’t look attractive? Grind them into crumbs and use them to decorate a cake. (I had some in the freezer and did just that this weekend.)

So with all of that lovely starter, I made several loaves and lots of rolls, using one of my favorite King Arthur Flour sourdough bread recipes, which includes whole-wheat flour as well as seeds and flaked whole grains. (For each roll, I used about 55 grams/2 ounces of dough.) In many sourdough recipes, you can use fed or unfed starter.

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We now have lots of great-tasting bread in the house, and I am back down to reasonable sourdough proportions. I know you were worried about me.

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