Don’t Waste Your Starter

Last weekend we made pancakes for the granddaughters and we used some waste starter to flavor the batter. We made more batter than we needed, because that was what the recipe called for, so I saved the leftover in a mason jar in the refrigerator. I cooked that this morning, one week later…perfect pancakes, even better that they were last week when the batter was ‘fresh.’ Now it is a week later after having fermented in cold storage all week and the food was excellent.

Here is a perfectly good recipe, from Mother Earth News in 1985…

2 cups of sourdough sponge (prepared the night before from 1 cup of starter, 1 cup of flour, and 1 cup of tepid water as described above)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of sugar (or 1 tablespoon of honey)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons of tepid water.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. Beat the whites until they’re fluffy, then fold in the sugar or honey. Beat the yolks lightly and add the salt. Now stir the sourdough sponge into the egg yolks, then gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Finally, mix the baking soda with the water and blend this into the batter by hand.

Drop the batter by large spoonfuls onto a well-greased, preheated (medium-hot) griddle—or use a seasoned cast-iron frying pan. Cook the pancakes until they are golden brown on both sides, flipping them only once, when the tops are full of bubbles.

I, of course, did not prepare my sourdough sponge yesterday. Today as I was making my bread for the week, instead of throwing out my leftover starter I used it in this recipe. This morning i fed my starter, made pancake batter for next week and put it all in a quart mason jar in the refrigerator, and made my leaven for this weeks bread, all with the starter from last week.

I don’t know if I will make pancake batter every week, but it certainly makes me feel much more efficient if I can use some of the sourdough starter that I had been throwing out.

You can also make sourdough breads that are quick breads, like the Indian bread Naan.

Here are some other leftover starter recipes, collected by King Arthur Flour, which is where I go when I want genuine whole wheat ideas, too.

King Arthur Flour Discard Starter Recipes:

Well, it’s time to mix up this week’s pre-dough, so that tonight I can start the bulk fermentation process.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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