Your sourdough discard is a valuable resource …
Throwing away excess sourdough always seems like a terrible waste to me, as I’m sure it does to you too. There are of course lots of ways you can use it apart from baking bread (like pancakes, brownies, muffins, waffles, cookies, cookies for the dog etc.) but here’s another idea: turn it into sourdough powder and store it for the future, or give some away to your friends.
Here’s what I do …
Take the portion of sourdough that you would usually discard and roll it out with a rolling pin if you have a stiff starter or spread it on a baking sheet. Bake it until it becomes it completely dry. You can also play with the oven temperature to obtain different levels of toasting.
After cooling you can turn these sheets into powder by using a pestle and mortar a blender or a milling unit.
What’s the result?
You’ll have a powder with the consistency of flour and a colour and flavour that reflects the starter you have, perhaps a roasted, cereal, fruity, lactic or acetic sourness. You can influence the flavour of your sourdough ‘flour’ by changing the baking time of your pancakes, or blending different results together for new flavours.
There are many different ways you can use your sourdough powder. Here are just a few ideas (though I’m sure your creativity will find even more):
• Use it as a flavouring agent in your next bake. Just add some (1 to 5%) into your next mix.
• Use it to dust your baking table, instead of flour
• Use it to dust the top of your bread before scoring
• Create new colour combinations for your bread by using stencil decorations on the top of your bread
• Boost your pizza crust by incorporating extra sourdough powder
• Cover potatoes with it before roasting them in the oven to get a special crust
• Use part of it to replace your flour when next you are making béchamel (white) sauce – it’ll create an extra special taste for your meal
You can keep your sourdough powder in a closed airtight jar for about 3 to 6 months. Store it in a cool place but not necessarily in the refrigerator.
As you can see sourdough discard can be used in all sorts of ways to differentiate and raise your cooking and baking to new heights.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.
May the flavour be with you.
Karl De Smedt
follow me : @the_sourdough_librarian