Speckled in Paste

No-knead sourdough bread.

My high school boyfriend and I are, these days, buds on Facebook, and therefore he is privy to my posts about baking and cooking. After I had extolled the wonders of what I made for dinner one night (chicken pot pie with sourdough pie crust), he asked “What’s with all the Sourdough?”

Being at times intractably didactic, I explained to him that when the lockdown started and a lot of people started baking at home, yeast was, initially, hard to find. As in unicorn-difficult. So many people started sourdough cultures, which when properly grown will produce all the leavening a loaf of bread could want–plus a slight tangy flavor that many people find pleasing.

It was only after I had said all this that I realized that he might have been asking why I kept talking about sourdough, so I had to explain that the way you keep your starter alive is by periodically giving the yeast in the starter more food: water and flour. To do this you measure out some starter, add an equivalent amount of water and flour, mix and let ripen. The starter you didn’t use? It is referred to as discard, and you throw it out (so that you do not wind up with enough unfed discard that it threatens to take over your home and devour the cat) or find alternate uses for it. At the moment I have a quart of discard in my fridge (and my regular starter ripening on the counter before it goes into hibernation in the fridge as well).

So far, in seeking ways to use up my discard, I have made sourdough pasta, sourdough pie crust, sourdough peach cobbler, sourdough pretzels, sourdough crackers, and sourdough crumpets. Continue reading “Speckled in Paste”