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Too Much Sourdough Starter? I Can Help



 A sourdough starter has only two ingredients: flour and water. Combined with unseen organisms of bacteria and yeasts and its mysterious ability to transform food, you’ll have a universe of possibilities.

It’s Tuesday night and I usually make bread on Wednesdays. I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed it. I check it. Does it still have bubbles? Is there hooch on top?  If I see a layer of dark liquid (called “hooch”) and no bubbles, this means my starter is really hungry and needs to be fed. As I get ready to feed it, I often have too much starter and I need to keep the ratios the same – equal portions of starter, flour, and water (1-1-1). If you have too much starter compared to the additional flour and water you’re adding, your hungry starter consumes all the nutrients and then it’s not as bubbly. Treat your starter like you would any pet in your home. It needs food, a little warmth, some love and it will make you all manner of yummy creations. Do you want to know if it’s ready to use? You can tell by the bubbles. It will have them all over. Then you know it’s ready to use. Look for the bubbles, that’s your sourdough starter smiling at you saying, “I’m ready for you.”

Extra Sourdough Starter?

Here are a few of the things you can do with extra sourdough starter. A great way to use up your leftovers is waffles or pancakes, or I have three other recipes that are not only easy to make but also really delicious. Super Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies and Peppermint Sourdough Brownies are perfect for the holidays or any time. You can also make Sourdough Dumplings with extra starter and it will turn any soup into a warm, comforting meal. Don’t waste your sourdough starter, put it to good use!

“It isn’t bread that feeds you; it is life and the spirit that feed you through bread.”Angelus Silesius

Chocolate Kefir Sourdough Waffles
Kefir Sourdough Waffles
Peppermint Sourdough Brownies
Sourdough Dumplings
Sourdough Snickerdoodle Cookies
12 Responses to "Too Much Sourdough Starter? I Can Help"
  1. I couldn’t seem to get to the peppermint kefir pie. Did I miss the link? Thanks. And Merry Christmas. I love your books!

  2. Hi Donna, thanks for the cool ideas. Funny you should post this because for the past few days I have been having a ball experimenting with my extra starter. making all kinds of concoctions like sour dough potato and onion waffles, and besan and sourdough dumplings on an Indian stew, and such! Apparently, unlike commercial yeast, sourdough will rise just about anything if you give it enough time!

  3. Hi Donna, my sour dough starter isn’t doubling, could that be because I’m grinding up whole wheat into flour? It’s too fresh? Thanks, Emma.

  4. Hi, Donna!

    I started to ferment when I discovered your website this summer and so far I’m good in fermenting cabbage and garlic. I started to make sourdough bread one or two weeks ago, after long period of anti candida diet and I’m so happy to eat bread again! This article came at just the best moment since I’m thinking of making a cake or two for Christmas, using sourdough starter. I’m subscribed to your newsletter so I’ll be grateful and happy if you post more ideas how to make healthy cakes for this time of the year. I wish you and your readers merry holidays!

    Jasenka, Croatia

  5. Can you go into more detail? You said that if you have more than 1-1-1 it won’t be fed very well. So if you take one part starter, one part flour and one part water, what do you do with the “leftover” starter IF YOU ARE NOT READY to use it in your above recipes?

  6. I have a question about using coconut oil in recipes. Is refined coconut oil okay to use in recipes that you are going to bake, or do you always need to use unrefined virgin coconut oil? I am new to your website and am learning so much. Thank you!

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