Stop keeping multiple jars of sourdough starter. You don’t have to feed your discard! Read on to find out why feeding your discard is actually more wasteful than ditching it or using it for other things.
Now I mean this the best of intentions and sourdough love – stop keeping multiple jars of sourdough starter.
You really only need one.
Now hear me out before you start yelling at me through your screen …
I often have people message me with photos of multiple jars of starter and ask me to tell them which one looks like it’s the healthiest.
Or tell me that they are feeding three different jars with three different types of flour.
Or worse – they keep making more jars of starter from their sourdough discard. Stop!
Now I’m all for experimenting, seriously, nobody loves a bit of trial and error more than me. But maintaining multiple jars of sourdough starter is a bit crazy and it can become wasteful and expensive!
If you’re looking for my easy instructions on making a sourdough starter, you’ll find them here.
Make One Strong & Healthy Sourdough Starter
Sourdough starters take time to mature and develop. While they can rise bread from around two weeks old, you won’t fully see what they’re capable of for a good few months at least.
When it’s mature, a good sourdough starter will have a fuller flavor, peak within 2-6 hours of feeding and be able to produce a light, airy crumb worthy of only the best butter.
You can read more about how to tell if your sourdough starter is ready here.
Getting it to this point takes a lot of feeding, nurturing and care.
If you are doing this for three or even more jars, it’s going to take a lot of flour and time. These resources ultimately cost you money (and sometimes your sanity).
Put your effort into one fantastic sourdough starter.
While you’re building your starter, you can use the discard to bake some wonderful treats – or even use your discard in your chicken feed or on your compost. This sourdough discard bread recipe is my favorite way of using discard.
Making A Sourdough Starter for a Friend
If you want to make a sourdough starter for your friend at the same time as yours then don’t actually make two. That’s way too much work.
Make one fantastic sourdough starter, let it mature and develop into all its bubbly goodness.
Then when it’s ready, put half of it in a jar and give it to your friend … or whoever else wants some.
Your friends and family will appreciate receiving a mature starter, rather than one they have to keep feeding. They’ll be able to bake beautiful sourdough bread straight away! And all of this results in much less waste.
Different Starters For Different Flours
Want a rye, spelt and white starter. Great. Just make a really awesome, bubbly starter then you can create offshoots from the mature starter.
Did you know that you can bake any type of sourdough from one type of sourdough starter. Now that might sound strange, but let me explain.
Say you want to bake a Rye Sourdough, but your starter is fed with All Purpose Flour.
It’s fine, you can bake a Rye Sourdough with an All Purpose Starter. And vice versa – you could bake a white flour sourdough with a Rye Flour starter.
When you have a lovely, mature sourdough starter you can pretty much turn it into anything you like.
You’ll find a list of the 10 essential ingredients you should have in your sourdough pantry here.
Want a fun name for your sourdough starter? You’ll find 90+ suggestions to name your sourdough starter here.