Sourdoughs and SCOBYs

Sourdough Discard

Andrew Janjigian, a world-class baker, chef, recipe tester, and recipe writer recently published a terrific rant on the uselessness of sourdough discard. (Often sourdough bread recipes expect very exacting amounts of sourdough starter and when preparing a sourdough starter the night before a bake, it is not always possible or practical to hit a target in the bullseye. Hence, leftovers also known as sourdough discard.) Janjigian’s thoughts are that tiny amounts of sourdough added to a recipe, often without anytime to actively ferment, are mere tokenism. And if there is going to be enough sourdough starter to make a difference in a recipe, why not go all the way and make your baked-thingy a sourdough one.

Nonetheless, Janjigian finds it no easier than any of the rest of us to discard excess starter. He is a real precisionist baker so he is much more likely than me to have some leftover. I’ve been working through a handful of recipes that he recently published for using sourdough discard. I’m not certain if you have to subscribe to his substack like I have in order to see the recipes and for that reason will not be publishing his recipes here. Go to his website yourself and look at his newsletters.

Sourdough Granola

I could not believe how good this was. The sourdough glop, mixed with olive oil, honey, and vanilla coats the oats and unsweetened coconut and then in the low-temperature oven slowly bakes into, well, a sweetbread coating. It was so addictive that I made a second batch using a rye starter and some local strawberries I had just dried.

Sourdough Korean Style Pancakes

We (my son Isaac is an excellent cook and he joined me for a day in the kitchen) used fresh corn, and chopped fresh scallions, diced garlic scapes, and finely chopped carrots and daikon. We made a thin batter with the sourdough. We fried in vegetable oil and served with two kinds of kimchi and a spicy soy-vinegar-gochuguaru dipping sauce.

Fortunately, we made a double batch.

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