Sourdough, a lesson in patience and discipline

I’ve recently restarted keeping a sourdough starter. This marks my 4th starter that I’ve cultivated since becoming introduced to the concept, the other three have sadly been given up on by me or killed by various roommates. The thing no one can really prepare you for in beginning your sourdough adventure is that it’s the equivalent of having a pet. You have to feed it regularly and care for it. Sure you can leave it for up to a week unattended if you pop it in the fridge but longer than that and you need to have a friend come take care of it or you need to make larger preparations to put it into hibernation. It’s not hard or difficult to maintain though and feeding it daily takes less than ten minutes. You simply remove the majority of your mature starter and then feed it fresh flour and water. Most of the time, unless you’re preparing to bake from it you do nothing to it and have no interaction with it. If you’re keeping your starter in the fridge the amount of interaction you have with it is even less, being reduced to the already mentioned ten minutes once a week.

The hard part is two fold for me. First,  finding something to do with your discarded starter or coming to terms with throwing out a large portion of it every feeding. And second, building the discipline to feed it regularly. This historically has been the hard part for me, most of my life I’ve struggled with self discipline. I’m the king of procrastination and one of my favorite games to play is “Do I really need to go to the grocery store?” But if I don’t feed my starter it will die and I will no longer be able to make delicious baked goods from it. So far I’m on week three of daily feedings for my starter. I’m happy to report it’s fairly active with a good rise and a fruity smell. As for the discard, I’ve discovered a fairly simple and delicious biscuit recipe that makes use of my discard each day. While it’s more biscuits than I can/should eat in a day I like to take a page from Terry Pratchett and store my excess biscuits in my community members. After all Community is Security.

SOURDOUGH DISCARD BISCUITS
Makes 6-8 biscuits

Dry ingredients:
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp. Salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Butter, cold
1 Cup Mature Sourdough Starter

Combine dry ingredients in bowl and whisk together.
Cut butter into dry ingredients until crumbly dough is formed
Mix in sourdough starter
Knead until Stiff dough is formed
Pat Dough down to 3/4 inch and cut biscuits
Bake on non-greased tray at 420 for 12-15 mins

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Chuck

Hailing from the gently rolling hills of South Eastern PA, my favorite hobby is collecting obscure skill sets. This desire has lead me on all sorts of adventures from art school to Ship rigging and sailing, with brief stops along the way making and selling candy and working in a print shop. I'm constantly devouring books and knowledge to embark on new projects and adventures, I hope you'll join me on the journey.

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