This is my discard jar, lovingly called the monster mash. I refer to all my sourdoughs as creatures, and this is the place where they end up when they’re old and tired or when I have leftovers from a refreshment feeding.
Nothing gets wasted, even that old and tired sourdough still has a purpose. I have a lot of recipes that are specially built to deal with them.
But discards aren’t the only thing in the monster mash. It’s the final resting place for a lot of old goodies like leftover pizza dough, water porridge, stale muesli (without milk) or ground up nuts and seeds that need to get used up. Cold coffee makes a great feeding liquid btw. For some reason, the sourdough bacteria love coffee just as much as I do and show a level of activity afterwards that’s mindblowing!
The Monster Mash also eats up the dusting flour from my baker’s bench and the bannetons, which doesn’t sound like much, but I bake 2-3 times a week and when I make things like ciabatta, it amounts to quite a bit.
I clean out the jar about every 4-6 weeks. That way the mash doesn’t get too sour and there’s actually some oomph left in it. If I’m late for some reason, I turn the mash into things like pancakes or waffles and just use a teaspoon of baking soda in my recipes. It helps with the lift and cuts the acidicy.
So come on, start your own discard jar. The stuff is too precious to just throw away.