One of the downsides of baking sourdough is that keeping the starter fresh and lively involves a certain amount of waste. There is the old, sour leaven that’s been kept in the fridge for a while, before feeding as the first stage of making a loaf, as well as the spare ripe leaven that it becomes after refreshing. We thought that it would be an interesting experiment to see what happens if you add the leftover leaven to a yeasted loaf, as a way of using it rather than throwing it away. The leaven we used wasn’t too sour (7 days since the last refresh) – it didn’t have a layer of liquid hooch on top, and didn’t smell too acidic.
The resulting loaf was delicious, with a hint of sourdough flavour. Perfect for toasting, or freezing, so here’s our leftover sourdough starter recipe. Adapt the recipe for the quantities of leaven you have.
Other delicious sourdough includes – our slow fridge risen no knead sourdough, or our cranberry chocolate sourdough muffins which also use up leftover leaven.
A loaf to use up leftover sourdough leaven
- 180 g sour leaven
- 400 g bread flour (60% white and 40% wholemeal)
- 250 ml water
- Glug olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 g dried yeast
- Bake it the same way as a standard yeasted loaf.
- Bring the ingredients together and then knead the dough thoroughly.
- Allow to bulk raise until it’s about doubled in volume, and feels springy to the touch.
- Turn out of the bowl, knock back and form into a loaf, and place in a buttered baking tin.
- Allow to rise again and then bake at 180°C fan / 350°F (fan) / Gas mark 6 for 40 minutes.
- It’s done when it sounds hollow on the bottom when tapped.
- Use up leftover leaven in our leftover sourdough leaven loaf