Feeding a Sourdough Starter without Having to Discard: a Method

As shown in the last post, there are lots of ways to feed a sourdough starter. Most of the time, newbies learn a method that involves regularly discarding (i.e., throwing away or repurposing) half or almost all of the starter they maintain. But it’s not the only way. Below is a look at feeding a sourdough starter without having to discard–and how and why it can be better.

Feeding a sourdough starter without having to discard: a method / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy

In what sometimes feels like another life from the one we’re now living, my husband, Tim, and I wrote a cookbook, The Einkorn Cookbook. While it was primarily about featuring 100+ recipes for ancient (original, nonhybridized) wheat, it included a few recipes for sourdough. We (he) developed those recipes during our household’s first season with sourdough–one in which we discarded a big chunk of the starter every time we baked. I loved the bread; I hated the discarding. We both wished there were a better way.

Turns out, there is.

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Feeding a Sourdough Starter Grapes: an Experiment

There are lots of methods for feeding a sourdough starter. Each baker has his or her own way. But: feeding your starter grapes? Once I heard this idea, I had to try it. Here’s what happened.

Feeding a sourdough starter grapes: an experiment / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
The idea: add a handful of halved grapes into a sourdough starter, see if it jumpstarts growth.

Google around for how to find a sourdough starter, and you’ll see a lot of opinions. You can get a starter from a friend (or a local bakery) or buy a starter online. If you’re adventurous, you might grow your own. (This post from almost a year ago lists a bunch of the possibilities.)

Because sourdough starters are, fundamentally, just a mixture of flour and water and air, making your own is totally doable–but not without some difficulty. That’s why many bakers have found little helps to accelerate activity and simplify the process. One example: feeding a sourdough starter green grapes.

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Meet Joe Gomez, Who Sells Sourdough in Nashville

Here in Nashville, Joe Gomez is a full-time filmmaker who’s also a hobbyist baker, selling sourdough loaves from his kitchen in town. Keep reading to hear his thoughts on feeding people, scaling up sourdough bakes, working in Music City and, whether making movies or baking bread, what advice he has to offer on pursuing creative work.

Meet Joe Gomez, Nashville sourdough baker / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
Joe’s freshly baked sourdough loaves. Photo used with permission from Joe Gomez

If you’re a sourdough baker, from Nashville, working in a creative field or otherwise curious about any of those things, you’ll love reading this interview with Joe Gomez.

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Meet Nashville Sourdough Baker William Kruse of Goldfinch Bakery

If you live in Nashville and shop either Produce Place or Whole Foods, you’ve probably seen the artisan loaves of sourdough that feature 615 (our area code) in flour on the tops. These locally made breads are an example of the work of William Kruse, a Nashville sourdough baker with more than two decades of experience. Come learn more about him here!

Meet Nashville Sourdough Baker William Kruse of Goldfinch Bakery / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
a loaf of the signature 615 sourdough from Goldfinch Bakery, purchased at the Green Hills Whole Foods Market in Nashville

While I was gathering feedback from experienced sourdough bread bakers for the last Q + A, Nashville sourdough bakery William Kruse of Goldfinch Bakery was kind enough to give me his thoughts, too. What I love about his perspective is the breadth of experience–he’s been baking sourdough since before there was Google! Based off Trousdale Road in South Nashville, his bakery, Goldfinch Bakery, specializes in locally made, naturally fermented breads. Kruse says he uses minimal ingredients, slow-process fermentation and wild yeast.

So if you’ve ever wondered what a professional sourdough baker–one with products in Music City’s own grocery stores–would have to teach you, you’ll love scrolling through this interview as much as I did. Keep reading below!

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What 4 Experienced Sourdough Bakers Would Tell You

After you’ve been baking sourdough bread for a while, certain questions tend to come up. Should you deviate from recipes? When and how? Could you turn your sourdough hobby into a business? What’s involved? Where do you go from here? So consider the following Q + A as your chance to get answers. Here’s what four experienced sourdough bakers would tell you!

What 4 Experienced Sourdough Bakers Would Tell You / A Q + A at Go Eat Your Bread with Joy

All across America (and Canada!) there are home and professional bakers who have been measuring ingredients, slapping dough and testing sourdough bread recipes for years. Some of them are baking purely for pleasure, some teach classes, some develop recipes and some have dedicated followings online. Thanks to their experience, though, they offer a treasure trove of valuable information for the new or growing baker!

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What 5+ New Sourdough Bread Bakers Would Tell You

If you’re still on the fence about trying to bake sourdough, check out the following Q + A. Almost none of the five (update: make it six!) women featured in it were keeping a starter this time last year, and yet now they’re using words like “magical,” “miracle” and “fun.” Come read and see.

What 5+ New Sourdough Bread Bakers Would Tell You / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
pictured: an example of a sourdough loaf baked by me, who started last May

What would new sourdough bread bakers across America have to tell you about entering the world of naturally leavened bread? This past week, thanks to six voluntary interview participants, I got to find out.

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