When I’m feeding my levain at 10:30 at night, I’m not much in the mood for spending five minutes mashing the stiff levain discards into a pulp.
Last night, half asleep on my feet, and with no more room in my discards jar, I divided it, dumping a third into a clean jar. Then I chunked the most recent levain discards, tossed them into the smaller batch jar with some filtered water, and set them in the oven with the light on for warmth.
In the morning, the mess looked like this. Chunks were plainly visible, and some of the added water floated atop a milky layer. Surprisingly, though, the chunks were nearly hydrated and stirred easily into the spongy mass.
After stirring the sweetly yeasty mass, I capped it loosely with the lid and set it in the fridge, next to its fuller mate. Today, I’ll use some of this starter to make an apple-cranberry coffee cake.
Hooray! One time-eating step eliminated. At this time of year especially, when I’m running on fumes as it is, every five minutes I save is a tiny happy dance victory–if I had any extra energy to do a happy dance, that is.
At my age, I parcel out my energy like cookies when the jar is nearly empty. Gotta save those happy dances for the fun times with the fam and friends as we enjoy the sparkliest bits of the season, but that doesn’t stop me from bouncing a little as I step from the table to the fridge.