more baking

One of the first things you realise when you begin making sourdough bread is that you soon end up with a lot of leftover starter. About once a week, the starter needs to be refreshed, but only a few tablespoons of the current starter are needed for this.These few tablespoons, mixed with fresh water and flour, now become your new starter. Left to bubble away, it is soon ready to be used for a new loaf. The remainder of the old starter is now redundant.

You could of course throw the old  starter away. It is after all just flour and water. Yet somehow it is much more than that. The wild yeasts have turned a thick, bland paste into something alive and almost magical. It has the sweet /sour smell of a milky baby. It bubbles and froths with latent energy. It seems a crime to throw it away.
I toy with the idea of leaving pots of it on neighbours' doorsteps; a note attached 'please look after me'.

But fortunately there is no need for such drastic action. 
Vanessa from has useful recipes for using leftover starter on the members' area of her website.
These scones, enriched with redundant starter, were some of the lightest and most flavourful I have made.

And looking for a way to use our plum harvest ( the plums shown below are the sum total of the yield this year) I adapted another of Vanessa's recipes to make a delicious plum sponge.

Both recipes were delicious and a good way to use up the lovely,creamy gloopy starter.

With talk of plums and with blackberries beginning to ripen on the hedgerows, it seems like autumn is not far away.

And this morning we awoke to thick clouds and mist after the overnight rain.

Autumn is at the door, but not I hope before we have enjoyed some more summer sun.

Happy weekend x 


  1. This is so timely - I am about to feed my sourdough starter! I particularly like the look of the plum sponge.

    1. Hello Felicity. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry I haven't put more details or a link to the recipe, but the full instructions are on the password protected area of's website for the use of people who have done the course, so I thought it better not to publish the full recipe. Happy sourdough baking! I'm finding it is becoming slightly addictive!

  2. The more I read the more I am tempted by one of the courses! Your scones and plum cake both look delicious.

    1. Hello Gina. I think I must have spent about a year looking at the course online before I finally took the plunge! I'm very glad I did though and I can really recommend it.

  3. Autumn is almost certainly just around the corner, I just don't feel that we have had much of a summer this year. Love the look of the plum sponge.

  4. That plum cake looks absolutely delicious, and actually reminds me of the Polish cakes we ate when I was little (although my grandma's speciality was apple). I'm kicking myself now for stewing the greengages I bought at the weekend!
    Beautiful pictures, too. I'm writing this very early in the day and my mouth's watering...
    S :)

  5. Gosh, those bakes look so very good. I do miss a good scone; vegan versions just don't quite cut the mustard. Autumn is creeping in, isn't it? Have to admit it's my favourite season and I can almost smell it!


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