As we've worked through Local Breads by Daniel Leader, we have quickly realized that we could fill our refrigerators and counter-tops with nothing but starters of various types and pedigrees. Literally.
Bread bakers, do you keep multiple starters?
In our dream kitchen, we'd have the space, the resources, and (especially) the time to keep and bake with multiple starters.
We'd keep separate stiff and liquid levains for multiple kinds of sourdough. We'd nurture a separate rye starter for authentic German loaves. We'd keep a couple chunks of pate fermentée on hand should the need arise (no pun intended). We'd do it in a heartbeat!
But it just doesn't seem practical for a home baker. The times that we've kept more than one starter, we found that we ended up discarding more in the refreshing process than we used for actual baking.
Still, we were rewarded for our dedication with some of the most beautiful and flavorful loaves we've ever baked.
What do you think? Is it worth it? If you keep multiple starters, how often do you bake with each of them?
Related: Recipe: Beginner Sourdough Loaf
(Images: Flickr members Despotes, Skills0, mccun934, and foeopoooey licensed under Creative Commons)