I have been conducting experiments with my starter Isabel. Discard that was left on top of the fridge for 36 hours made very good focaccia that was left to ferment overnight on the counter. Discard from the cold box days old worked as well.
30 hour discard that was not mixed with the autolysed flour until after stretch and folds, left on the counter overnight with no rise, but given 4 sets of stretch and folds in the morning and counter risen another 4 hours still baked up nicely. She is indeed a hearty thing.
Sometimes it is a mistake that just happens, like forgetting to actually put the starter into the dough until it is time for the overnight rise. It had been a stressful day but seeing what it looked like in the morning and having nothing left to lose, somehow a nice loaf came out of the oven.
Her limit however, is leaving discard out until the 2nd day post feed until the end of the day. Overnight rise did not happen. There were but 10 bubbles on the surface of the flat dough. I waited until the afternoon only to see 6 additional bubbles on a flaccid flat of dough.
For the first time, a sourdough will go without baking, there is no point. Admittedly, I am disappointed, but only by testing to failure is it possible for find out just what one can actually do.
I have been using today’s discard in the evening for tomorrow morning’s bake and that has been a flavorful success. Don’t worry about mistakes, it is only flour, water, yeast and salt after all. I wasted a day’s bake and less than $1.00 to learn just what is possible and what is not.
If you have a sourdough discard focaccia failure to rise you have just learned something valuable.
Embrace failure. The learning is worth it.