How To Store Sourdough Starter For Long Term

While you bake frequently, sourdough starter maintenance is an easy task for the short term. Feeding sourdough starter once a day at room temperature is just enough to keep it as healthy as possible. It comes a moment when you need to take a break or, you are to busy for the daily feeding-discarding process. Whatever the reason is, there are few ways to store sourdough starter for long term and keep it healthy until next time you are ready to bake.

Storing Sourdough Starter in Refrigerator

When stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, feeding a sourdough starter weekly or twice a week is just perfect. The reviving process will be easy without additional care required. But if you need a longer period, I don’t recommend this method because will take longer to revive.

The essential of storing a sourdough starter in the refrigerator is to reduce the hydration level and make a stiffer consistency. This is exactly opposed to the process when you bake at 100% hydration and requires a few simple steps.

  1. In a clean jar with lid, add the 20g mature starter and 100g flour you usually use for feedings
  2. Add 80g room temperature water and stir until all mixture is hydrated
  3. Secure the jar with a lid and let the fermentation start for about one hour
  4. Place the jar in the fridge

Reviving

Reviving your sourdough starter from the fridge is nothing more than the normal feeding process. But before starting, let the jar at the room temperature for an hour then stir the mixture to reincorporate everything. Discard down, add fresh flour and water then repeat this process every 12 hours. Is important to feed your starter at least 2-3 times and get it back to full strength before starting the baking session.

Drying a Sourdough Starter

Another method you can use to store sourdough starter is by drying it. This method is good when you stop baking for more than one month or you want to make a gift to a friend far away.

Before you start the drying process, make sure your starter is strong and healthy. Is better to feed your starter as though you were going to make a leaven. If was stored in the fridge take it out and follow the reviving process outlined above.

How to Make a Dry Sourdough Starter

Spread it on a thin film or paper towel and allow it to dry entirely until its brittle, break into smaller pieces and store it in an airtight container.  Store in a cool, dry place, not as cold as the refrigerator, on the counter is just fine.

Reviving dried sourdough starter

So then, how do you bring this starter back to life? Simple! Take a piece or more of your dried starter, place it in a jar and add lukewarm water to it. The water should barely cover the parts. Allow dissolving with occasional stirring. Then feed your starter, the water-flour ratio should be dependent on its quantity. Do this consecutively for two days without discarding any of it. On the third day, scoop out some and feed it, and that should be your baby’s regular feeding routine.

How To Store Sourdough Starter for Long Term FAQs

Q. What happens if I forget to feed the starter?                       

A.  Like mentioned earlier, a sourdough starter is very resilient, so you need a series of regular feedings should restore it back to life.

Q. How do I know my starter is ready for use?                

A. When it’s reliably becoming very bubbly and doubling in size within 6 to 8 hours of feeding.

Q. How long will dried starter stay good?

A. Completely dried started lasts indefinitely. There have been reports of a 7 years old starter!

Q. Why discard some of the starters?

A. Unless you discard the starter at some point, you’ll quickly end up with a huge container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it.

So the next time you are trying to know how to make a sourdough starter, or you want to learn how to make a sourdough starter and maintain the sourdough starter for a long time, just follow these simple steps, and you are good to go!

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