So you’ve taken up the challenge of sourdough baking. You’ve made a starter, fed and nurtured it over several weeks. Basically it’s become your favourite pet! Well I’d like to share a handy tip with you.
Your starter is wonderfully bubbly and active. You’re baking once or twice a week because you have time and it works with your schedule at the moment. What happens if you want to have a break from baking or you’re going away for an extended period of time? Maintaining a starter can seem like a big commitment however there are ways to manage it and make it fit into your schedule.
Dehydrating your starter provides you with an insurance and it’s a great way to have a backup. It can keep for at least 6 months and you can even share it with others. A great gift for a novice baker!
By using the following method you can capture the symbiotic cultures that are lactobacillus, to then re-hydrate when necessary.
Dehydrated Sourdough Starter
- 25 g active sourdough starter
- 100 g strong white flour
- 100 g water
- From your maintenance starter take 25g and place it into a clean jar. Add the flour and water and mix with a spoon. This is now a leaven and can be used to bake with.
- When the leaven has fully risen, take half to use to make a loaf of bread. The remaining half to dehydrate.
- Smear the starter on parchment paper on a baking tray. Now leave at room temperature or even in a linen cupboard for 2-3 days, to completely dry out.
- When it has dried out, peel away the parchment and break it up into small shards. Store in a jam jar.
- Put your dehydrated starter a jug and add water to cover. Stir every few hours so the flakes absorb the water. It should take approximately 4 hours.
- Now you need to feed your starter and leave it out until it begins to bubble.
- When you see a few bubbles feed again. Leave for 12 hours.
- Feed your starter again and leave for 12 hours. You should see a rise and fall, which means that your starter is healthy and active again.