Keeping a sourdough starter can seem like a big commitment, but there are ways to manage sourdough better and make it fit your schedule.
There is also a way to achieve a bit of sourdough insurance, to safeguard your favorite starter that has made the perfect loaf for you time and time again. By using the following method you can capture the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts that make your particular sourdough starter fantastic.
REASONS FOR DEHYDRATING YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER
- An extended vacation
- Switching a sourdough starter to a new type of flour
- Moving house
- Birth of a baby
- Just because you need a break from maintaining your starter
Whichever of the above scenarios applies to you, be sure to implement your sourdough insurance sooner than later. Taking a bit of extra time now can save you regrets later on that you gave up your perfect sourdough starter.
HOW TO DEHYDRATE A SOURDOUGH STARTER
- Spread a bit of your fully active sourdough culture on a piece of parchment paper, a plate, or other flat surface.
- Leave starter to dry thoroughly. The starter is fully dried when it separates from the parchment paper or plate.
- Remove dried starter from the parchment paper. Crush or grind the now dried sheet of sourdough.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The refrigerator or freezer is fine for dried sourdough.
- This dried starter, if kept in the refrigerator or freezer, should keep for a year or more.
When you are ready to use the starter again, see these directions on activating a dried starter.
OTHER WAYS TO TAKE A BREAK FROM SOURDOUGH
Need a break from sourdough, but don’t want to dehydrate your starter? There may be another method that works for you. Learn more in our article on taking a break from sourdough.