From the Refridgerator
Measure room temperature starter or remove ¼ cup starter from refrigerator. Feed the starter with flour and water every 8-12 hours using one of the following methods: If using a scale to measure ingredients, combine equal amounts by weight of starter, water, and flour. For instance, 50 grams of starter, 50 grams of water, 50 grams of flour. If using measuring cups, combine 1 part sourdough starter, 1 part water, and a little less than 2 parts flour. For example, ¼ cup of starter, ¼ cup water and a little less than ½ cup flour. Cover; place in a warm area, 70°-85°F, for 8-12 hours. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have enough starter for your recipe, with a little leftover.
NOTE: A brown liquid layer on top of your starter, called hooch, indicates that the starter is hungry. If hooch forms, pour it off and feed the starter as soon as possible, then feed more frequently going forward.
When preparing to bake, use the fresh starter within 3-4 hours of being fed, to ensure the starter is at its peak of activity.
Extra starter may be discarded, stored in the refrigerator or kept at room temperature and fed again as above. Always retain at least ¼ cup starter to begin your next project.
Feed Room Temperature Sourdough Starter Daily
If you bake frequently, maintain your starter at room temperature and feed 2-3 times daily, as described above. Most starters generally require feeding every 8-12 hours, depending on the temperature in the culturing area.
Keep in mind that some starters are naturally fast proofers, like our Rye Sourdough Starter, so would require more frequent feedings.
When maintained at room temperature and fed daily, your sourdough starter will always be ready to use for baking. Use the starter to prepare bread dough within 3-4 hours of being fed, to ensure the starter is at its peak of activity. Feed Refrigerated Sourdough Starter on a Weekly Basis
If you do not bake often, maybe only weekly or monthly, it may be more practical to keep your sourdough starter in the refrigerator, in a tightly-closed container, and feed it once per week.
Remove at least ¼ cup starter from refrigerator. Discard remaining starter. Feed starter with flour and water: If using a scale to measure ingredients, combine equal amounts by weight of starter, water, and flour. For instance, 50 grams starter, 50 grams water, 50 grams flour. If using measuring cups, combine 1 part starter, 1 part water, and a little less than 2 parts flour. For instance, ¼ cup starter,¼ cup water, slightly less than ½ cup flour. Cover; let starter sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature, until light and bubbly. Put a tight lid on jar and return to refrigerator. Repeat weekly even when not baking with your sourdough culture.
Preparing Refrigerated Sourdough Starter for Baking
Refrigerated sourdough starter is in a state of hibernation. Before using it for baking, follow our instructions for making fresh sourdough starter to ensure your sourdough starter is fully awakened and active enough to leaven bread.