Bring the Starter Out of Hibernation
The following are steps for making a fresh sourdough starter for baking if your sourdough starter is normally kept in the refrigerator:
- Remove ¼ cup sourdough starter from the refrigerator or measure the amount of starter you have.
- 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.
- Mix vigorously.
- Cover the container and let starter culture for 12-24 hours in cooler temps for a tangier sourdough, for 8-12 hours in warmer temps for a sweet starter.
Repeat Feedings Two Times
Repeat this process two more times prior to baking, measuring the amount of starter you have and using the same ratios prescribed above. By the third feeding the starter should be very bubbly and double in size within 4-8 hours of being fed, indicating that the yeast and bacteria are creating adequate gas to properly leaven bread. If not, continue feeding until the starter is bubbly and active.
Once your starter is bubbly and active, you have fresh sourdough starter! If you have enough starter to meet the requirements of your recipe, it’s time to bake! If you do not have enough starter yet, continue feeding and building up more starter.
Prepare the Fresh Starter for Baking
Once your starter is bubbly and active you will need to prepare it for baking by determining how much starter your recipe requires and building it up to that amount. If you have enough starter to meet the requirements of your recipe, it’s time to bake!
If you do not have enough starter yet, continue feeding and building up more starter. You can learn more about Preparing Fresh Starter for Baking in our tutorial or try one of our many Sourdough Recipes!