Hi there. I hope you’ve followed my posts on my Sourdough (Starter) Project. But if you’ve just come across this post and want to start reading my previous posts on the subject, just follow the links below.
So, by Day 3, I started shifting my starter’s diet from rye flour to whole wheat flour. By Day 4, my starter continues to show signs of lively growth, doubling in volume after a few hours, and still with the telltale scent of alcohol and bananas.
But what if yours seems to have weakened? My tip is to not worry too much. Again, your yeast might need a bit more time to get used to the change in diet. Give it another day or two, repeating what you did in Day 3.
Since my starter appears to be doing just fine, my task now is to keep it alive for years to come. Do I need to repeat Day 3 everyday for the rest of my life? Do I need someone to take care of my starter when I need to be away for some time? The answer to both questions is a resounding NO.
Keeping your starter alive isn’t as tedious as you might imagine. Unless you bake professionally, or bake at home everyday, you won’t need to tend your starter everyday. There is a way to keep the starter alive and well for less than 30 mins once a week.
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or unbleached white flour)
- 2 tsp rye flour (optional)
Transfer 1/2 cup of your starter to a clean container. Discard the rest of it, or use for the final build for a sourdough bread recipe.
In a medium bowl, mix together the water and flour/s. Combine the fresh dough with the remaining starter, mixing well to introduce oxygen into the starter. Leave covered on your counter for one hour. Keep the starter in an airtight container on the lowest part of your fridge for up to one week.
Repeat weekly as needed. Before the first step (setting aside 1/2 cup of the starter), allow the starter to get to room temperature by leaving it on the kitchen counter for one hour. Mix well before proceeding.
And that is that. I don’t bake bread daily, so this storage method is a blessing. Seriously, 30 minutes a week (you won’t need to stare at your starter for the two hours it needs to rest, do you?) is nothing compared to the ability to make my own sourdough breads.
Watch out for future posts as I try some sourdough bread recipes with my starter. 🙂