FAQ Sourdough

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How long before I have to rehydrate the dehydrated sourdough?

Yahoo, you got your starter! Your dehydrated starter can last in the bag it arrived in for a good period of time. I haven’t tested just how long but I’d definitely say you can wait up to a month if today isn’t a good day to get started.

How long does it take to rehydrate?

The first day you’ll want to rehydrate (otherwise known as feeding) your starter three times. After the initial day you’ll feed your starter twice a day to keep it active. You will do this indefinitely to keep it happy and alive.

Once rehydrated, how do you store?

Right out on the counter top. Free of any drafts and away from a heat source.

How can I kill it?

Thankfully, these guys can be hard to kill. Though, if you were to not feed it for about 72 hrs I bet that may do the trick.

What is the difference between storing on the counter and fridge?

Good question. The refrigerator slows the process of fermentation and allows you to take a break (1-2 weeks max) from feeding it twice daily. When you’re ready to bake again you’ll need to pull the starter from the refrigerator 3 days prior and begin feeding.

What if I go away for a few days? A week?

Not a problem. Just put the little guy in the refrigerator.

How do I know it is alive?

If you even see one bubble in the starter, you have a great chance of reviving it. Just start feeding again and wait for the bubbles to appear. I’ve found holding my breath does not help.

Do I have to discard half of it?

Yes, at every feeding you need to discard a good portion at least half. You don’t need much in your jar to feed.

Can I split and share it?

Absolutely, share your discard with friends and family or send them one of our dehydrated starters as a fun gift. Both work well.

How often can I make Bread? How many loaves can I make from each batch?

You may make bread daily, if your heart desires. Depending on what recipe you follow, some recipes only need 1 tablespoon of starter for your levin, while others may call for 50 g. Either way it doesn’t take much starter to make a loaf.

Can I revive it if I neglect it?

I find life can get crazy and sometimes the little guy (sourdough starter) gets neglected. No big deal, just discard what you need to, leaving at least 1 tablespoon of starter in the jar, then add water and flour in equal amounts and feed again in 12 hours. Probably now is a good time to be consistent in feeding him until he is looking and feeling more like the happy guy you know him to be.

Where can I find more recipes for alternative types of bread?

The internet is chock-full of sourdough recipes. Here are my four favorite resources.

  1. Artisan Sourdough Made Simple -Emilie Raffa (I've said it before but it’s worth repeating, “I love this cookbook because the recipes are so forgiving for a beginning Artisan.”)

  2. Tartine Bread -Chad Roberson (when you’re ready to get serious and really play)

  3. Josey Baker Bread (he is also on Instagram)

  4. Instagram: liveyumyum (She calls herself the lunch lady. She is always making bread and lots of other fun yummy food. Love her!)

How is this different than friendship bread?

I have no clue, lol.

What if it doesn’t rise?

So many reasons why it may have not risen. Most common reason being the starter did not pass the float test, meaning the starter wasn’t used during its peak. Another reason is that it was over or under proofed on the bulk rise.

What is the difference between sourdough bread and regular bread?

Definitely a question I get a lot. True sourdough is a slow-fermented bread. It does not require commercial yeast in order to rise. Before commercial yeast was available bakers used natural yeast. Sourdough does not have to be sour for it to be sourdough, it just has to be fermented. You won’t find any hydrogenated oils, corn syrup or preservatives which is a huge plus for me.

How do I make my bread more sour?

I’ve found there are a lot of suggestions on the web for making your bread more sour.

  1. At each feeding, add more flour than water. This worked for me like a charm.

  2. Use more whole grain flour.

  3. Use the hooch (grey liquid) from your discard in the refrigerator in the starter you're feeding.

Let me know what worked for you!