Once you’ve made your sourdough starter, you’ll need to care for it to keep it alive and ready for baking. Keep a clean cloth or paper towel over the top to keep bacteria out. You can store it on the counter at room temperature or in the fridge or freezer.
Storing on the Counter
Make sure your counter isn’t too hot or too cold. Keep your starter between 70-80 degrees. If you’re storing it on the counter, you’ll need to feed and stir it every day. It will keep separating and it’s okay to stir the yellow colored “hooch” back in to keep fermenting. Feed it at least once a day by adding equal parts warm water and flour. For daily feedings I only add a little bit, ½ a cup of each.
Storing in the Fridge
If you store your starter in the fridge you’ll only have to feed it weekly. Feed it equal parts warm water and flour, let stand at room temperature for an hour, then return the starter to the fridge.
Storing in the Freezer
If you’ll be leaving town or if you don’t want to use your starter for a while, you can store it in the freezer. Freeze it for up to 2 months, then take it out and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Feed it again then let stand for an hour. You can then return it to the fridge or freezer.
Never microwave your sourdough starter or the yeast will die. Activate it to wake it up by storing at room temperature for a few hours, then add equal parts flour and water to feed it and revive the yeast.
A sourdough starter, when made and kept properly can last a lifetime. Once you make a good sourdough starter, you won’t need to buy yeast again to make sourdough bread.
Stay tuned for some great sourdough recipes to use your new sourdough starter!
Elizabeth Adan is a Freelance Writer, Publicist and Brand Ambassador. Her blog Aquaberry Bliss is a unique food and travel blog dedicated to expanding your world and inspiring your creativity. When Elizabeth isn’t traveling, you’ll find her writing, hiking or gardening. Find Elizabeth on Twitter @stillaporcupine and on LinkedIn.