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5 from 8 votes

How to Feed, Maintain and Backup Sourdough Starter

How to feed, maintain, store and save a backup of your sourdough starter the simple way.
Author: Amy Duska

Instructions

To feed sourdough starter daily

  • If you bake daily, feed your starter with equal amounts of flour and water and store it at room temperature. The amount of flour and water you feed the starter will depend on the amount of starter that is needed for the recipe you are following.

To refresh sourdough starter that has been in the fridge for over a week

  • Discard all but 25 grams and add 100 grams of filtered water and 100 grams of flour. Mix vigorously with a spatula, cover lightly and set on counter for a few hours to allow the yeast to multiply. Place the jar back into the fridge until the next time it needs to be refreshed or you wish to bake sourdough.

What type of flour to use

  • Any wheat flour can be used to maintain your starter. Two common and economical varieties are all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Spelt, rye and einkorn varieties are also good choices for maintaining your starter. Your sourdough starter can be used to make bread recipes that call for flour that is different than the one you maintain it with.

How to Maintain

  • Store your sourdough starter in a glass container that is loosely covered. If you bake every day or several times a week, keep your starter at room temperature, and feed it daily. If you don't bake very often, store your sourdough starter in the fridge between bakes.

What to do with discarded sourdough starter

  • Collect the discarded sourdough in a separate container and store in the fridge. Use it to make sourdough discard recipes. Or use the discard to make a backup starter.

How to dry sourdough starter for a backup

  • Spread 200 grams of sourdough discard into a thin layer on a silicone mat or a piece of parchment paper. Allow it air dry completely, about 3-4 days depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. I place the sheet in a cold oven to keep it free from any debris that might be floating in the air. Place a sticky note on the oven so that you don't forget it's in there before turning in on to bake something.
  • To revive the dried sourdough starter, add 50 grams to a clean jar with 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour. Let sit for 24 hours and repeat daily until active and bubbly.

How to freeze a backup of sourdough starter

  • Pour the starter into an ice cube tray and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer the cubes into a freezer-safe container and keep frozen for up to 1 year.
  • To reactivate the frozen starter, place a cube into a jar and allow it to thaw. Once fully thawed, feed with 100g water and 100g flour. Feed daily until active and bubbly.