People love to start things. Like making resolutions to go to the gym after New Year’s, a lot of people start things but kind of give up after a while because things get hard. Starting is sometimes easier than maintaining, but lucky for us maintaining a sourdough starter is really easy. Easier than a chia pet or a tamagochi pet, they can be forgotten for weeks, months, or even longer and will spring back to life with just a little bit of TLC.
Check out the how-to video below and see just how easy maintaining a sourdough starter can be.
To refresh your sourdough starter, this is all you have to do.
Take your starter out of the fridge. If you see some liquid sitting at the top, that’s ok. Go ahead and stir it back in, there’s no harm in that. Go ahead and stir it all together using a spoon. Just a few seconds will do the trick, you just want to get things homogenized again.
Once it’s all stirred, remove approximately half of the mass and discard it. Here in the video I placed the discard in a bowl and I just dumped it down the drain at the end, after turning off the cameras. It washes down the drain quite easily.
To your remaining starter, add about a tablespoon’s worth of flour and about the same weight in water. If your water contains a lot of chlorine, let the water sit out for a while before using it. If I have bottled water or water that’s been sitting out, I generally use it. The chlorine can put a damper on your starter but it usually isn’t terrible. However, if you want to give your starter the best chance at success do your best to use non-chlorinated water.
After you add the flour and the water, stir to combine for just a few minutes. And voila! You’re done!
If you will be using the starter soon to make bread, go ahead and leave it out at room temperature with a loosely topped lid. Just let it sit there for about 8 hours before doing a second feed. I don’t normally discard at this point but some people do. Whichever way you want, do it. Whichever way you go, add another 150g flour and 150ml water, let it sit at room temp for about 4-6 hours and incorporate in to your dough.
However, if you’ll be using this starter later and just want to keep it healthy, go ahead and put the lid on tight and send it back to the fridge until you’re ready to feed and use it.
Starers in general are very resilient and should last you a lifetime!