Once you establish your sourdough culture, keeping it alive is fairly straightforward. I like to use unbleached bread flour for my starter and feed it twice daily. I often keep my starter in the fridge for weeks at a time if I know I’m not going to be baking with it any time soon.
When I feed my starter, I discard all but 40 grams. Make sure to weigh the container you’ll be keeping your starter in and then making note of it on the container somewhere. For example, my 1L container weighs 150g so I know when I put it on my scale, it needs to read 200g (150g for container + 50g for starter).
- 40g unfed starter
- 40g filtered water
- 40g unbleached bread flour
I like to mix the water and the starter together first to really get it incorporated. After that, I add the flour and mix it very well. Once mixed, I loosely cover and let it sit on the counter.
I do this once in the morning, around 8am, and once in the evening, around 8pm. If I plan on baking a loaf with my sourdough culture, I’ll make sure I’ve fed it at least twice before using it.
Storing your Starter:
If you don’t plan on using your starter for a while and don’t want to constantly feed it, you can safely store it in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks before you’ll need to feed it again. To do this, feed your starter as you normally would but then seal the jar and put it in the fridge. You might see a liquid form on the top and this is OK.
To revive your starter, pull it out in the morning, give it a good stir and let it sit, loosely covered, until the evening when you’ll feed it again. You’ll probably want to pull it out of the fridge a couple of days before you plan on using the starter so it gets a couple of feedings and gets back to its fully active state.