You have rehydrated your starter, congratulations! Below are the instructions to keep your Willa alive and well.
Basic kitchen scale
- 30g sourdough starter
- 125g water (if on city water supply, consider using filtered or bottled water to exclude chlorine traces which can kill starter)
- 140g white unbleached all-purpose flour
- I keep my starter in a 1 quart glass jar with the lid on top but not sealed.
- Sourdough staters are active organisms which means they need regular feedings for best results. I feed mine every 24 hours when I’m making bread and cooking a lot. I prefer to bake with my starter when it has reached peak activity or has slightly fallen. This is when my bread turns out best. After feeding, a mature starter with grow 3-4x in volume in a 24 hour period and then begin to fall back down.
- Discard! You will discard starter with each feeding. You only need 30 grams of starter before a feeding. The excess can be discarded. If you do not discard a portion of your starter at each feeding, your sourdough starter will require larger and larger quantities of flour and water at each feeding to provide food for your ever-growing starter.
- What to do with your discard? There are countless recipes to bake with your sourdough discard. You can even stockpile it in your fridge without needing to feed it. If throwing away, I suggest not putting down your sink as dry starter is like cement.
- If you don’t plan on baking frequently or are going out of town, you can refrigerate your sourdough starter for long periods of time. Cold temperatures slow yeast and bacteria activity, and will naturally extend how long your starter can sit between feedings.
- I don’t recommend continuous refrigeration, but, it’s a great option for short-term breaks!
- Depending on how long it has been refrigerated, your starter may require an additional 2 to 3 regular feedings at room temperature before it has resumed regular activity levels and is strong enough for baking sourdough bread.
- If your starter isn’t active and bubbly, be patient!
- Try placing it in a warmer area of your home (76F-80F is ideal). If your starter peaks in activity, feed it. If it sluggish, wait and give it more time. Sometimes time is the only thing it needs to gain strength.
- Oftentimes your starter will be bubbly at first and then slow down. That’s normal. It is common for a sourdough starter to have a surge in activity those first few days and then die down. This is normal and the results of another type of bacteria build up, not an indication that your starter is dead. It will pick up again with time and the right types of bacteria will increase and become stronger. It is very difficult to kill your starter.