The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough starter

newgirlbaker's picture

sourdough starter

Hello all,

I received my dried starter from Carl and friends.  I reconstituted it as instructed, it worked well.  I have now added the flour and water for the final mix, all is well it looks perfect.  Question is, the directions say to put it in the fridge once it is complete.  Is that what you do?  Should I put it in the fridge?

Thanks in advance.

gaaarp's picture

newgirl, welcome.  And congratulations on your newly-born sourdough.  If the directions say to refrigerate it, that's what I would do.  I keep my sourdough (that I made myself without a culture) in the refrigerator.  Doing so slows it down so I don't have to feed it twice a day like I would if I kept it out.  As it is, I feed it about once a week, based on my baking schedule.

For now, follow the directions.  Once you get used to working with it, you can start to experiment.

Soundman's picture

Welcome to TFL, newgirlbaker!

A couple of thoughts about handling a newly created starter:

Once your starter is active, you can either 1) bake with it, or 2) keep it out and feed it every day, until you're ready to bake, or 3) refrigerate it for up to a week before it needs to be refreshed (fed a couple of times or so).

Your starter needs to be active and bubbly and rising well after you feed it in order to raise bread. Unrefrigerated starter needs to be fed frequently, most people say twice a day, to keep it happy and healthy. Refrigerating your starter allows you not to feed it every day, at least for a week. Still, you will have to take it out of the fridge, let it warm up, and feed it (twice a day) to get it active enough to bake with.

Also, a new starter usually takes a couple of weeks to build up the heterofermentative bacteria that flavor sourdough so wonderfully. But if the yeast in the culture are plentiful and active, they will probably raise bread. My advice is not to expect too much rise or flavor in your very first baking attempts, at least based on my own initial experiences. Sourdough takes, and develops, one's patience.

Good luck! Let us see what you bake with your new starter?

Soundman (David)