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reconstituting dried out starter

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leahweinberg's picture
leahweinberg

reconstituting dried out starter

Hello! 


I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out how to reconstitute a dried starter. I dried my white starter and rye starter a while ago and I would like to use it soon. Do you have to soak it before you feed it? 


Thanks!


Leah  

Elagins's picture
Elagins

use warm water (around 100F) to wake up the yeast, let it soak for 10-15 minutes and then add flour. you may have to give it a fair amount of time, since a lot of the yeast cells may have died during the drying/dry phase.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

leahweinberg's picture
leahweinberg

thanks! 


great instructions. ive already fed it once since reviving it- but i think a lot of the yeast must have died- its not as near as bubbly as it was. Then again, after a few feedings it might get back to normal- I hope! 


L

AlexL's picture
AlexL

Hi, starter noob here.


I just started a starter last night (started a starter....stupid) and I'm curious how soon after can it can be dried it out. I've read that it takes 5-7 days for a starter to really get going so can you dry it out right then? Do you just dry it out on the counter?

Elagins's picture
Elagins

The consensus is that a from-scratch starter needs a couple of weeks to really mature, that is, for the indigenous yeast and bacteria colonies to firmly establish themselves, so not really a good idea to think about drying it just yet. If you're reconstituting a dry starter culture from elsewhere, I'd give it at least 2-3 days of daily feeding to become robust.


As a practical matter, too, if your starter is only 12 hours old (or so) and you need to interrupt the process, better just to throw it out and pick up again when you're ready.


When I dry starter (and I do a lot of that), I usually mix it to the consistency of thick batter and let it ferment until it's begun bubbling and the volume has increased by about 50%. I then pour it out onto a plastic plate (or a cling-wrap lined sheet pan), spread it to no more than 1/8" or so

in thickness, cover it loosely with cling wrap so the air can circulate, and let it air dry for a couple of days. At that point, unpeel the dried starter from the plate and turn it over so the other side can dry, which also should take a day or two.


The starter is going to be in the form of very hard shards, which need to be broken up. You can do that by pulsing them (carefully!) in a blender at low speed, since the high temps of using a food processor will kill the yeast (learned that the hard way), or by breaking it up manually using a rolling pin or a glass bottle (which I prefer, since those dried starter chips are hard and will scar a wooden roller). I've also heard that some people use a food grinder to break up the starter.


Once it's in powder form, you can just keep it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it should keep for several months.


So there it is, long-winded, but this should help.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com 

AlexL's picture
AlexL

Wow. Great info, I would've done it completely wrong haha. Thanks!