The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

"starter" uses.

Roo's picture

"starter" uses.

I went through the process from BBA for making a starter and then left it in the fridge for several weeks if not months.  Reread how to refresh an old starter and dumped all but a cup of the starter and added 4 cups bread flour and 2 1/2 cups warm tap water and set on the counter overnight.  Nothing happend and so let it go another night.  When nothing happend I put it in the fridge and there it sits.  So now I have around 6 cups of flour, water and a starter I am not sure will do anything to such a large addition.

What if anything should I do with this.  Simply make something with it like a sandwich loaf or lavosh? If so do I add commercial yeast?  Or just send it to the scrap pile and focus on the rye starter of wich I am on day 3.

Cabuya's picture

Hello Roo.

There is no need to work in such large quantities with your starter storage. Recently I did not have access for 3 1/2 months to the fridge that contained my starters. I keep my starters in small quantities (30g in 1/2 cup plastic jars). To revive my starters I mixed 10g of sterter with 18g of water and 20g of rye flour. I keep all my sterters at 90%. I kept this 24 hrs at room temp (73* F). There were some signs of life (a few bubbles) but no recovery yet. I took, again, 10g of that mixture, added the 18g of water and 20g of rye flour and left this for 3 hrs at room temp. After that I put my starters in the fridge for 24 hrs. Now the starters had come to life and had dobled in size. All I want to say is:you don't have to waste large quantities of flour to revive a starter that has had a near death experience. After that you build your larger quantities whenever you need them.

Happy baking

Roo's picture

Thank you for the response.  I am not sure why BBA has you revive with such large quantities and after 3 days of building the rye starter from these boards, I have found less is better.

After looking around and doing some reading.  I have found what I had made closely resembles a poolish so I have decided to treat it as such.  I will attempt using half of the starter/poolish for a ciabatta and have frozen the other half.  If it works great!  If not then I have learned something.

JessicaT's picture

I ran into the same problem you have now, but on a much smaller scale. I discarded all but 1/4 of the starter and am now feeding with the 1/4 cup of starter with 1/4 cup of water and 1/3 cup of flour. That is generally enough to get the starter going for about 24 hours at a time. Be patient with your starter, seeing as you are only on day 3 and work with it in small amounts.


With the discards itself, you can make a variety of things like sourdough english muffins, pancakes, blah blah blah. Good luck with your starter.