The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bye bye starter

saumhain's picture

Bye bye starter

I am leaving to Austria for two months, there will be no baking... Can't possibly imagine how it must feel: no kneading, no feeding your sourdough, no messing up in the kitchen. And my poor starter... I have just thrown it away in the bin, since none of my relatives seemed eager to look after it.

Anyway. I obviously could not leave my family without fresh bread, so I baked 5 loaves in just a couple of days: 2 pain au levain with whole-wheat, dark silesian rye,

rye with walnuts and

yeasted spelt loaf with mixed nuts and seeds

(original recipe belongs to Zorra from and I should thank her for that!). However, I used a mixture of nust and seeds and since I had only dinkelvollkornmehl, that's what I used. Probably that is why I ended up with using about 200 gr of water in the final dough.

Even though, I have become quite a fan of sourdough breads and avoided baking with yeast only for a long time, I really enjoyed this one. It had a slightly sweet flavour and mixing the dough was really fun - I love the fact that it goes kind  of purple due to spelt.


lief's picture

Looks delicious!  In my experience, the purple is coming from the walnuts.

I hope you don't miss baking too badly during your hiatus.  Enjoy your trip :-)

saumhain's picture

Walnuts have an impact on final product colour, but it does not show up while mixing the dough.

Thanks! I am almost 100% sure I will enjoy it)


mrfrost's picture

I've read that you could have converted it to a very stiff starter(very small, golf ball sized piece), sealed in a jar, and it should survive a couple of months without too much worry.

Might consider that next time(unless you already know better).

Happy travels.

saumhain's picture

I thought about. But then I imagined that it might overfill the jar, come out and... well, it won't be a nice picture when I come back home)

but anyway it's not a hard job rising the starter once again, probably even better if I grow a new one.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

You can always dry some of your starter to rebuild after you come back from a long vacation or as a backup if your starter should meet up with an unfortunate event.

saumhain's picture

I have no idea how to dry it... Can you link a "recipe"? I would really appreciate that.

Noor13's picture

Where are you going to?

I will be visiting my home country Austria in July for two weeks as well and can't wait to be able to buy good bread from the bakeries there:)

Your loaf looks delicious:)

saumhain's picture

oh yeah, bread in Austria is absolutely delicious!

Honestly, that's how I got obsessed with bread baking - I returned from Austria last summer, and since here in Russia there is not enough good bread, I have decided to start baking my own.

I will be in Klagenfurt, attending summer german course in their university.

jackie9999's picture

Breadtopia how to dry starter..

saumhain's picture

Thank you! I might consider trying it next time.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Golf ball size.  Packed in a jar since the end of January.  I trimmed off the outside to a cube which seemed large so I cut it in half.   It smells so wonderful!  Yeasty but not too sour, whiffs of pears and camomile, cheese and rye.    Half got wrapped up (it is almost a dry state) and frozen.  The other half has been rehydrated and fed and is perking along just fine.  I would never dump this gem.  It has put up with me for a long time. 

There is no way it turns into Ryezilla when it is so dry, cold and small.  No place for it to go but to wait for me.