The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dried sourdough starter

CB85's picture

Dried sourdough starter

One of my coworkers has expressed interest in my sourdough breads and is thinking about starting to make some herself. I offered to share my starter with her and she is pretty enthusiastic. She is moving soon so I dried some of it, thinking it would be a lot easier, and more convenient, for her to travel with it and start it whenever. How should I tell her to "revive" it? Should I just tell her to dissolve it in water and feed it like ususal? Or is there an extra step to take?

Also, I live in the northern U.S. and right now the temperature is pretty moderate. I feed my starter twice a day and it is pretty active. She is moving south, where I am guessing it will be a lot warmer. Can she still follow the same schedule/amounts with my starter and will it adjust? Or will she need to feed it more often, or with less starter/flour? Or can't we know until she gets there?

GAPOMA's picture

Here is my method of reviving a dried sourdough starter ...

1/2 tsp Dried Sourdough Starter
1 Tbsp warm water about 115°F
1 Tbsp Flour


Soak ½ tsp. dried starter in 1 Tbsp. lukewarm purified or spring water for a few minutes to soften.

Stir in 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. While not necessary, stirring again once or twice during this 24 hours will expedite the fermentation process.

After 24 hrs, stir in another tablespoon of flour with an additional tablespoon of purified water. If the dried starter is at all viable, as it should be, you will most likely see the bubbling action of fermentation begin somewhere between about 24 and 48 hours. If not, something is most likely wrong.

Continue with twice daily feedings (equal parts by weight water and flour). After a few days you should have a vital sourdough starter that can be used for baking and be put on a standard maintenance schedule which requires minimal attention and effort.

CB85's picture

Thanks to both of you. That's just what I was hoping for. I will send the dried one with her and if she can't manage to make that one work, I will send her an active version.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

added just enough water to let it soften and added a tablespoon of flour.  waited 24 hrs.  23°C  

Today added water to make it runny and another level tablespoon of flour.  Tomorrow I expect the same.  Keeping it runny until I smell a change and taste yeast.  The trick is not to overfeed at this stage and it may take 3 or 4 days for spores to wake up.  Looking for a warmer spot around 26° to 27°C.   It is rather "moderate here too!"

Mini  still in Austria