The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Resting time for SD starter?

webhome's picture

Resting time for SD starter?

I have read instances where it was said to refrigerate the SD Starter after it has reached the right odor/consistency.  is this true and for how long before I can use it?   Once removed from the refrigerator, should it be fed and allowed another rest, again for how long?

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Some purists say that you shouldn't ever refrigerate your starter.  Most home sourdough cooks do, though.  You refrigerate it to avoid having to feed it every day, not as a step toward making it better.  So once the starter gets to the right odor/flavor, you can store it in the fridge if you're not using it, but you don't have to if you're willing to keep feeding it.  When you take it out of the fridge you need to feed it at least once, wait for it to activate, then use the next day.  How long this takes depends on the feeding schedule you're on. Hope that's enough info to go on!

dabrownman's picture

one it doesn't need any maintenance fir 4 weeks. there is never ever any waste and nothing ever gets tossed as spent fuel, excess levain etc and the starter gets much much more sour after it has been in the fridge at 36 F with adequate food where the LAB are reproducing at 3 times the rate of yeast for 672 hours.  The best breads we make come from a starter that has been refrigerated for 4 weeks or even more, a levain retarded for at leat 48 hours and dough retarded for 18 hours, .

If you want mildtly sour SFSD bread then keep your starter on the counter, do all your out of the fridge  bread work at room temperature rather than 93 F and never retard your starter, levain or dough.  That isn't the kind of SD bread I  like but most folks do like it just fine   It is certainly easier to make and they are welcome to it.   The great thing about making your own bread is that you can make it just the way you like it. 

Happy baking 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

And retarded my levain overnight after a 12 hours at room temperature. I always make my levain with my refrigerated starter that hasn't been fed for a week. 

The longer developed levain made an excellent pair of loaves. Soft chewy crumb and sour.  I just baked it this morning so it is fresher than I usually eat it since I was out of bread. So that may have something to do with how much I like it. 

tchism's picture

As mentioned above, some do and some don't store there starter in the refrigerator. It's all about what you want to do.

I do store my starter in the fridge. I use this process and it seems to work well for me.

While my starter is out on the counter I feed it every 12 hours using a 1:1:1 ratio. When I am ready to place it in the fridge, I feed it and allow it to set for about an hour before it goes in. 

When I want to use it again I pull it and go through at least two feeding cycles before using it to allow it to come up to strength. 

Following this regiment seems to keep my starter working at it's peak and in good health.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in activity (first peak, smells good, nice rise and expansion) and you have to run out before mixing up your dough,  you can stick it into the refrigerator to slow it down for half a day or even use it a day later.  There is usually enough flour in the starter to maintain its yeast activity if it is slowed down by a very cold refrigerator.  

After 24 hrs in the fridge (up to 3 days) it might be worth taking it out to refresh the starter and let it peak again before using into the recipe,  Just to make sure activity is at its best for the bread.