The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

storing dried starter - how do you do it?

pcake's picture
pcake

storing dried starter - how do you do it?

when you dry some starter, what do you put it in and do you keep it at room temperature, refrigerate or freeze it?

and btw, have you found any downsides to storing dried starter?

Ru007's picture
Ru007

I wrapped up my dried starter is piece of plastic wrap and then put it in an air tight container. I left it in the back of my kitchen cupboard for about a year and half before I rehydrated it. 

I think as long as you make sure its completely dry before you store it, room temp in an air tight container should be fine. The link below is how where I got the instructions for drying my starter...

https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/01/putting-sourdough-starter-hold/

I haven't found any downside yet. Its only been about 5 days since I rehydrated it and its already very active again!

Hope this helps!

Ru

pcake's picture
pcake

that does help :)

i can't wait to stop constantly feeding both starters!!!

what about in summer when a cool place can be 90 f?

Ru007's picture
Ru007

I didn't actually think about the change in room temperature with the season. I just found a corner in one of my kitchen cupboards and left it there. Never moved it. I'm not sure how much the temperature would varies in there. I think dried starters are very forgiving though. 

pcake's picture
pcake

i guess i'll find out this coming summer...  will probably keep a little in the fridge and some dried in the freezer, just in case ;)

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I store my dried starter in a freezer, and have revived portions several times with no problems.   

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

Richard Bourdon recently said that he and Dave Miller both use a similar method...they mix enough flour in to make the starter very dry to begin with (Bourdon said he uses a cuisinart to make it the consistency of bread crumbs).  I didn't get a full elaboration of the process beyond that (whether it gets dried further, what temp it is stored at).

hreik's picture
hreik

cloth napkin. Left at RT.

hester

pcake's picture
pcake

but left at RT?

hreik's picture
hreik

on top of baking sheet.  Then once dry i crunch it up into little pieces and store it in that napkin in pantry in Kitchen.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

If you have a Silpat, or other silicone baking sheet liner, I find that I make the starter as runny as soup, and spread it out on the Silpat, and the next day it practically releases itself, and it is easy to then crunch it up.

pcake's picture
pcake

the last time - well, the only time - i dried my starter, i did it on parchment paper.  i'll use a silicone baking sheet next time.

but how do YOU store your dried starter?  

hreik's picture
hreik

stored starter that had been in my cupboard wrapped in this napkin for at least 2 years.  Here's a pic of the starter 2+ days after adding water and then refreshing.   Below it is the napkin w some more dried starter.  You can see it's just starting to come alive.  Sorry for poor photo.

Hope this helps.

hester

pcake's picture
pcake

thanks - looks like it had no problems coming back :)

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

that's too cool! Thanks for the visual aids, Hester!

Carole

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

I definitely recommend drying some of your starters as soon as they have become good mature and viable starters.

I simply spread mine on baking parchment paper, thinly and leave it out a few hours and it dries to a crisp.  I then break it all up into a fine powder, using a pestle and mortar if necessary and I store them in empty miniature liquor bottles like these:

 

My dried starters have been sitting in those kind of bottles on a shelf in the kitchen for some 2 years.  Last year, once winter was done, I used a small amount to create a new starter which took off very quickly.  I have done the same again this year.  Just 2 weeks ago I mixed some fresh rye and water and threw in maybe 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this dried mixture.  Starter was up and running very quickly.

So for me, it doesn't appear to be necessary to freeze dried starters but keep them in airtight containers with very little air in them (i.e. fill the container as far as possible).

 

 

 

 

 

pcake's picture
pcake

okay, no freezer for my starter - i'll keep them in something airtight...