The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to feed my donated starter

thaismc's picture

How to feed my donated starter

Hello all! This is my first post here, though I’ve been known to spend my time reading a few posts from this awesome community!

I have a question for you guys. An amazing baker I know left me some of ther sourdough starter (small quantity, about 30 grams). It was a gift but she wasn’t there herself when I picked it up, so I couldn’t quiz her regarding the maintenance. In short, I have no idea how to feed it! I don’t know what type of flour she uses (whole or plain), if she kept it in the refrigerator or at room temperature, or even how much hydration it has.

It looks quite firm (and it was kinda cold!), so I’m not sure that she used equal portions of water and flour to feed it. Will I kill it if, for instance, I first feed it at 100% (15g water and 15 flour)? What about if I keep it at room temp? 


Any advice will be very welcome! :)

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I could be wrong but you probably should approach the care and feeding on the premise that it's an established starter since it was a gift from a talented baker. Take half of it and put that half in an air tight plastic storage container. Put that in the refrigerator. Put the other 15 g or so in smallish bowl, add 30g of chlorine free water and 30 g of plain, I'm assuming it's like American all purpose, flour. Stir and mix thoroughly, cover the bowl with plastic food wrap then leave it in an area where the temperature is at least 70F. When the starter doubles in size, discard or set aside half. Repeat the refreshment procedure at 1 part starter, 2 parts water, 2 parts flour.

If this starter doubles in less than 10-12 hours at a comfortable temperature, you can reasonably assume you've got a good starter and you can go to work on your first loaf. Don't forget to get in the habit of setting aside some of your refreshed starter for the next loaf whenever you bake. In the Most Bookmarked section of the home page is a link to a post called No Muss, No Fuss Starter. Take the time to read it. It answers a lot of questions that people new to sourdough baking frequently ask.