The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bad starter owner

hodgey1's picture

Bad starter owner

So, 10-12 years ago I made my first starter and had mixed results as I recall them. After a few months of feeding and using it, I had to retire it to the freezer. I dried it, then boke it into smaller pieces, vacuum sealed it and froze it. SD is one of those things that as much as I love it, Its is difficult for me to stick with it with all the complications that life, work and family present. For me, SD is a winter only project, since that is the time of year the whorl wind of a life I live, slows enough for me to bake SD loaves.

Fast forward 6-8-10 years. Last fall, I took some of the frozen, dried starter out and revived it.  In a few short days, my starter was alive and ready to inflate the world. I used it all last winter, with great results.

Here's the part where I need labeled a bad man. Spring came and I knew I needed to move her to the fridge or dry and freeze her. Instead, I let the world get in the way and allowed her to wither in a corner cabinet and dry up and die a slow, lonely, miserable death. I do feel bad...

I am in that cabinet this week and I see my old starter and think, I wonder if it can be revived? So, I took some water, flour and broke up pieces of the old starter and mixed it all together. Two days have gone by now and I am seeing life. She Lives! Or does she? Or is it a bad actor at play.

My question: When I last recall seeing it before it became a hockey puck, it had a black skin on it and did not look good at all. The black part dried rock hard and I was unable to remove it this week when i added the water & flour. Is it going to be ok to use? I plan on feeding it and refreshing it many time before I use it to make bread, but I just wanted to see what peoples thoughts were. I am definitely leaning towards using it, unless advised otherwise.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I'd say unless it develops mold, it's fine!

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

had a near-death experience last week due to the negligence of its caretaker. Me...

I recovered a very few grams from the bottom of the jar which looked viable and after nearly a week of CPR it seems to have recovered fully. And then some. It took many feedings and discards. We start couple's counseling on Tuesday.

Bottom line for me: it's easier to maintain my healthy starter than to neglect and try to revive it.

hodgey1's picture

I am going to keep feeding and give it a shot making bread in a week or two. It seems to be working well and all ready getting a decent rise after each feeding. I have promised to never neglect her like that again.