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Baking sourdough with dehydrated starter

GaryBishop's picture

Baking sourdough with dehydrated starter

I wondered if I could bake sourdough bread starting with dehydrated sourdough starter so I did an experiment. I'm not talking here about "sourdough spice" which is added for flavor only to yeasted breads. I'm using SD starter that has been dehydrated just like you would for storage.

I dehydrated some of my KAF SD starter using the drying mode of my oven. The temperature averaged 90F. It took about 12 hours to get good and dry. Then I ground it into fine powder. I had plenty of bread on hand so I waited a week to try it.

I simply took 10g of the dry starter, 40g of WW flour, and 50g or warm water and let it sit for about 29 hours until I saw some activity and saw the pH dropping. Then I used the fermented flour to make my typical loaf by adding 90g of WW flour and 60g of bread flour, 10g olive oil, 10g honey, 4g salt and 1g yeast. The resulting dough doubled in 72 minutes and proofed in 80 minutes. 

It baked into a tasty sour loaf very similar to what I make (quicker) with my 100% hydration starter. 

Here is a table of my measurements during the process.


 9:00  ml Fstart 
31:18:0016:184.71100 in pan
 19:004.66 1300 baked

To be clear, I didn't save any of the preferment to use as starter. I used it all making the loaf.

From this it would seem that if you're willing to wait, you could make SD bread with no starter maintenance once you've got the dehydrated starter.

I'm not convinced this is superior to NMNF or the flourless SD starters but it is another approach.


rondayvous's picture

What, if any, discernable differences did you note? You only waited a week, I wonder what your results would have been like a month or even a year later.

It would be helpful if you described the procedure you used for dehydrating your starter, as I've read several different techniques, most of which involve adding additional flour.

Time is a relative thing here. You didn't spend much of "your" time on this, as I understand what you wrote. Most of the time was just giving the ingredients time to do their thing. How much, if any, time did you spend monitoring your creation?

Nice work!

GaryBishop's picture

I enjoyed the experiment. 

I don't note any differences but it wouldn't surprise if a more discerning person would. I really should try a side by side test.

Yes, I wonder how long it will last. I've got it in a sealed jar and will try it again after longer has elapsed.

To dehydrate it, I made about 200g of 100% starter, let it get really sour and then smeared it on a silicone baking mat. I put the mat directly on the shelf in my oven and set it to drying mode which runs the fan continuously with the door propped open. When the top got leathery, I turned it over onto a wire cooling rack, and returned it to the oven with the sticky side up. Now both sides were open to the air. It dried much more quickly from there. 

I spent maybe 5 minutes making each of the temperature/pH measurements. I think if I had the process down I wouldn't need most of them. I was playing scientist.

clevins's picture

In the jar of dehydrated starter would also work to keep moisture from compromising that. I'm actually building up some of my 100% starter to dehydrate as a backup - I might try this too. 


Darryl's picture

According this this experiment, dry starter keeps well for a long time: