Putting Your Sourdough On "Hold" (& How to Revive it)

Are you going on vacation and don't know what to do with your sourdough starter? Yes, you can leave it in the refrigerator and feed it once a week, but what if you need longer? What if there was a way to extend the shelf life to YEARS? Well, good news! There is a solution!

Here is How:

Step 1: Pour your active starter onto some parchment paper. "Active" starter means fed within the last 12-24 hours.

Step 2: Spread the starter our with a spatula as thin as you possibly can.

Step 3: Leave to dry on your counter or someplace to dry for about 24 hours. Make sure it becomes COMPLETELY dry. You want to make sure the starter crumbles in your fingertips, and does NOT bend at all. If it bends, if needs more time to dry.

Step 4: Place in an airtight container and label. You sourdough starter is now shelf stable for years! 

You'll want to make sure your starter stays in a cool dry place (ideally below 70 degrees F) to ensure you get the most out of its shelf life.

You can keep this in your pantry until you're ready to start you sourdough journey again!

 

How to Revive a Dried Starter:

DAY 1 - MORNING

In a clean jar, add 20g of dried sourdough starter. 
Add 50g of warm water and stir well.
Add 50g of flour and stir in well, ensuring that you get plenty of oxygen into the mixture.
Cover loosely for about 12 hours.
DAY 1 - EVENING
After 12 hours, add 50g of warm water and 50g of flour.
Mix well.
Cover loosely for about 12 hours.
DAY 2 - MORNING
After 12 hours, discard all but 50g of your starter (put 50g of the starter into a clean jar and get rid of the rest).
Add 50g of water and 50g of flour.
Mix well.
Cover loosely and leave for 12 hours
REPEAT step 3 for about 3-6 days (this means feeding about every 12 hours, morning and night to make it easy).
You'll know when it is ready when your starter has consistently doubled its size and is nice and bubbly. You'll also want to administer the "float test", by placing about a teaspoon of your starter in a bowl of water. If the starter floats, congratulations! It is ready! If the starter sinks, that is okay, it just needs more time to mature. Continue your discards and  your feeds once a day until it passes the float test.
Happy Sourdough Pausing and Reviving!