Baking your own sourdough bread from a little naturally fermented flour and water (starter) is one of those simple things in life that’s hard to move away from once you begin. Being able to dehydrate it and then rehydrate it, essentially bringing it back to life again is another handy additional skill to have as a sourdough baker.
Being a home baker, means that on the odd occasion I’m asked for a some starter to get people going with their own sourdough journey. It’s something that is forever growing and being used, so it’s easy enough to do and if it encourages someone to get cracking with baking the ‘good stuff’, well, I’d like to be a part of that.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to first, dry the starter if you are the giver and how to revive it if you are the recipient.
How to Dehydrate your Sourdough Starter
Sourdough Starter– refreshed and bubbling. The more alive it is, the easier it will be to trap that fermented goodness and revamp it again down the track.
Sun– you can use a dehydrator or an oven on low, but if you have access to sun, use it.
First up, spread some of your refreshed starter on a paper lined baking tray. Thick or thin is up to you, depends on how long you have and sun quantities. Obviously the thicker it is, the longer it will take.
If you can cover it at all with some fine wire mesh, or muslin do so. This keeps out any nosy bugs that might be keen to check out what’s going on.
Keep it in the sun until it’s nice and dried.
Break off into small flakes and store in a glass jar, or alternatively grind your dried starter in a blender and again store in a clean glass jar.
And now pass it on to someone who will love it as much as you will!
How to Rehydrate your Sourdough Starter
25g dried starter
80mls tepid water (1/3 cup)
50g flour (1/3 cup)
Mix the three ingredients together in a ceramic bowl (at say 6am.) Cover it, muslin and a rubber band, beeswax cover or a loosely fitted lid of a glass jar.
Leave it in a warm spot- top of the fridge is good during winter or just the kitchen bench top over the warmer months. At 6am the next day, add 80mls of water and 50g of flour to the mixture, stir it through and cover it again. Back to the warm spot.
At 6am the following morning, add a further 200mls water and 150g flour. Mix together and cover, leaving in the warm spot. As the day progresses check it for bubbles, if it looks a little sluggish leave it for another 24hours and if it’s got lots of happy bubbles action going on, you can make up a dough about 12 hours later- say 6pm.
Also, make sure you have a good smell of it. If it smells like flour and water it’s not ready, if it smells sourdoughy it’s getting ready to rock. Make sure before you make up your dough, you leave some aside to keep as your mother, which can now be stored in the fridge.
If you are keen as a bean to get started with your own sourdough baking journey and can’t access any starter, I’m happy to post a few starters out if you would like to trade something with me. I’m not doing this for coins, but I would love in return a postcard, mixed tape of your favourite Wham songs, or picture of you at your favourite corner of the world- whatever you want! Drop me a line at…
cityhippyfarmgirl (at) gmail (dot) com.
Sorry international peeps, Australia only at this stage.
If you would like more information on baking sourdough, there is a backlog of info within here.
How to bake a basic sourdough loaf
How to create your own sourdough starter from scratch…it’s easy, promise.
If you have any further specific questions please read through the comments of this post here. There are 95 comments, which equals to a whole bunch of potential information.
If you still have further questions, pop them into the comments and I will do my best at answering them a little further down the track.
Happy baking people!