It is relatively easy to maintain. Water and food are essential to the survival of any living organism. How you maintain your starter depends on where you keep it.
Water and flour should be fed every 12-24 hours, leaving it on the counter. Homes that are warmer or bake frequently will require more frequent feeding (every 12 hours), while homes that are colder will need feeding every 24 hours.
You should feed your sourdough starter around once a week if you keep it in the refrigerator. However, it can be kept in the fridge for up to two months without having to be fed.
The best thing to do if you have been storing your sourdough starter in the fridge for a long time is to revive it. If you want to do this, feed it equal parts flour and water, let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours, then feed it again.
Before it becomes active enough to make certain recipes like bread, it may need to be fed 2-3 times for 12 hours between each feeding.
You may be able to use some of these no-wait recipes sooner rather than later. The hooch (if any) should be poured off before feeding.
How Often Should You Feed Your Sourdough Starter? (General Guideline)
Feeding your sourdough starter regularly is crucial to keep it healthy and active. The feeding frequency depends on various factors, including room temperature, the type of flour used, and the specific characteristics of your starter.
Generally, sourdough starters should be fed at regular intervals to maintain their vigor and ensure a consistent rise and flavor in your bread. Here are some general guidelines for feeding your sourdough starter:
If you keep your starter at room temperature (around 70°F to 75°F or 21°C to 24°C), you should feed it once every 24 hours to keep it active and thriving.
Regular feeding ensures that the yeast and bacteria have enough food to stay healthy and maintain the fermentation process.
In warmer temperatures or if you want to increase the activity of your starter, you might need to feed it twice a day, approximately every 12 hours.
This helps to promote a faster fermentation process and can be especially useful if you want to bake frequently.
Refrigerated Starter Feeding
If you choose to refrigerate your starter to slow down its activity, you can feed it once a week or even every two weeks. Before refrigerating, it’s important to feed it to ensure it has enough food to survive in the cold environment.
Feeding My Sourdough Starter: Here Is How Often I Do It
You need to take into account how often you will use it. Imagine that your starter is going to be used to make pancakes, English muffins, and French toast every morning.
Leaving your starter out on your counter and feeding it every 12-24 hours is fine. My starter doesn’t get used every day.
My trick is to keep it in the refrigerator in a glass or airtight container with a lid since I use it a few times a week.
Let’s say it’s Friday, and I want pancakes on Saturday. Friday morning, I will take my sourdough out of the fridge, add flour and water, mix it up, and place it on the counter covered with a tea towel until Saturday morning.
After making pancakes on Saturday, I will feed the sourdough starter and leave it on the counter for 8 hours, then cover and refrigerate it until next Friday if I won’t use it until next week.
I will feed the sourdough starter on Friday and leave it on the counter until Sunday, when I will use it to make cinnamon rolls.
Leaving sourdough on the counter overnight will again make the yeast nice and active, and it will become a bubbly starter.
What Is The Best Amount Of Flour And Water To Feed My Sourdough Starter?
There is a lot of resilience in sourdough starters. For 11 years, I haven’t measured the flour or water in mine.
My starter is just thick enough to resemble pancake batter. It is a happy, healthy starter, so I do not worry about it.
Feeding A Sourdough Starter In The Refrigerator
You don’t have to feed your starter as often when you place it in the refrigerator because the yeast will relax and likely need less nutrition. In a way, it’s like a bear hibernating in winter.
Sourdough starters that are stored in the fridge do not require feeding as often as those kept on the counter. Keeping it on the counter requires daily feeding but keeping it in the fridge requires weekly feeding.
As long as you use it intermittently, you can switch between the refrigerator and the counter. Keep the starter on the counter if you use it every day. The fridge is the best place to store it if it is not going to be used for two weeks.
What Flour Should I Feed My Sourdough Starter?
All-purpose unbleached flour, whole wheat (I use freshly ground flour), and even einkorn all works just fine. Regardless of what type of flour I use, my starter does just fine.
What Is Your Schedule For Sourdough Starter?
As a matter of fact, I don’t even have one. It’s different every week. My sourdough starter is sometimes used only once, then left in the fridge for a week, and then used every day the next week.
Is It Okay To Put My Sourdough Starter Away Unfed?
Normally, I don’t like to put away my sourdough starter without feeding it, but I’ve done that before, and it worked well.
During Saturday’s pancake making, I forgot to feed my sourdough starter before I put it in the fridge. It didn’t require any feeding until the following Friday, when I fed it again in preparation for pancakes on Saturday morning.
Ideally, you should add flour and water to the starter, let it sit out for a few hours, then place it in the refrigerator.
As you can see, there are a lot fewer rules when it comes to keeping sourdough starter than you might think. You will become familiar with your starter as you keep it.
What Does “Fed” Sourdough Starter Mean When Your Recipes Call For It?
Your sourdough starter has had flour and water for two days and has been able to feed on them.
For example, if your starter is out of the fridge, you would feed it flour and water, stirring it well. Even if you are not going to use it, you should not immediately put it back in the refrigerator.
Put the starter back into the refrigerator after letting it sit out for a few hours to feed and be active.
It could now be used for pancakes and sourdough skillets the following day once it has been fed.
It is important to feed your sourdough starter regularly once you’ve created your own.
The starter may be kept at room temperature on the counter if you bake a lot of sourdough treats.
The starter will always be ready for use when you need it, as long as you feed it twice a day. Storing your starter in the refrigerator means feeding it only once a week if you’re a casual sourdough baker.