How Not to Kill Your Sourdough Starter

Sourdough bread
Photo by Debbie Widjaja on Unsplash

If you’ve recently gotten curious about the possibility of making sourdough bread, you’ve probably learned that sourdough baking requires the use of something called a starter, an active colony of good bacteria and wild yeast that help give sourdough its signature texture and flavor.

The thing about starter is that it’s alive, and if you want to keep it alive, you’ll have to put in some effort to maintain it. If it dies, you won’t be able to use it anymore, and you’ll have to get or make some new starter.

Now, killing sourdough starter isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it can be a bummer and definitely put a wrench into your baking plans. So to help prevent that, here are some tips for how to keep your sourdough starter alive.

  • When you’re not using it, keep your sourdough starter in the fridge.
  • How often you feed your starter will depend on how often you plan to bake with it.
  • If you’re going to bake every week, feed your starter daily, using equal parts flour and water.
  • If you’re going to bake less frequently, feed your starter once a week.
  • Always feed the starter the day before you bake with it.
  • Before baking, let your starter rise until it has doubled.