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How to Dehydrate Sourdough Starter


Have you ever wondered what you would do if your sourdough starter died, or, you accidentally used it all, or you dropped it? Well, did you know you can preserve your starter? I’m going to show you how to dehydrate sourdough starter so that you never have to worry about losing it!

sourdough starter bubbling in a glass jar

If you are like me, your starter is a very important part of your kitchen. I have been using sourdough for years and it had never occurred to me that something could happen to it. I guess I was blissfully ignorant. However, the other day, I was watching a YouTube video that I subscribe to and the lady was talking about how she accidentally killed her starter. It got me thinking! What would I do if that every happened to me? I mean, yeah, I could make another one or purchase one, but, then I would have to wait for some time before I could use it to make my bread.

With all of this in mind, I decided to preserve some of my starter just in case something like this ever happened. The method I am using is dehydration. And, it could not be simpler.

Why Sourdough?

Sourdough is a process of fermenting your bread dough with a sourdough starter. This process breaks down the gluten and proteins that can sometimes be hard to digest for gluten sensitive people. In order to get the most benefits of the fermentation process, you need to let your dough ferment for at least 12-24 hours.

As you can see, the process of sourdough can be very helpful for many people. If you’ve never made a sourdough starter https://therosehomestead.com/how-to-make-a-sourdough-starter/ it’s easy and fairly quick to do. The great news is that once you have an active starter, as long as you maintain it, it will last for as long as you want it. There are starters that have been handed down through generations!

I’m dehydrating just enough for myself, however, you can choose to dehydrate as much as you want. You can always offer it to friends and family. Some people even sell theirs on Etsy.

All you need to dehydrate your starter is parchment paper and fed/active sourdough starter. I suggest you use a spatula to spread the starter.

sourdough starter spread on parchment paper to dry

How to dehydrate your sourdough starter:

Make sure you have a spot in your kitchen to leave the starter out for about 24 hours undisturbed.

Place your parchment paper and lay it flat on the work surface. Take as much starter as you want, however, make sure you use only enough so you can spread it very thin and evenly.

Scoop a spoonful of your active sourdough starter and put it on the parchment paper. Using a spatula, spread the starter as thin as possible and as even as possible on the paper.

Allow it to sit out at room temperature, uncovered, and undisturbed for 24 hours. If it still isn’t dry enough to break into pieces. It should have the consistency of crackers.

dried sourdough starter on parchment paper

Once you break it all up, you can put it in the blender or food processor to blend it into a powder.

You can also just store it in broken up pieces.

Place in a glass jar or a small ziplock bag.

Store in the fridge or a cool pantry.

Notes: You can use a dehydrator to dry your starter (I am using mine), you can also use a silpat in place of parchment paper.

dried sourdough starter in jar

****If using a dehydrator, set to 95-100 degrees F and allow to dehydrate for 18-24 hours****

To reacitvate you dry starter, simply add 2tsp to 1tbsp of the dry starter to a jar, add 1/4 cup lukewarm water and dissolve the starter. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix well. Cover lightly and allow to ferment on the counter overnight. The next day add 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour. After 12 hours if it has doubled in size, you are set to go! It’s as easy as that! ****It may require a couple of more feedings depending on the strength of the starter, which would give you 1 cup of starter****

See you soon!

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  1. well i tried your beginners sourdough snadwich bread everything went well unttil i shaped it and put it in my pan toget the final rise. i used my oven with the light on to act lke a proofing box. three and a halve hours later it rose about halve way up the pan. all i can think of is that i worked the dough to much during shaping, any ideas? i can build a house , but struggling with this sourdough this is mt 10th loaf i feed to my chickens thanks brian

    1. Well, a couple of things. How old is your starter? Also, how did the first rise go? I’m sure we can figure this out!

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