Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Reviving A Dried Spelt Sourdough Starter

On Sunday I decided to conduct a small sourdough experiment. Last year I dried out some of my active sourdough starter, and stored it away, intending to pull it back out in a short amount of time and see if I could bring it back to life.
That was nearly twelve months ago, and I must admit that I sort of forgot about the jar of dried starter hiding at the back of the pantry.
I pulled it out on Sunday afternoon and decided to try reviving some. Momentarily I thought it would be a good idea if I looked up just how to do that, but I couldn't be bothered and decided to wing it. Well, it worked.

In just two days, those two tablespoons of dried sourdough flakes have become this bubbling, frothy, active bowl of sourdough starter. I'm thrilled, because now I know that if I ever need to store my starter long term that this is a viable way of doing it. It also means that I can now post starter in the mail...my starter can go global. (Well, national maybe, due to quarantine laws!).

Here's the basic reconstitution recipe I did:

Sunday afternoon: Placed two dessertspoons of dried sourdough starter into a small bowl, added enough water to make it porridgy and left it to soak for several hours
Sunday evening: The dried starter had absorbed the water; I mushed up any remaining larger flakes with a spoon. It smelt very strong, like concentrated sourdough starter. I gave it a tiny feed of 25g of whole spelt flour, equal water and left it on the bench for the night
Monday morning: Three tiny, minuscule bubbles had appeared. Still smelling strong. I doubled the feed and forgot about it until that evening
Monday evening: Definite signs of life with a couple of normal-sized bubbles, and now smelling like a very fresh, new starter - I had a sudden flashback of what a starter smells like when you first begin it. Flour and water. I gave it a 100g feed and again left it on the bench
Tuesday morning: Smelling like a normal starter now, and definitely alive. I increased the feed size a little and left it on the bench
Tuesday evening (tonight): Covered in bubbles and froth - that's one happy and alive starter! Smelling and looking like a clone of my other starter - I guess because it is. And she became even frothier after this photo was taken. I'll relocate her to a bigger bowl later, give her a feed and then she'll go in the fridge for a nap until the end of the week when she'll contribute to a big pizza / bread baking session. I'm chuffed!

If you'd like to dry out your starter for long term storage (or just for the fun of doing so), I'd love to share the online tutorial I followed but it was so long ago I can't remember. Just do a google and plenty should come up.
I remember drying mine out on baking paper in the food dehydrator, at a low temperature so that I didn't harm the yeast. The starter had to be bubbling and active before drying, and was ready to store once fully dry. I broke mine into tiny crumb-like pieces and have stored it in a glass mason jar, in the dark.

Happy sourdough storing!

Sarah x

If you enjoyed this post, check out Spelt Sourdough Made Simple.
Filled with delicious recipes designed for baking with whole spelt flour (and other variations of spelt) with no mixing in of other flours - this is truly 100% spelt sourdough. Also suitable for whole wheat flour baking. Learn more or purchase your instant download copy here.

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  1. You make bread-making sound very achievable Sarah :) Do your starters get named? xo

    1. Surprisingly no I haven't named them! If you want any starter just let me know Kellie, I'd be happy to post you some x


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Maira Gall