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Feb 25, 2013 01:24 AM

Sourdough starter

Hi everyone! I have just started making a sourdough starter yesterday. Will add up/refresh in the next few days (about 4 times) but just realize that I will be away for 3 days. Will my starter "die"? What will happen? Can I still use it and continue to refresh and use to make bread? Thanks!

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  1. just feed it, then stick it in the refrigerator - the cool temperatures will more-or-less put it into stasis, and it will be fine for the time you're gone.

    Then when you get home, set it on the counter and let it warm up -- and it will get back to work.

    1 Reply
    1. Thank you so much! This is my first time trying so I didn't know that I can just put it in the fridge ;p Thanks again!

      6 Replies
      1. re: cinthya

        It won't work if you're going for several weeks, but for several days, it works great.

        1. re: sunshine842

          I've left my mature starter, untouched, in the fridge for a couple or three months. I had to refresh it twice before I made bread - the first refresh it was still slow - but it was perfectly fine.

          If you know you're going to leave the starter for an extended period of time, you can add extra flour to it to make a firm starter. It'll be less likely to die in the meantime since it'll have plenty of food to keep it happy.

          1. re: LMAshton

            good to know -- I used to have a potato starter - it kicked the bucket after 2 weeks in the fridge.

            One of these days, I'll start a new one.

            1. re: LMAshton

              I think the beasties in my starter must be on steroids. I had left it untouched in the fridge for over a year. I took it out the other day, inspired by all the recent posts on sourdough, and it has had no problems coming back to life-- vigorously-- with one feeding. It is 100% hydration.

              1. re: ohmyyum

                man. Wish there was a way to get a spoonful of THAT one!

                What recipe did you use? (do you remember?)

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Starters can be dried and then shipped/mailed. That's easy enough. Just spread the starter out very thin on a piece of cling film (I dilute my starter with extra water to get it really thin) and let it dry. When it cracks into a powder, it's dry enough. Store in a zip lock bag and it's good for a backup or to ship.

                  One warning, though. One of my starters died by going through airport xrays too many times. Not joking. We flew from Sri Lanka to New Zealand, where we lived for half a year, then back to Sri Lanka, then to Singapore, and by the time we hit Singapore, the dried starter was dead dead dead. It had gone through airport xrays at least a dozen times by then. And no, it wasn't because it was old - it had been dried for only a year.

        2. I bought a few ounce starter from Breadtopia last month and so far, so good. I'm wondering if I'm feeding it enough now that it's grown, because it rises up a few hours after the feeding, then deflates, but is still bubbly.
          I have about 3-4 cups worth and am feeding at least 2x/week with 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Not enough maybe? I seem to be at an equilibrium.
          Also, I'm reading KAF's site on maintaining the starter and they say to get rid of a cup of the flour before you want to feed it, especially if you're going to feed then use in dough within a day or so.
          Mine's just not growing at that pace, so maybe I should cull the herd a bit and give it a good feeding and see if I can get some robust growth.