Sourdough Maintenance & no-knead bread recipe

You have a mature sourdough culture. Now what!?

In order to bake with your starter it needs to be fed every 12 hours leading up to the time you begin to prepare your recipe. Find a schedule that works for you. Maybe you feed it after breakfast and then again after dinner. Mostly, it is important to be observant of your sourdough. Feeding a sourdough starter at it’s peak (right before it runs out of food) will keep it strong and healthy. Look for activity in your starter. It should be rising as the yeast eats and falling as the bubbles begin to break. Don’t fret if you find your starter has separated if you’re storing it long term. Just stir and keep feeding and you should be able to bring it back to life. It’s best to use the starter 6-12 hours after feeding, when it’s most active.

Feeding (every 12 hours):

Long-term storage:

Refrigeration: The yeast must be fed regularly to keep it alive and healthy. If feeding twice daily is a bit much for your schedule or flour supply, there are other options for longer term storage so you can have it available when you’re ready to bake. If you you only plan to use your starter once every week or so, you can store it in the fridge and feed it as outlined above once every week to keep it active. Just make sure to bring it back to room temperature about 2-3 days (with daily feeding) before you use it. This will ensure it’s active and happy before your bake.

Freezing: Freezing might be more appropriate if you are a more occasional sourdough baker (using the starter only once every couple months) or if you won’t be able to maintain it for an extended period of time.  You may also want to save a little extra starter “just in case”. This could give you a backup plan if things don’t work out with your active starter. To freeze, simply place your active starter in the freezer in a tightly sealed container. The yeast will go dormant and will not require any feeding while frozen. But due to the much colder temperature, you may want to allow your yeast a full week of room-temp feeding to bring it back to life before you bake.

If you are an experienced sourdough baker you can use this starter in any of your favorite recipes. If you are just trying out sourdough for the first time this recipe is a great place to start.

Simple No-knead Sourdough Recipe 

Instead of kneading, this dough is developed by stretching and folding the dough during a long fermentation.

This recipe can be prepared with a starter that was fed 6-12 hours earlier.