Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Sourdough - Keeping and Feeding

techniqueTove Balle-PedersenComment
A Sourdough man in a cup

A Sourdough man in a cup

I often use sourdough in my baking. I like the texture and flavor the sourdough give baked goods. I started using my sourdoughs 5 years ago, and they are still going strong. I was somewhat unsure how to start my sourdough, so I bought it online at KingArthurFlour.com. I divided it in two, feeding one with rye flour (for Danish rye bread) and one with whole wheat (for breads like Basic country bread a la Tartine). I bake with a young sourdough, which means it has fermented for about 8 hours, making for a mild flavor-profile. The longer the fermentation the more sour you bread becomes.

Many are afraid to bake with sourdough, because they have to maintain and feed it. But here are my tips and tricks to maintain a sourdough. 

Feeding:

Feed the starter every 2-3 weeks or about 8 hours before you need it for baking. If you bake everyday you don’t have to feed the sourdough before using.

If you have a liquid on top of the sourdough, discard this. If you mix it in, your sourdough get way to sour. Discard about half the sourdough before feeding, so you feed about ½-1 cup sourdough. I do not measure this. I just discard about half and do the feeding directly in the storage container.

Rye sourdough:                    

  • ½-1 cup sourdough                   
  • ½ cup dark rye flour                    
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour               
  • 1 cup water          

 Wheat sourdough:

  •  ½-1 cup sourdough
  •  ½ cup whole wheat flour
  •  ½ cup all-purpose flour
  •  1 cup water

Directions:

Mix well, so all the flour is wet, let stand on the kitchen table for about 8 hour or overnight, fermenting. The sourdough will now be bubbling and smell kinda like beer. Now you can use the sourdough for baking, or store it in the refrigerator. 

When baking save about ½-1 cup of the fed sourdough for your next bake, this will be your new starter.

Keeping:

Keep the sourdough in the refrigerator in a closed container, double the size of the volume of the sourdough. The sourdough will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks with no feeding. With the long rest in the refrigerator you will have a dark liquid on top, discard this before feeding. (This will keep the sourdough from becoming to acidic.)

If you think your sourdough is gotten to sour to your taste. Just feed the sourdough 2-3 days in a row. This will freshen up the sourdough, and eliminate the harsh acidity you might have in the sourdough. 

Generally I only use "young" sourdough, meaning a newly fed sourdough in my baking.