bread, sourdough starter, dough scraper

Revive & Reawaken Your Sourdough Starter

Forgot about your starter? There might be hope!
Do you ever have that “oh shoot” moment as you sit and struggle to recall the last time you fed your sourdough starter?
We have all been there.
In many cases, the starter has made its way to the back of the fridge and the busyness of life distracts you. The next question many ask is…”Did I kill my starter?”
We are here to tell you there is hope and all may not be lost.
Remove the lid, take a look, and have a sniff. It likely will have some gray, watery substance on top. That is called hooch. Hooch is a natural alcohol by-product of fermentation. It’s ok to either stir it in or pour it off. There is no hard and fast rule. Whenever you get hooch, and you may even when feeding it regularly, it’s just a sign it’s hungry.
Flour is a starter’s steak dinner. If there is a layer of gray on the top, clean it off with a spoon until you find some that is the color you remembered.
Next, look for mold. If it’s pretty colors like white, orange, red, pink, blue, green or anything fuzzy, throw it out, get a new, clean container and start over.
Mold is not something to mess with. Thankfully, it won’t take long to create a new starter and our Creating and Maintaining Heritage Sourdough Starter recipe makes it easy. You can also purchase a starter from us here. Better safe than sorry.
If you feel like your starter is salvageable, transfer it to a new, clean container and start building it up again using our Maintaining Sourdough Starter recipe found here.
Feed it a few times with our Heritage White or Heritage Bread Blend. These flours contain the perfect amount of nutrients and accessible sugar to get your tired old starter back up and running.
If it’s not gaining strength or looks watery after a few feedings, consider adding in a little Ultra-Fine Heritage Whole Wheat Flour, Ultra-Fine Heritage Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, or Organic Fine Rye Flour.
Start feeding your starter on a regular basis. That means feeding every 12 hours. Once your starter bounces back, adjust the feeding to every three or four days.
That’s it! If the process doesn't work initially, start over with a fresh scoop of your old starter.
Our Facebook group, Baking With Heritage Grains is the best source for help with wonky starters. There have been people who don’t bake often and they just push their starters to the back of the fridge until they're ready to bake again. They bring it out and start the build-up routine for a few days and have a beautiful loaf of bread before they know it.
Don’t stop believin’. You got this!
All for now,

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