Sourdough – Reviving Your Starter

In the Spring, 2016 issue of Sift, a King Arthur Flour (KAF) Publication, there is a section dedicated to sourdough. Included are recipes, some of which I have already made, and a couple of pages devoted to reviving your sourdough starter. This issue is available in stores right now if you’re interested in purchasing it.

To be honest I have never been this thorough with “feeding” RosebudΒ (my sourdough starter) but because I am the curious kind of person and always looking to learn something new I decided to give it a go and see what an active, ripe starter looks like when it comes back to full strength. Never got into weighing my flour either but as it turned out I did not need about 1/8 cup of the 1 cup flour; 4 ounces = 113.398 grams. There is some obvious truth to weighing your ingredients.


Some things you might not know about sourdough: the chemistry of sourdough prevents mold from forming for well over a week. Try adding some sourdough starter to a regular bread recipe and it will help it stay fresher longer.

Sourdough can’t be rushed; long rises give the bran plenty of time to soften and allow the bread to rise higher.

I liked this paragraph from KAF ” Just as long fermentation and proper stewardship turn grapes into wine, the slow rise and long fermentation of sourdough create nuanced and complex flavors that can’t be achieved any other way”.

Below are the different stages:

My starter has been in the refrigerator for some time without being fed. The liquid on top is not harmful; you can stir it in or pour it off; I poured it off. Yucky blackish liquid that will not affect my starter. I then discarded all but 4 ounces which I weighed on my scale. Here is when a scale comes in handy as I have never weighed my starter before – just kind of eye-balled it. I will be feeding it twice a day, every 12 hours, while keeping it on the counter.

I measured out 114 grams of starter (4 ounces = 113.98 grams). Close enough don’t you think? There’s a shadow on the bowl and is not part of the starter.

The scale I am using is by Soehnle, a German company. First you turn it on, place your container on the scale, then press the “tare hold” and the weight will go back to zero. Then you add the ingredient you want to weigh.You obviously don’t want to weigh the bowl too! Very easy to use…

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Stir in equal amounts of flour and water by weight: 1 scant cup (4 oz.) of flour – I actually had almost 1/8 cup too much, 1/2 cup (4 oz.) water. Cover the starter and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours.

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After 12 hours, discard all but 4 ounces again and feed as directed above. Repeat this twice a day feeding schedule for 2 to 3 days, until the starter doubles in volume in 8 to 12 hours.

First feeding and after 5 hours it was just starting to bubble. By the end of 12 hours the starter filled up the pint jar and I moved it to a quart jar for the second feeding.

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Look at all of those bubbles just in a 12 hour period. I went through the process again, 4 ounces starter (throw out the rest) add 113.398 grams of flour (scant 1 cup) and 113.98 grams of water (1/2 cup).

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Third Feeding was full of bubbles and action. I am continuing to feed my starter even though it looks like I don’t need to. KAF said once the starter has doubled it’s ready but I wanted to feed it for at least 2 days and see if there is any more changes. You can see all of the activity from the bottom of my canning jar to the top of the starter. My starter is actively expanding and producing bubbles of carbon dioxide. Cool, huh?

Fourth FeedingΒ was just the same as the third. It doubled in size and I decided it was time to make some bread.

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It is now ready to perform “sourdough magic”. I decided to make Extra Tangy Sourdough Bread from KAF. I have renamed it Homemade San Francisco Sourdough Bread and my recipe will be appearing soon. Something new about this recipe is that I will be adding sour salt or citric salt to the mixture for an extra-sour flavor.


I know there are a lot of bread bakers out there and if you have not tried making sourdough bread you really need to. If you already have a sourdough starter going, try this method for reviving it. Personally, I think my RosebudΒ was revived too much πŸ™‚ Sharing this with Angie @ Fiesta Friday and her two co-hosts this week, Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Ashley @ Too Zesty.

34 thoughts on “Sourdough – Reviving Your Starter

  1. How interesting! Ive been eyeballing it for a long time and havent had any prblems with my breads – will be watching your site to find out how it affects your finished loaves!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that you named your starter. Fermenting in cooking is so interesting because it is both an art and a science. Does rosebud live in the refrigerator when you are not feeding her? How long have you had her? I am looking forward to your sourdough bread recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ashley – Yes, Rosebud has a permanent spot in my refrigerator. You can tell by that one picture she really needed to be fed and once I started to feed her she definitely swelled up with joy πŸ™‚ This starter comes from Selma’s Twinkle (a blogger who is missed by so many) and I’ve had it a couple of years. I hope to get my recipe posted – sometimes it is so hard to gather one’s thoughts and get it down in writing πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Starters usually have a story to tell. And I know just what you mean! I have half a dozen posts that have been sitting in draft for ages. Haha. Have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A great post for those that have tried the sourdough starter. I’m afraid I’ve never tried it, even though I’ve been offered several starters. This would be a great topic for so many who do.


  4. Bookmarking this for future reference, I’ve always wanted to try to make it but I was always scared off by this crucial step. Thanks for the tutorial.


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