Home Bread-Bakers v108.n007.6

Reviving Dry Starter

bbnspike <bbnspike@yahoo.com>
Tue, 19 Feb 2008 21:01:46 -0800 (PST)

The Brochure available for download here is a historical 
document.  It is a lightly edited version of the brochure that Carl 
sent out with starter. The instructions in the brochure work just as 
well as they always have. However, with the fresh start that we are 
sending out, we have found that potato starch, from potato water or 
dry granules, and sugar are not necessary to reconstitute the 
starter.  Plain white flour and water will do just fine.

Following is a method to revive the start that I like better than the 
one detailed in the brochure:

Get a small container.  Begin with one tablespoon of lukewarm water, 
stir in 1/2 teaspoon of your starter and let stand for a few minutes 
to soften the start granules. Then mix in one tablespoon of flour. 
Depending on the flour, you may need to add an additional teaspoon or 
two of water. You want the mixture to be like a thin pancake 
batter.  When the mixture gets bubbly, put it in a little larger 
container.  Then stir in 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of flour.  When 
that mix rises up add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour.  When 
this bubbles up, you will have about one cup of very active starter 
that is ready for use or storage in your refrigerator.

The time between refreshments will depend mainly on temperature. You 
can expect the first sign of starter activity to take from four to 12 hours.


* I use the baby formula wrist test to judge the temperature of the 
water.  A few drops on your wrist should feel neither warm nor cold.

* A baby food jar and an 18-ounce peanut butter jar work well for the 
small and large containers.

* Established starter will do fine in any room temperature that is 
comfortable for humans.  Warmer room temperature is helpful when 
reviving start, but do not go over 85F if at all possible.  Cooler 
temperatures just extend the time required.  If room temperature is 
under 68F, I find a warmer spot such as the top of my refrigerator or 
a cold oven with the light on.

* Vigorous stirring of the mixture from time to time will slightly 
shorten the time between growth stages, but is not necessary for 
success.  I use this method to test start before shipping and just 
stir enough to mix the ingredients.

Regarding the vinegar "kick", and the use of dry yeast in a few of 
the recipes Carl transcribed, we don't do it, but heck, it might work for you.

Good luck with your sourdough,

"Carlos" October 19, 2003

Barb in Ocala, Florida