What is the best way to keep the sourdough starter?

I have a recipe for Amish Friendship Cake BUT I need to make new starter. I found the recipe for the sourdough starter BUT how do I store it so I don't have to always start from scratch?

Maureen 2707


Reiney March 26, 2013
The reason you throw out 1/2 the starter is because it can outgrow its container (and make quite a mess in your fridge). So you don't need to do this every time - keep the starter at about the halfway mark for the container and you're good.

Voted the Best Reply!

trampledbygeese March 25, 2013
Best way is hard to answer. It's very much a matter of personal preference, your cultural tradition, what flavours you are going for... and so much more.

This is a great article about keeping a starter: http://food52.com/blog/5327-maintaining-a-sourdough-starter If you are just looking for a simple, easy to follow, well written guide, don't read the rest of what I write here.

Although, to be honest, I completely disagree with it. Cooking with sourdough does not need fancy measurements, precise ratios, kitchen scales...unless you are a professional baker or cook. People have been successfully baking with sourdough for a few thousand years without digital scales. I do a lot of historical cooking (re-enactment cooking) so I prefer to use methods closer to what the pioneers heading West would have done. I keep a very small (about 3/4 cup total) very, very thick rye starter. I use it to make a sponge, and how thick or thin I make the sponge will influence the final texture and sourness of the bread. I keep this kind of starter for several reasons, but most of all because it takes up less space in the fridge.

The booklet Baking with Sourdough goes into way more detail about how you can influence the rise and flavour with the texture of your starter/sponge: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RNNBAK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001RNNBAK&linkCode=as2&tag=adveofawholwh-20
HalfPint March 25, 2013
I keep my starter in a mason jar in the fridge. I feed it once every week or two. If you keep it on the counter, you'll need to fee it daily.
Maureen 2. March 25, 2013
Thank you. Just a quick clarification - when I feed it is it necessary to remove about 1/2 of the old and use it or throw it out?
trampledbygeese March 25, 2013
You don't ever need to toss out old starter. use it to bake crackers or just generic loaf of bread.
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