how to make a bread starter

How do you make a bread starter? Can you fix a starter that has ben left in the fridge for a long while?

  • Posted by: sile
  • November 5, 2014


Windischgirl January 22, 2015
Peter Reinhart's books have instructions for starter that produce a manageable quantity; many of the other bread books I have read leave you with quarts of starter, which is too much for the average home, I hate throwing anything away! I agree with Kristin that rye will help revive a dormant starter, but you may have to feed it daily for a few days so it's good and lively on baking day.
A good website for baking info is, and you can find more info there. Good luck!
hardlikearmour November 6, 2014
Ken Forkish's book Flour Water Salt Yeast has instructions for creating a starter from scratch as well as restoring a levain (starter) that's been stored in the fridge for up to 1 month. Restoration process is: #1 put 200 g levain in your levain bucket, let it come to room temperaure for 30-60 minutes, then add 100 g wheat and 400 g white flour, plus 400 g 95ΒΊ F water (he does 80% hydration levain, if you do 100%, go ahead and add 500 g water). Mix until incorporated, then cover and let rest in a warm area overnight. #2 Discard all but 100 g (or a bit more in winter) then add 100 g wheat, 400 g white, and 400 g 85-90ΒΊ F water. Mix until just incorporated. Cover and let rest, until ready to mix dough 8-ish hours later.
If you want instructions for starting a levain from scratch, message me through the site.
sile November 6, 2014
SOOOOOOO many thanks. I will do this today! Always great to know of a way to save something you already started! Thnx!!!
Kristin A. November 6, 2014
Adding rye flour will increase its odds of bubbling again since rye flour ferments easier than wheat flour. Good luck!
sile November 6, 2014
Many thanks, I will try this as well!
ChezHenry November 5, 2014
Check out Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail cookbook, his bakery chef utilizes starters and "old dough" and has a great descriptive and interesting few pages on the topic.
sile November 5, 2014
Thanks for all!
ktr November 5, 2014
Are you talking about a sour dough starter? If it's been in the fridge for a while, you could try taking it out of the fridge and adding a mix of half flour and half water and let it sit for a day and see if it gets bubbly again.
sile November 5, 2014
Thanks so much. Great advice.
Gail 🐝. January 19, 2015
Can you tell me how long you can keep a sour dough starter for. Thank you
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