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How To Revive Dehydrated Sourdough Starter

Rehydrating sourdough starter for baking

What is sourdough starter?

A sourdough starter is simply a mixture of flour and water that has been left at room temperature for approximately a week to ferment. This fermented mixture is what gives sourdough bread its classic "tang" taste. Each time you feed your starter with new flour, the yeast will start to feed and multiply to create good bacteria and air bubbles. The bubbles are what are used to help your bread rise naturally without the use of commercially produced yeast.

Tips before we begin:

  • You may choose any type of flour to feed your starter with. If you choose to change this at a certain part your can simply discard the majority of your active starter and begin feeding with the new type.

  • You do not want to use cold water for feedings, nor do you want to use hot water. Hot water can actually kill off the good bacteria within your starter. It is best to use room temperature water for all feedings.

  • When you cover your starter in between feedings, keep in mind that anything that ferments - needs air to do so! Never cover your starter with an airtight lid. I have found the best things to use are a classic Weck jar, or even a couple coffee filters doubled up with an elastic band to hold them on.

  • A little bit of warmth (not hot!!) can help speed up the fermentation process. Sitting your starter on a sunny window sill, in the oven with just the light on, or even on top of your refrigerator.

  • Think of your starter as a little dough baby. You may even want to give it a name ( It is alive, you know!) Your starter will need fed regularly to stay alive!

  • Your starter should be okay on the counter for up to 2-3 days in between feedings if need be. If you know it will be longer than that - you could store in the fridge for up to 7-8 days. The cold will slow the fermentation process. Bring it out and let it come up to room temperature before you feed again.

  • "Peak" - is the term for when your starter has reached its ultimate time to bake with! It has doubled/tripled in size from its last feeding and will only begin to fall from here.

  • After you've fed your starter - place an elastic band around your jar at the starting point so that its easy to see how much it has risen.

  • "Float test" - you can place a small scoop of your starter in water. If it floats, that's a good indication that your starter has enough air in it to create a rise and it is ready to bake with !

  • Each time you "discard" for a new feeding, you can either toss that starter in the garbage or save it for another recipe! There are tons of sourdough discard recipes online!

Day 1:

  • In a small bowl or jar add 5 grams of dehydrated sourdough starter with 15 grams of water. You want the water to be slightly warm - approximately 26 degrees C.

  • Allow the starter and water to sit for about 2 hours, giving the dehydrated particles some time to dissolve.

  • Once dissolved, stir in 15g of your desired flour.

Cover loosely, and let sit overnight 12-24 hours.

Day 2:

There may not be visible signs of activity at this point.

  • Without discarding any of what is in the jar, stir in 10g of flour and 10g of water.

  • Cover loosely once again, and let sit over night12-24 hours.

Day 3:

You may be able to start seeing some signs of activity at this point; small bubbles and a slight sour aroma.

  • Without discarding any of what is in the jar, stir in 10g of flour and 10g of water.

  • Cover loosely once again, and let sit over night 12-24 hours.

Day 4:

You should see clear signs of activity on the 4th day. The starter should have risen since the last feeding and you will see small bubbles.

  • Discard all but 15g of the starter. You may choose to switch vessels at this point if you started with something small.

  • To the remaining 15g of starter, add 30g of water and 30g of flour.

  • Cover loosely, and let sit overnight 12-24 hours .

Day 5:

Your starter should be very active at this point. It will have doubled in size, be very bubbly, and have a hint of sourness. By the fifth day, the time it takes to peak will have shortened from previous days. After a feeding your starter should be double or tripling within approximately 7 hours.


  • Discard all but 15g of starter

  • To the 15g of starter, add 30g of water and 30g of flour.

  • Cover loosely and let sit approximately 7 hours.


  • Check your starter around the 7 hour mark. If it has almost tripled in size, then repeat the same feeding as the AM. If it has not peaked, let it go another hour or two until it reaches that point.

  • At this point, your starter should be active enough to bake with.

Day 6:

The starter should be fully active at this point. Repeat feedings as necessary. To create a larger volume of starter at any point, discard less and feed more.


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