Sourdough Starter Q & A

Sourdough Starter Q & A

A couple days ago, I took to Instagram and asked if you guys had any questions on the big ol' world of sourdough! As always, you guys showed up (let's be real, sourdough is pretty confusing when you're first swingin' your leg over its saddle!) and had some great questions! If at any point in your journey you still have comments or questions, feel free to comment here, email me or DM on Instagram @flyingspadeco; I'm always here to help!

Q: How do I make a sourdough starter?

A: All that you need to make a successful sourdough starer is a jar, flour, water and about a weeks time; from there, you’ll be off to the races! I wrote a whole blog dedicated to those who are making the first step in their sourdough starter journey right here- it’s called “Simple Sourdough Starter” and it covers all of the details on making sure your sourdough starter is a success from the get-go!

Q: My starter has a dark liquid on top- what is this?

A: Don’t fret! If your sourdough starter starts to develop a dark liquid that sits on top of your starter- that’s ok! That liquid is called “hooch” and is just an indication that your sourdough starter needs to be fed! Hooch is essentially alcohol that's given off in liquid form as the wild yeast ferments within your sourdough’s harmless! Leave it be and mix it in when you go to feed your starter!

Q: How often should my starter be used?

A: As often as you need to use it! Sourdough starters are very resilient, tough beings; when maintained and stored properly, they can last thousands of years.

If you’re an avid baker and reach for your sourdough starter often, you can leave it on your counter, loosely covered in a container or jar at room temperature and feed it every 12-24 hours.

If you only plan on using your starter on occasion, you can store it in the fridge in an air-tight container; just make sure to take it out and feed it once a week...but I know people who’ve went longer! Protocol is subjective to each baker- but there’s a few things that I like to abide by when storing my starter in the fridge- I have all of the deets written in a blog post called “Feeding and Maintaining Your Sourdough Starter” right here!

Q: Do I have to keep discarding my starter after Day 7 of establishing my starter?

A: Yes and no! In that initial seven day period when you’re first establishing your sourdough starter, the reason you discard half of your starter each day is because, at that point, your sourdough hasn’t really reached a point of viability; it doesn’t typically turn the corner until Day 5-7, sometimes longer! Once you have an established starter, you’ll be discarding some of your starter prior to feeding. BUT! At this point, you don’t have to throw your discard away. You can store your discard in the fridge, just like how you would your sourdough starter (or on the counter for 2-3 days), for up to a week to use in discard-specific recipes. After a week, it’s best to toss it out, since it will start to get too acidic and sour-tastin’!

I hope that helped answer a few of your guys questions! Again, if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to reach out! You can do this!!