How to Dehydrate & Rehydrate Sourdough Starter

*****Please see description notes here for full details!

In this video I show how I dehydrate (and then rehydrate!) my sourdough starter, Ozzy. Dehydrated sourdough starter can last for years and years if stored properly (in a cool, dry, dark location such as in a pantry). Took me approximately 3 days to revive the dehydrated starter after several feeds with water and flour. My water is purified tap, and I use a mix of 10% Bob’s Red Mill rye/90% King Arthur bread flour (12.7% protein). I maintain my starter at 100% hydration by feeding with equal amounts flour and water, by weight.

To Dehydrate:
1. Be sure your starter is very active, and then spread out your starter in a thin layer on a sheet of parchment paper (approx. 30g is great). Cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Let the starter sit at room temperature for 24-36 hours until *completely* dried.
2. Once dried, I like to crush the starter between the two sheets of parchment paper and then transfer to a small blender to grind.
3. Grind down about 30 seconds until the starter chips are all finely ground. Transfer to a glass mason jar with a tight lid, and store in a cool, dry, and dark place such as the pantry.

To Rehydrate (see video at the 1 minute mark):

Day 1: Measure out 5g dehydrated starter and add 10g warm, purified water. This is a 1:2 dilution. Stir well for 20 seconds and then cover loosely with a lid. Let sit at room temperature about 30 minutes to rehydrate a bit. After the 30 minute rest, add 10g flour mix and stir very well. Cover loosely and let sit somewhere warm (~80degF) for 24 hours.
Day 2: Add to the jar 10g purified water and 10g flour mix. Stir well, cover loosely, and let sit somewhere warm again for 18-24 hours.
Day 3: In the morning of Day 3, you should be seeing pretty nice activity in your starter if you kept your starter somewhere warm. Discard all but 5g of your starter, and move to a fresh clean jar. Do a 1:2:2 (starter:water:flour) feed – meaning add 10g water and 10g flour mix to your jar. Stir well, loosely cover, let sit ~80degF for 8 hours. In the afternoon of Day 3, discard all but 5g of your starter. Feed again 1:2:2 (add 10g water and 10g flour mix) and stir well. Let sit ~80degF for 6-8 hours. Before bed, feed once again, this time 1:5:5 (discard all but 5g starter, add on top 25g water and 25g flour) and stir well. Let sit ~80degF overnight, approx. 10-12 hours.
Day 4: Your starter should be completely revived at this point! You can now use this activated starter to build your levain and bake bread! I usually require about 60g levain for a bake, so I’d take about 20g activated starter and mix in 20-25g water and 20-25g flour mix. Let sit for 4-6 hours at 80degF and then add to your autolyse!

*More information regarding sourdough starter maintenance can be found on my Instagram page @FullProofBaking (check the top of my page for links to posts on starter care/maintenance). Thanks for watching! 😊

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