The fridge method of preserving sourdough starter

For a long time, I was a feed-your-starter-daily type of person.

While that’s probably very healthy for the starter, I got sick of it pretty quickly! I started loathing those few minutes each morning spent weighing out flour and water for the feeding (and the subsequent sticky cleanup).

It turns out you can skip a ton of that work by using — the fridge! My starter is perfectly happy to get fed once a week, and spend the rest of the time in the fridge. This saves flour, and your sanity!

I just take my starter out on a weekend morning, give it a feeding (just a regular 80g feeding), and leave it out for the rest of the day. Once it’s nice and bubbly, I return it to the fridge for another week of stasis.

Overall it’s much easier, and much more convenient for most people, unless you’re baking with your starter multiple times a week.

That’s the downside of this method — your starter wont always be ready to bake with. If you’ve got a robust, healthy starter though, it’s not too much effort to get it active and ready for cooking — just take it out a day early and give it an extra feed to “warm up”. Clear out the “warm up” feed once it’s risen, feed it again, and it should back to its bubbly and active self.

The method

  1. Give your starter a regular feeding (for me, 40g water + 40g flour).
  2. Leave it out for a few hours, until it gets nice and bubbly.
  3. Place your starter in the fridge and store for up to a week (I’ve stored it much longer, but it always feels risky!)
  4. After a week, repeat from step 1 ↑
  5. (If you want to bake with your starter) Remove your sourdough starter from the fridge a day before you want to bake with it (irrelevant for discard recipes). Give it a regular feeding. Once it’s risen, refresh your starter with another feeding, and use that to bake with the following day.