Congratulations! You have successfully developed an active sourdough starter. You have gone through the tedious sourdough starter development process that was time consuming, flour intensive, and filled with many points where you asked “is this ever going to be active”. After making your first sourdough loaf you may ask, do I have to continue to feed this starter twice a day forever?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: No. Follow the following steps:
- Feed your starter as you have during the development process
- Leave your starter out at room temperature for 1-2 hours
- Put your starter in the refrigerator. This will slow how fast the wild yeast consume the flour and keep your starter active.
- Repeat steps 1-3 again in a week when it is time to feed the starter again
If you want to use your refrigerated starter to make a new loaf,
- Take out the sourdough starter 12 hours before you plan to make your sourdough
- Feed your starter
- Leave it out at room temperature (assuming room temperature is 68-85 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 12 hours after feeding the starter, use your starter for a new loaf
- Feed your starter again. You have two options after feeding:
- Make another loaf
- Enter low maintenance mode (the above 4 step process)
Refrigerating your starter slows your starter’s flour consumption and how much time you spend feeding your starter while keeping your starter active and ready to use in as little as 12 hours.