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How to Feed a Sourdough Starter
Making and maintaining a sourdough starter at home is easy and rewarding, no commercial yeast packets required!
Once your starter is activated, it requires regular feeding to keep it healthy. This video and article will tell you how!
How to Feed Your Sourdough Starter
Sourdough starter can be fed either by weight or volume measurements. Feeding by weight is considered more accurate, but feeding by volume is usually more convenient, as most people have measuring cups in the kitchen. Either method can be used successfully.
NOTE: A brown liquid layer on top of your starter, called hooch, indicates that the starter is hungry. If hooch forms, pour it off and feed the starter as soon as possible, then feed more frequently going forward.
Daily Feedings for Room Temperature Sourdough Starter
If you bake frequently, maintain your starter at room temperature and feed 2-3 times daily, as described above. Most starters generally require feeding every 8-12 hours, depending on the temperature in the culturing area.
When maintained at room temperature and fed daily, your sourdough starter will always be ready to use for baking. Use the starter to prepare bread dough within 3-4 hours of being fed, to ensure the starter is at its peak of activity.
If you do not bake often, maybe only weekly or monthly, it is more practical to keep your sourdough starter in the refrigerator, in a tightly-closed container, and feed it once per week.
Preparing Refrigerated Sourdough Starter for Baking
Refrigerated sourdough starter is in a state of hibernation. Before using it for baking, follow our instructions for Making Fresh Sourdough Starter to ensure your sourdough starter is fully awakened and active enough to leaven bread.