Activating Dried Starter
Dried starter can be stored in a cool, dark place (or the freezer) for at least 1 year, and even longer if vacuum sealed. You only need about 10 grams of dried starter to get it going! (If you have some dried starter from my store, this means you only need to use HALF! This allows you to use some now, and save some for back up later.)
Activating dried starter is very easy. It only takes 2-3 days and can be used immediately to make bread or be put into maintenance mode. All you need is unbleached flour (all purpose or bread flour is fine) and water free of chlorine. (*Some city tap water has high levels of chlorine. If you’re struggling with your starter, this is an area to consider and swap for filtered water.)
1. Place 10 grams of dried starter in a mason jar or similar container. Add 20 grams lukewarm filtered water (1.5 tbsp), set aside, and let the dried starter begin to soften and dissolve in the water. This takes about 1 hour.
2. Once softened, add 20 grams unbleached flour (1/4 cup) and mix thoroughly until no dry flour remains. It should be the consistency of a thick paste. You can add more water or flour if needed to get to that consistency. Loosely cover with a lid. Do not seal tight.
3. Add a rubber band or masking tape to the jar, marking the top of the starter so you can monitor its growth easily. Place in a semi-warm location (warm kitchen, laundry room, or in the oven with a pan of hot water inside) and set aside for 12-24 hours.
4. At this point you may see growth and bubbles or you may not – both are okay. Feed starter again by discarding all of the starter except for 25 grams (about 1 tbsp), add 50 grams flour (shy 1/2 cup) and 50 grams lukewarm water (shy 1/4 cup). Cover loosely, adjust cup marking, and set aside for another 8-12 hours.
5. Feed it at least one more time following the routine in step 4 to ensure you have a fully active starter before using it in a recipe. An active, vigorous starter typically shows signs of readiness (doubled in size, bubbles) in 6-10 hours. Once active you can use it right away or put it in maintenance.