Go Back
Sourdough Flakes in a Mason Jar
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

How to Dry (and Revive!) Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starters are amazing little things; they're like pets that require regular feeding. There will be times when you will either need or want to take a break from starter maintenance: going on vacation, moving to another state, even the holidays. Drying your starter is an easy way to take a time-out, and it stores beautifully. Plus, dried starter makes a great gift!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Drying Time2 d
Keyword: Sourdough, Starter

Equipment

  • Silicone baking mat (or parchment paper)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Spatula
  • Mason jar

Ingredients

  • 30 g Sourdough starter

Instructions

How to Dry Sourdough Starter

  • Feed your starter as normal. (For me, I put 60g lukewarm water in a Mason jar and add 30g starter. I screw the lid on tightly and shake until incorporated. Then I add 30g all-purpose flour and 30g whole-wheat flour, stir to mix well, then place the lid on the jar without screwing it on. Then I let it sit for 6-8 hours, or until at peak bubbly-ness.)
    Feeding sourdough starter
  • When your starter is nice and active, spread it thinly onto your silicone baking sheet or parchment paper, on a cookie sheet. Try and get the starter as thin and uniform as possible. Use however much you want - to revive it, you only need 30g of dried flakes, or about 1/4 cup. If it's a gift or you don't want to dry it all, make sure you save some!
    Sourdough starter spread thin on silicone mat
  • Once spread thin, place the cookie sheet in the oven but do not turn it on. You don't want to cook the starter whatsoever. The oven functions as a holding place. Plus, you can turn on the little light inside to raise the temperature slightly - this is the best way to achieve fast, safe drying.
    Pro tip: If you're like me and you frequently forget things are in your oven, write yourself a sticky note that says STARTER IN OVEN!! and stick it to the control panel. This way we won't have an accidental starter fire on our hands. :)
    Dried sourdough starter in the oven
  • When the starter is completely dry, use your hands to crumble it into pieces and place in a mason jar. Close the lid as tightly as possible, label it, then store it in a cool dark place, like a kitchen pantry or cupboard. Never in the fridge or freezer!
    Sourdough Flakes in a Mason Jar

How to Revive Dried Sourdough Starter

  • Weigh 30g of dried starter flakes and add to a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Add 60g lukewarm water, and try to submerge all flakes.
    Dried starter flakes soaking in water
  • Over the next two to three hours, stir the flakes every half hour or so. Eventually they will completely dissolve.
    Sourdough flakes completely dissolved
  • Once the flakes have disappeared, stir in 30g all-purpose flour. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let it sit somewhere warm, like your oven with the light on, or a warm sunny room. Leave it alone for about a day.
  • The next day, take a look at your starter - you're looking for small bubbles. If you see some, or lots, great! Move on to the next step. If you see none, return it to its warm place for a few hours, and check again.
    Bubble activity in my starter revival
  • Feed your starter with 30g flour and 30g water. Don't discard any; it's not ready for that yet. We're still trying to build it up. Mix well, and put your starter back in its warm place. Watch for more bubble activity - this could take anywhere from six to 12 hours depending on, well, many factors. If you're seeing lots of bubbles, move on. If you're seeing none or only a few, wait a couple hours and check again.
  • Repeat the step above. Feed with 30g flour and 30g water, don't discard, mix well, and put it back. Keep an eye out for activity. This time, you want to see lots and lots of bubbles. This could take anywhere from six to 12 hours.
    Revived sourdough starter
  • Discard all but 120g of your starter. Feed it using 120g water, 60g all-purpose flour and 60g whole-wheat flour. Stir to mix well. Placed in the oven with the light on, it will double or triple in size in about three to four hours. Your starter is now alive and healthy - time to get baking!
  • This is a sourdough boule I baked with my revived starter!
    Sourdough boule baked with dried and revived starter