HOW TO STORE SOURDOUGH?
Once used for your recipes, Sourdough can be stored in 3 ways, depending on how long you wish to keep it.
First, you must evaluate if you want to have It available every day or if you prefer to use it from time to time. In the first case, you will need to refresh the Sourdough DAILY and store it at room temperature (about 19°C (66°F) – 20°C (68°F)) for 24 hours.
In the second case, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer for several days. However, I suggest scheduling the cycle of 3 refreshments at least once every 15-20 days to avoid diluting the yeasts and causing them to lose their strength.
STORAGE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE (FOR 24 HOURS)
Keep the Sourdough at room temperature and refresh it daily if you need to use it often (but this is unlikely to happen at home). Otherwise, please keep it in the refrigerator and refresh it every week to reinforce the Sourdough after several days of storage.
Let’s see how to refresh the Sourdough daily:
Assuming you refreshed the starter the previous day, remove the crust from the Sourdough’s surface and take the inner part. You will soak it in lightly sweetened water (2g of sugar/liter of water) at 38°C (100°F) and leave it for about 20 minutes.
Once the “bath” is complete, squeeze out the Sourdough and knead it with the following proportions:
- 1kg of well-squeezed Sourdough
- 1kg of Bread Flour
- 300gr of water 30°C (86°F)
As soon as you get a homogenous dough, roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1-2cm, roll it up and dip it in cold tap water (about 19°C (66°F)). Let the sourdough ferment at room temperature for 24 hours. If the room temperature rises above 28°C (82°F)(e.g., in summer), reduce the storage period to 12 hours.
STORAGE IN THE FRIDGE (FOR 7-10 DAYS)
This type of storage is the one I recommend for home use because it allows you to keep the Sourdough for about 1 week without causing an excessive loss of strength.
After the bath (as explained above), squeeze and knead:
- 1kg starter
- 2kg of Bread Flour
- 800gr water at 30°C (86°F)
Knead it, roll it to 1-2 cm of thickness, roll it up and soak it in cold tap water (about 19°C (66°F))
Leave the Sourdough at room temperature until it comes to the surface. Then, place it in the fridge at +4°C (39°F) for 7-10 days.
Sourdough does not absorb odors that may be in the refrigerator, so you can leave it uncovered.
It is crucial to evaluate the fridge’s temperature because if it is too far from +4°C, it will shorten the yeast’s shelf life to 4-5 days.
To reactivate the Sourdough starter, leave it for 24 hours at room temperature and proceed with the regular daily refreshments for at least 4-5 days before using it in the recipe.
STORAGE IN FREEZER (FOR MORE THAN 1 MONTH)
To further extend the period of preservation – more than 1 month – I suggest to FREEZE your Sourdough Starter, moving as follows:
After soaking the Sourdough as explained above, squeeze it and knead it following these proportions:
- 1 kg starter
- 2 kg of Bread Flour
- 800 g water at 30°C (86°F)
Knead all the ingredients, roll the dough to 1-2 cm of thickness, roll it up and soak it in cold tap water at 19°C/20°C (66°F – 68°F). Leave at room temperature until the Sourdough rises to the surface and then place in the refrigerator, uncovered, at +4°C (39°F) for 24 hours. The next day, put it in the freezer and wait for the entire mass to completely freeze before covering the Sourdough with a plastic wrap sheet.
To reactivate the Sourdough, avoiding temperature shocks is crucial. For this, please place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then put it at room temperature for 24 hours or the time necessary for the Sourdough to rise to the surface again. Finally, you can proceed with standard refreshments.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED HOW TO STORE SOURDOUGH, YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS EXTRAORDINARY INGREDIENT.
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