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who feeds the starter when you go away?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My husband has taken over the daily bread making and I have only an advisory role.  Yay.  And our daughter made us a sourdough starter for xmas.  It's working well and we feed it with rye or kamut flour and water regularly, and it seems happy and healthy.  But what about when we go away?  We may go away for a week soon, and sometimes it can be for more in the summer.  We have a neighbor come and feed the cat, but i don't think i can ask her to feed the starter.  So i need to know

 

How long will it last in the fridge without feeding?

 

Can it be frozen?  (poor little starter, will it need a scarf in there?)

 

I never wanted to make sourdough because the idea of keeping another living thing alive was too much for me.  Now we have it and I can't let it die!

 

Thanks

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #2 of 11

This may answer your question. When I was going to cooking school, the older Jewish Baking Teachers mad Rye bread started with a starter (Old Dough)  they then froze the loaves. Upon thawing they proofed and baked. It came out real good. Have never done it on sour dough, but princable seems the same.and it should work.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 11

A couple of weeks won't hurt the starter for for longer trips, why not just take it with you?

post #4 of 11

I like the idea of taking the starter on vacation, you could take pictures and show us all how much fun you and you starter are having. I know there is a baggage charge but look at all the joy your starter is giving you..............ChefBillyB

 

Managing Your Sourdough Starter

 

P.S. I'm thinking of getting a wood burning pizza oven so maybe your starter can vacation in the Pacific Northwest, just think of the stories the starter will bring home,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Very funny, guys.  But how are the airport security guards going to take my little liquid friend?!  I'm sure he'd have a great time, but the UK has a month long quarantine for animals, and he would suffer being alone for so long. 

 

Seriously, though, traveling for me always seems to involve a low cost airline.  Can't imagine carrying a starter in my suitcase.

 

Anyway, you say two weeks refrigerated is ok?  And how about freezing?  This is not bread dough, but the starter - it has to keep fermenting when it is unfrozen - will it stay alive in cryonic sleep?  

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #6 of 11

I've frozen starters before and it didn't hurt them. Why not freeze half and keep half in the refrigerator? That way, at least one of them should survive.

post #7 of 11

My starter is about 25 years old and I keep it in the refrigerator for extended periods of time, not unusual for it to "sleep" for, oh, 3-4 months at a time.

 

It does take a little extra time and feeding to get it real active again, but it has never "expired"!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #8 of 11

What the heck one time I had a stock pot going continuosly for 2 years.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 11

Spread it out thin on parchment, freeze it, break it into small pieces and hold it frozen in a plastic bag inside a plastic freezer container..  Chances are good that enough spoors will survive to restart the stater.  If not, you can always start from scratch.

 

BDL

post #10 of 11

As BDL says, freeze some.

 

You can also fix a starter gone bad from neglect if it wasn't too long. This is something on the order of 4-6 full feedings and divisions as though you were making a batch of dough which gives the yeast a chance to come back into balance and outcompete other yuck that got a start. I've seen it called washing a starter to cleanse it. I rescued some that was about a month old this way a few times.  Though you'll throw out quite a bit of yuck in the process.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

Very funny, guys.  But how are the airport security guards going to take my little liquid friend?!  I'm sure he'd have a great time, but the UK has a month long quarantine for animals, and he would suffer being alone for so long. 

 

Seriously, though, traveling for me always seems to involve a low cost airline.  Can't imagine carrying a starter in my suitcase.

 

Anyway, you say two weeks refrigerated is ok?  And how about freezing?  This is not bread dough, but the starter - it has to keep fermenting when it is unfrozen - will it stay alive ino cryonic sleep?  

Siduri, I think you should send us some starter, I like the idea of telling people I just made some crusty bread with Starter from Rome...............

 

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