top of page

Sourdough Starter: How to hydrate your dehydrated starter & start baking!

Updated: Mar 30


Hi there and thank you for your purchase of The Rooted Kitchen’s Sourdough Starter. Below you will find all of the information needed to rehydrate the starter and bake an amazing loaf of sourdough. Sometimes recipes can be vague so we made sure to add everything we thought may be confusing or that you might have questions on. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out, we are here to help. Oh and be sure to document your journey and tag @the.rooted.kitchen so we can cheer you on!


The time frame for the starter is about 3-7 days and will be dependent on your consistency of feeding the starter and the environment/temperature in your home (or wherever you are baking it). The time frame for baking a loaf is about 1-2 days, so if you want a loaf for Friday night dinner, make sure you feed your starter Wednesday night or Thursday AM and start the process of making your loaf within 4 hours of your starter doubling in size.



REHYDRATING YOUR STARTER

What's needed to start:


  • 2 Clean Glass Jars - We prefer a large mason jar with a wide mouth opening.

  • A Digital Scale - this is a must.

  • A wooden spoon & a small baking spatula (for wiping/clearing sides of mason jar).

  • A sharpie or an elastic band (for marking the starting level of the starter, so you can insure it has doubled in size ).

  • A coffee filter.

  • An elastic band/hair tie or the outer rim of the mason jar lid (this is to secure the coffee filter on top of the mason jar).


  • 20 g Dried Sourdough Starter.

  • Flour of your choice (We use unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour). This amount should be enough for around 5-6 feeds. Whatever you use, make sure it is UNBLEACHED.

  • Filtered Water (Filtered water is IMPORTANT - Make sure the water is room temp to warm [not HOT/ not COLD]).


Things to note:

*The process of rehydrating your sourdough starter is repetitive. Each day will require the same steps and the same equipment, so we suggest clearing a small clean work space to keep your flour, and starter and other supplies easily accessible. This way you can easily feed the starter and it won’t feel like such a tedious process having to get everything out every single time.


*After you feed the starter and mix it together, clean your utensils/ working area so you are ready to go for the next “feed”. Every time you add flour and water to your starter mixture, it is considered a “feed”.


*Please do not use metal of any type on the sourdough starter. Use glass, plastic or wood always.


*The process of rehydrating your starter can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days. You will know your starter is ready when it doubles in size consistently and has plenty of bubbles.


*After you mix together your starter, scrape down any excess mixture that is on the sides of the jar. You want to ensure that everything is mixed together nicely.


*Marking the jar with a sharpie is an easy way to note where the starter began and how much it has grown. The sharpie comes offeasily - you may also use a hair tie or rubber band to mark the level at which the starter began at.


Let’s getstarted!



DAY 1 - Morning

Starting with a clean jar, add 20g of your dried sourdough starter. *A tip for making sure this mixes nicely (and quickly) is to crush up the sourdough starter chips into a smaller/finer ground.

Once the chips have been broken up, add 50g of room temp or warm filtered water & stir until the starter is completely covered and coated with water. (If your house is cold and the temp of the water is cold, we suggest warming the water slightly. However, you do not want hot water.)

Next add 50g of flour and stir together well, making sure that you get plenty of oxygen into the mixture. It may seem thick right now, that is OK. ⟶ Mark the level where the starter began, so you can watch and see if it is growing/doubling in size. Cover with a paper towel or coffee filter and secure with elastic band, or use the outer rim of the mason jar lid so the paper or filter is secured. Let sit for 12 hours.


*NOTE: you likely will not see the starter double in size much until you have completed a few feedings.


DAY 1 - Afternoon

After the 12 hours, feed the starter again using the same routine you used before.

[50g of flour and 50g of room temp/warm filtered water / mix together well / mark your jar / cover and let sit for another 12 hours]


*NOTE: it is OK if you leave it to sit for longer than 12 hours depending on your schedule etc. But try to feed it as regularly as possible so you can start baking ASAP!


DAY 2 - Morning

After 12 hours, discard all but 50g of your starter. The easiest way to do this, is to place 50g of starter into a new clean jar using your digital scale to measure properly, and then get rid of the rest by washing the jar you used yesterday.


Add 50g of water and 50g of room temp/warm filtered water / mix together well / mark your jar / cover and let sit for 12 hours.


DAY 2 - Afternoon

Repeat the above steps: After 12 hours, discard all but 50g of your starter. Add 50g of water and 50g of room temp/warm filtered water / mix together well / mark your jar / cover and let sit for 12 hours.


DAY 3 - Morning & Afternoon

Repeat the above steps: After 12 hours, discard all but 50g of your starter. Add 50g of water and 50g of room temp/warm filtered water / mix together well / mark your jar / cover and let sit for 12 hours.


DAY 4 - 7 Morning & Afternoon

Repeat the same steps until your starter is consistently doubling in size. Once your starter has plenty of bubbles and is doubling in size, you are ready to BAKE! YAY!!



MAINTAINING YOUR STARTER

If you plan to make bread regularly you will want to repeat the "feeding” steps. However, there a few things to note:


Once your starter is active, you do not need to feed your starter twice a day. Feeding your starter once a day is enough. [The only time you need to feed your starter everyday is if you plan on baking loaves every day.]


You can keep your starter in the fridge. Make sure to cover and seal your starter in the fridge but you will need to remove the starter and begin the feeding process 2-3 days before you plan on baking a loaf.


If you find that your sourdough has a grey/black layer of liquid on the top after removing from the fridge, this is fine. It is called HOOCH. Just discard the top layer if it grosses you out, or you can mix it back in. If you see anything fuzzy, that's mold and it's time to start over --> which, if you have saved any of your "discard" you can easily start a new batch of starter without having to buy more and start the process all over again.




BAKING YOUR BREAD

What's needed to start:

  • Large Clean Glass Bowl

  • A Digital Scale - this is a must.

  • A wooden spoon & a small baking spatula to scrape sides of bowl.

  • 4 to 5 quart Dutch Oven with a lid.

  • Parchment Paper

  • A linen towel (or a thin towel)

  • A banneton bowl is helpful but not necessary.


  • 60 g Active Sourdough Starter ⟶ It is important that you start your loaf within 4 hours of your starter doubling in size. If your starter has already fallen by the time you are ready to bake, your starter is no longer active and you will need to do another feed before you can start. (Tip for a fast second rise IF this happens, add 2 tbsps of flour, mix in, cover and it should double in size within 2 hours.)

  • 540 g Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 350 ml Filtered Water - warm (not hot)

  • 9g of Sea Salt


Starting your loaf:

  1. Using your digital scale, measure out 60g of active sourdough starter into a clean glass bowl.

  2. Add your 350ml of warm filtered water - mix the starter and the water together until the starter is completely dissolved. You may use your hands to ensure the starter is completely dissolved.

  3. Add in 540g of flour and 9g of salt to your dissolved starter/water mixture and mix together.. The dough will be very dry/shaggy/flaky at this point, this is normal. Cover your bowl with a damp linen towel and let sit for 30 minutes.

  4. After the 30 minutes, your dough should seem more “Wet” than it was before. At this point you will knead your bread for about 15 seconds, cover with a damp towel again (repeat this 4x). You will want to stretch and fold 4 x at 30 minute intervals. Once you have done the 4 stretch and folds, cover and let sit for 5-12 hours for the first rise.(For the stretch and fold technique: You can leave the dough in the bowl but with clean, wet hands, you want to take your loaf and gently lift up & fold over on top of itself. Rotate your bowl clockwise as you do this so you are kneading the bread from all angles.) . Q&A ⟶ Why wet hands? The dough might be very sticky and wet hands will help so that the dough does not stick to your hands and create a mess.

  5. Once the 5-12 hours have passed, and more importantly, your dough has doubled in size, you will want to flour a working surface, gently remove the dough from the bowl and knead the dough again using the same technique as before. While doing this, you will want to shape your dough into a round “loaf shape”, making sure you have a thin layer of flour that coats the outside of the dough. You will then want to place your dough into a cloth lined proofing basket or an 8" bowl lined with a towel for a second rise. (You do NOT need to cover the bowl/loaf this time around).

  6. The second rise is 30 minutes to 1 hour long. You will then complete one final shaping, score your loaf and bake.


PREPPING TO BAKE - LET’S DO THIS

  • Pre-heat oven to 450*

  • Cut a piece of parchment paper and place on the counter.

  • Once oven is heated to temp, remove the loaf from the proofing basket/bowl and place onto the parchment paper.

  • Score your loaf ⟶ you can use a pairing knife, any sharp knife or a bread lame.

  • Gently pick up the loaf by the parchment paper and carefully place into your dutch oven, cover with the lid and place into the oven.

  • >>>> If you like your bread to have a soft shell and fluffy inside, lower the oven temperature to 420 and bake with the lid on for 30 minutes.

  • >>>> If you like your bread to have a crunchy shell and fluffy inside, keep the oven temperature at 450, and continue to bake with the lid on for 30 minutes.

  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

  • Remove loaf from the oven and let cool for an hour. If you cut into your loaf too soon, the dough can become gummy. Serve with butter and some flakey sea salt on top.





Again, thank you for your purchase and for supporting our small business! The Rooted Kitchen is excited for your sourdough journey. Remember, sourdough is forgiving but it is a learning process so do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Good luck and happy baking!


-Taylor

263 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page