who feeds the starter when you go away?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by siduri, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    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
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  3. chefross

    chefross

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

    chefbillyb

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    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,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    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?  
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  6. granny smith

    granny smith

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    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.
     
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    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"!
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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

    boar_d_laze

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    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
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  11. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    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...............