Your starter has been lovingly cared for over the last five years. It began with water, fresh-milled Almanac Red Fife Flour and wild apple skins grown on our farm. We’ve kept it going through care, use and feeding. To keep your starter happy we recommend naming it–it’s hard to ignore a friend. Once named, we suggest:
Remove your starter from the jar to a larger container as soon as you get home. Glass is ideal, but plastic will work just fine, too. If you don’t have time to deal with it immediately that’s okay, just place your starter in the fridge and come back to it in a day or so.
Feed your starter by weighing out 50g of fresh-milled Almanac Red Fife Flour and 50g of water. If you don’t have a scale consider buying one. They’re inexpensive and will make a huge difference as you begin your sourdough journey.
Combine using a wooden spoon.
If you’re not planning to use your starter right away you can cover your container with a plastic lid or beeswax storage paper and place it in your fridge.
Set a reminder to feed your starter every five days.
The cooler temperature will slow fermentation, but you’ll want to ensure your starter doesn’t go hungry. The first casualty of an unfed sourdough culture is good bread; by failing to keep the yeast and bacteria well fed you won’t be able to ensure a vigorous fermentation of your bread dough which will result in flat, overly sour bread.
Feeding your sourdough starter every five days while stored in the fridge will help ensure the health of your culture.
To feed, remove your sourdough culture from the fridge and weigh out 200g of unfed starter. Discard the excess starter. You can keep the excess starter in a separate container, store it in your fridge and use it for waffles, pancakes and other delicious things.
Feed 200g of hungry starter 100g of Almanac Red Fife Flour and 100g of water. Combine with a wooden spoon.
Return to the fridge and feed again in another five days.
The day before you plan to mix your bread dough remove your starter from the fridge and feed it 100g of water and 100g of Almanac Red Fife Flour combined with 200g of hungry starter.
Return your freshly fed starter to your counter ensuring a steady warm temperature, but not hot.