How to dehydrate sourdough & Preserve it by: Cece Kirkwood
If you’re wondering how to dehydrate sourdough and preserve it, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve heard many people say they don’t want to keep sourdough because it requires a lot of work and continuous attention to keep it alive and well for baking.
I completely understand! Because I bake a lot of different things, I may go weeks without using my sourdough! That can make it tricky trying to remember to feed it and ensure it is healthy for the next time I want to bake with it.
So a simple long-term storage solution is to dehydrate the sourdough and preserve it until the next time you want to bake! Whether that’s a couple weeks, a month or even a year!
Is there an advantage to rehydrating sourdough rather than starting from scratch?
Yes! Because you are dehydrating an active, happy starter, the rehydrated starter will actually grow and become active again far faster than starting from scratch.
To dehydrate sourdough, using an active and bubbly starter, simply…
- Spread 100g of the active sourdough onto a lined baking sheet.
- Dehydrate the sourdough in a turned off oven for 24 – 48 hours.
- Peel it, grind it into a fine powder and store in an airtight container!
- (When you are ready) Rehydrate!
Let’s break that down a little bit more…
(Pre-Step) Ensure your sourdough is active and bubbly
This is where a little bit of planning is necessary. Its important that the sourdough is active and bubbly when dehydrating. Otherwise, reviving it will be quite a mess. Remember you are preserving the sourdough, so you don’t want to preserve something that is already dead!
The sourdough should be filled with air bubbles and be well fed. If you haven’t baked with it for a while, I would suggest 2-3 consecutive days of discarding and feeding the sourdough before its ready for preservation.
#1 Spread 100g of the active sourdough onto a lined baking sheet
Using the bubbly, active sourdough, spread about 100g of the active sourdough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Ensure the spread is even and very thin. The thicker the sourdough is spread, the longer it will take to dehydrate.
#2 Dry it out in a turned off oven for 24 – 48 hours
Dehydrate the sourdough! The best way to do this is in a turned off oven with the light on. Why leave the light on? Because you might forget it’s in there! It’s important to not bake with the oven while the sourdough is in there as it will interrupt the dehydrating process. I also tend to leave myself a note next to the oven, because honestly… I’m that forgetful.
With the oven turned off, it will take about 24-48 hours for the sourdough to completely dry out and become brittle. It will start to peel up from the pan a bit and can flake off really easily, when it is ready to go.
#3 Peel it, grind it into a fine powder and store in an airtight container!
Once it’s completely dehydrated, peel off the sourdough from the parchment paper or silicone mat. Break it into medium-sized chunks.
You can leave it like this, or throw it into a food processor to grind it into a fine powder.
Finally, store the dehydrated sourdough in an airtight container until ready to rehydrate!
Rehydrating is simple.
You’ll essentially be rebuilding your sourdough starter in the same way you started it from the beginning! Except this time, you already have a little bit of activity to build on.