UPDATE (4-16-14): This process is very, very easy, but I did not have success rehydrating the starter. You can read about my efforts here. I still plan to dehydrate, but I will be doing more research on resurrecting it, too. Please feel free to share your thoughts on either post!
I rarely make yeast baked goods since (a) I don’t consider it the healthiest choice, (b) we don’t use grains much anyway. I’ve been using and rotating four sourdough starters for years, and lately I decided it was time to retire two of them. I didn’t want to throw them away however, so I dehydrated them for safe keeping and for any future need. Sourdough starter is a wonderful thing to have. With a little salt, some flour, and water…I can make bread.
To dehydrate my sourdough starter, I spread it thinly onto my dehydrator sheet. At this point I probably could have left it alone to air dry, but I didn’t trust my Pacific Northwest atmosphere to dry it out. Instead I used my dehydrator at the lowest setting. Here you can see it drying along the edges, still wet in the middle.
This was what I was waiting for: brittleness. It was still a *tad* soft here so I dried some more. It took about 16 hours or so.
Once it was brittle, I put the pieces into my Vitamix and powdered it all. I spread it out for another hour to insure it was really dry.
And that was it! Here are my jars of two sourdough starters. They still smell great and I have zero doubts about being able to get them going again whenever I want to. The last thing I’m going to do is put a moisture packet in each jar, and then seal them closed with my food saver attachment.
It feels good to have those done! And I still have the other two to rotate when we want to eat a baked good. This morning, we’ve got sourdough pancakes coming up. Mmmm….