Learn how to freeze sourdough starter to preserve it for later use. Perfect for when sourdough baking needs to go on the back burner and you still want to keep a thriving sourdough starter for future use. This is a really simple way to do it.
You will always find a large glass container of good sourdough starter either on my counter or in the fridge. It is something that we use constantly. From homemade sourdough bread, pizza dough, to desserts like brownies, cookies, and cakes.
But sometimes it is a good idea to have a frozen sourdough starter in the freezer just in case.
You know, just in case someone in the family knocks over the jar of starter off the counter and it crashes to the ground breaking into a million pieces and you have to somehow try to salvage it. This may or may not have happened in my house.
Or you go on a long vacation, get sick, or just life happens and you don’t have much time for weekly fresh bread or a regular feeding schedule. Or maybe you totally forget about it on the counter in the heat of the summer for a month.
Things happen, life happens.
Rather than having to start the whole process over again, having a sourdough starter in the freezer is a great way to make sure you will always have a back up.
So when you have too much starter on hand, make sure to freeze some to extend the shelf life just in case.
Benefits Of Freezing Sourdough Starter:
Convenience: This is such a convenient way to keep a starter for an extended period of time. It will only take a couple of days from thawing to a fresh loaf of bread.
Easy: The freezing process is super simple and takes very little hands-on time.
Perfect for emergencies: You never know what might happen, and having a backup sourdough starter in the freezer just in case is really helpful.
- I like using silicone muffin cups because they are easy to pop out. You could also use regular muffin liners or even line a muffin pan with plastic wrap.
- After the sourdough starter thaws it will need to be fed a few times before it is ready for baking bread. This is because once frozen, the starter goes into a dormant state and needs to be woken up.
- While you could use discard, an active fresh starter that has been recently fed will yield the best results.
- Only freeze a mature starter. A new starter will not have enough established lactic acid bacteria and live yeast to make it healthy enough for freezing
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Tools you may need:
Glass jar like a mason jar
Silicone muffin cups or ice cube trays. For best results, I suggest using silicon so it is easy to just pop out.
Freezer safe plastic bag or airtight container: I usually like to use a ziplock freezer bag.
Is it better to freeze or dry sourdough starter?
Depending on how long you are planning to store your sourdough starter, drying is the best option. Frozen sourdough starter lasts about 12 months, whereas a dry starter can last years in a dry place.
How long will sourdough starter last in the fridge?
It can last for up to two months in the fridge without feeding. With regular feeding it can last basically forever in the fridge.
Is sourdough still healthy after freezing?
Yes. While some of the yeasts die off the majority will still be living and thriving just waiting to be reactivated.
Can you freeze sourdough bread?
Yes. Sourdough bread freezes really well, and will last up to 6 months. It is a really easy process too. Just place in a freezer safe bag and pop in the freezer.
Okay, okay, there may be some other things you can do. So if you really want to see the best way to do it, check out this post.
Does freezing harm Sourdough Starter?
While some of the natural yeast will die off, the majority of the yeast is still alive, active, and unharmed. It will just go dormant in cold environments.
Once you begin to feed it, the yeast will become active and start multiplying again.
Can you freeze sourdough starter discard?
While feeding an active starter is a better idea, freezing discard will also work.
I would suggest freezing discard that has been more recently fed, it may take longer for the starter to become thriving and active after thawing.
How To Freeze A Sourdough Starter:
Feed your sourdough starter.
Place in a warm spot for 4-12 hours or until active and bubbly.
Take your active sourdough starter and spoon into silicone muffin cups or ice cube tray, or even just a muffin pan lined with regular muffin liners or plastic wrap.
Freeze until completely frozen for about 3-4 hours.
Remove the frozen sourdough starter from the mold and place in a freezer safe ziploc bag.
How To Thaw And Reactivate A Frozen Sourdough Starter
Place the frozen starter in a jar and let it sit at room temperature on a counter covered with a tea towel or paper towel with a rubber band.
Allow to thaw for around 12 hours.
Feed equal parts flour and water. So if you froze 75 g starter: Feed it 75 g of water and 75g of flour.
Leave it for 12 hours.
Discard half of the starter and feed equal portions of flour and water. So if the amount of starter you have is about 1/4 cup after discarding, feed 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
Your sourdough starter will be ready to use once it doubles 4-12 hours after feeding. It may need a few feedings before it is really nice and active.
Store in a freezer safe bag for up to 12 months.
Other ways to preserve sourdough starter: Create a dried sourdough starter. This is great for long term storage that doesn’t rely on electricity.
Find More Sourdough Recipes:
- Sourdough Stuffing Recipe. Great for failed or stale sourdough bread
- Sourdough French Toast Casserole With Apples And Raisins
- Cinnamon Crunch Bagels
- Easy Sourdough Waffles
- Blueberry Sourdough Bagels
If you try this recipe and love it, I would love if you gave it 5 stars! Thank you! Tag me on Instagram @farmhouseonboone.
- Active sourdough starter
- Feed your sourdough starter.
- Place in a warm spot for 4-12 hours or until active and bubbly.
- Take your active sourdough starter and spoon into a silicone muffin cups, ice cube tray, or even just a muffin pan lined with regular muffin liners or plastic wrap.
- Freeze until completely frozen for about 3-4 hours.
- Remove the frozen sourdough starter from the mold and place in a freezer safe ziploc bag.
How To Thaw And Reactivate A Frozen Sourdough Starter
- Place the frozen starter in a jar and let sit at room temperature on a counter covered with a tea towel or paper towel with a rubber band.
- Allow to thaw for around 12 hours.
- Feed equal parts flour and water. So if you froze 75 g starter: Feed it 75 g of water and 75g of flour.
- Leave it at room temperature for 12 hours.
- Discard half of the starter and feed equal portions of flour and water. So if the amount of starter you have is about 1/4 cup after discarding, feed 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
- Your sourdough starter will be ready to use once it doubles 4-12 hours after feeding.
- It may need a few feedings before it is really nice and active.