I have an ongoing list of passion projects and business ideas that I one day hope to work on, even just for fun. One idea revolving around baking bread. This has been a practice I’ve loved learning more about over the past few years. The process can be long but is so rewarding! Keeping a sourdough starter alive has been a fun experiment. To be honest, my own starter has suffered weeks at a time but always comes back to life after some consistent feeding!
I learned about the process of bread baking in the Alchemy Bread cookbook as well as New World Sourdough. Alchemy Bread is the perfect way to start and begin working your way through the beginner recipes to get a good feel for handling dough. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy a delicious loaf of bread is!
I love to think of my bread through the name Neighborbread so I put together this little printable to gift some sourdough starter to a friend. You can use this to gift some of your own starter – which is such an easy little gift since you have to discard the starter daily.
How to gift a sourdough starter
Instead of using or discarding the excess starter from your daily feeding, transfer it to a jar. Print out the label on sticker paper, cut it out, add it to the jar and done! I like to gift it along with a bag of unbleached flour just so the recipient has what they need to keep the starter alive!
How to keep a sourdough starter alive
Daily feed your starter the same ratio of starter, flour and water. Discard half of the starter and feed the same ratio (1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water) daily. Instead of discarding to the trash, you can repurpose this starter in to many, many different recipes OR pay it forward and gift it to a friend!
Stir and add a piece of tape or rubber band to track the growth and know when it is doubled in size. This is when you’ll use it to bake with!
A note: my personal ratio I use is 1/4 cup starter, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup warm water. I like how this isn’t using too much waste and still allows me to make two loaves at a time. You can use a mix of white, whole wheat and rye flour to feed your starter and yield different tastes. Some prefer to measure their ingredients on a scale but I only do this as I start baking. I find feeding with 1/4 cup measurements helps me stay on top of feeding the starter and feels less like a hassle. The more you keep it alive, you’ll understand the consistency you want and soon you may just eyeball it!
If you are leaving town or do not want to care for your starter for a few days, you can feed it and then pop it in the fridge. When you remove it, give it a couple days to perk back up before baking again. Don’t be nervous about this, in my experience, it is very difficult to kill your sourdough starter!
I hope this little post and printable are helpful to you! I want to make an effort to gift my starter to friends because my starter was originally gifted to me. Now it is your turn to try out bread making!