How to Air-Dry Sourdough Starter

Learn how to air-dry sourdough starter for a convenient way to keep a starter without the constant feeding schedule. When you are ready to revive it, it will only take a few short days.

Getting into sourdough can feel pretty overwhelming at first. New terms, baking schedules, learning to bake with it, and constant feedings…it is a lot all at once! But what if there was a way to preserve your sourdough starter so you can leave it for long periods of time without feeding it? That is where a dry sourdough starter comes into play.

Drying an active starter preserves the natural yeasts and bacteria, putting it into a hibernated state. It is still a living and active food, just sleeping. And when you are ready to use it you can easily just reactivate it to start baking.

Benefits Of A Dry Sourdough Starter: Why You Would Want To Keep One

  • Long term storage. Drying puts the starter in a dormant state that can 
  • Ship to a friend or relative. Shipping it dry is way easier than shipping it hydrated (although I’ve done this before too).
  • Putting it away for a long term break (postpartum or a long family vacation) or 
  • To create a backup in case something should happen to your starter. For example, when a kid knocks the glass jar off the counter (not that this ever happened to me and I saved a very tiny bit and revived it), mold, fruit flies, etc.


  • Before drying, you will want to make sure your sourdough starter is nice and active. Feed 4-6 hours before drying. 
  • If your starter is a little on the neglected side, I would suggest feeding it every 12 hours for a few days until it perks up and gets nice and bubbly before making this.
  • For long term storage, dry AND freeze. Freezing a wet sourdough starter will last for about two weeks before it will go bad, but drying and freezing will keep the starter healthy much much longer.

How to Air-Dry Sourdough Starter

  1. Spread active starter (fed 4-6 hours prior) onto parchment paper or silicon baking mat in a very thin layer. Use a spatula, bowl scraper or bench scraper to accomplish this.
  2. Place in an out of the way place in your kitchen, such as on top of a cabinet, a shelf in an open pantry. You want to make sure it has airflow, so it can dry out properly.
  3. Allow it to dry for 24-48 hours.
  4. Once completely dried blend it to make a powder.
  5. Place the powder in an air-tight container for storage.

How to Revive Dried Sourdough Starter

  1. Add about 1.5 tablespoons water and 1/2 tablespoon dry sourdough starter powder until dissolved.
  2. Then add 1 tablespoon flour and stir until everything is combined well.
  3. Cover and allow to sit for 24 hours. 
  4. The next day, feed again with about 1 tablespoon flour and about 1/2 tablespoon water, and stir until well combined. The consistency should be like thick pancake batter.
  5. Cover and allow to sit for 24 hours.
  6.  The next day, feed the starter 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water.
  7. Cover and allow to sit for 24 hours.
  8. On day 5 there should be a lot of activity. It should be doubling in size. Add one cup of flour and 1/2 cup water to the starter and mix well. Cover
  9. When 5 days are up, your starter should be nice, active, and ready to use in recipes.
  10. Feed regularly as you would a wet sourdough starter.
How to air-dry sourdough starter for a convenient way to keep a starter without the constant feeding schedule.

If you try this tutorial and love how it turned out, feel free to come back and comment about your experience. I’d love to see your creation!

More Sourdough Information

Why Is A Long Fermentation Time Healthier?

Fermentation allows the sourdough to break down the flour and make the blondies easier on the digestive system. You can read more details about this amazing process here.

How Can I Make My Own Sourdough Starter?

Interested in implementing sourdough into your kitchen? Here’s everything you need to know to get your sourdough starter going.All it takes is flour, water, and about 7 days time.I also answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about sourdough over here.

How is Sourdough Healthier than Regular Bread?

Read more in depth about the health benefits of sourdough here. I explain four reasons that sourdough is one of the healthiest breads you can consume, as well as describe how the fermentation process of sourdough works.

More Sourdough Recipes

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