Learn how to freeze sourdough starter to preserve it for later use. Perfect for when you can’t fit sourdough baking into your busy schedule for awhile and you still want to keep a thriving sourdough starter for future use. This is a really simple way to do it.
Why Freeze a Sourdough Starter?
You’ll always find a quart jar of sourdough starter either on my counter or in the fridge. I typically use it two ro three times per week for recipes like Dinner Rolls, Drop Biscuits, Blueberry Muffins, and much more.
Even though I do use my starter quite often, there are also seasons of life that I just don’t get around to using it as much. A healthy starter can sit in the fridge for a number of months without going bad, but the freezer may be a better option for extended periods of time.
Freezing sourdough starter can be a really good idea for multiple reasons. Maybe you know you’re heading into a season where sourdough baking simply won’t be possible for your schedule but you don’t want to toss your entire starter down the drain. Perhaps you’d like a bake-up starter in case one of the kids knocks your main starter off the counter. Whatever the case may be, freezing your sourdough starter is both possible and really easy to do!
The 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.
- Ease: The freezing process is super simple and takes very little hands-on time.
- Emergencies: You never know what might happen, and having a backup sourdough starter in the freezer just in case is really helpful
Tips for Freezing Sourdough Starter:
- While this tutorial utilizes a regular muffin tin for freezing the starter, I have heard that silicone muffin cups make the process even easier. The starter pops right out of them without needing to line them with parchment paper first.
- 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
How to Freeze Sourdough Starter
- Muffin tin, 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.
- Feed your sourdough starter. Allow to ferment for 4-12 hours or until active and bubbly.
- Spoon the active starter into the tray of your choice (muffin tin lined in parchment paper or muffin liners, ice cube tray, or silicone muffin cups)
- Freeze until completely frozen. This takes about 3-4 hours.
- Remove the frozen sourdough starter from the mold and place in a freezer safe ziploc bag.
- Store in the freezer for up to 12 months.
FAQ About Freezing Sourdough Starter
How Long Will Sourdough Starter Last in the Fridge?
Starter can last for up to two months in the fridge without a feeding. With a once-a-week feeding, it can last forever in the fridge.
Is Sourdough Still Good After Freezing?
Yes! While some of the yeasts die off the majority will still be living and thriving just waiting to be reactivated.
Once you begin to feed it, the yeast will become active and start multiplying again.
Can I Freeze Sourdough Discard Instead of Active Starter?
While freezing active starter is better, freezing discard will also work. It may take longer for the starter to become thriving and active after thawing.
Is it Better to Freeze or Dry Sourdough Starter?
This depends on how long you plan to store your starter. Frozen starter will last for 12 months, but dry starter lasts for years (if properly stored).
Learn how to make a dry sourdough starter:
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.
If you make this recipe and love how it turned out, feel free to come back and comment about your experience. I’d love to see your creation and how you served it!
More on Sourdough
- How to Air-Dry Sourdough Starter
- What is Hooch on Sourdough?
- Is My Sourdough Ready for Baking?
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Homemade Sourdough Cheddar Crackers
- Homemade Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Sourdough Blueberry Muffins | Naturally Sweetened