Magic Man and I travel - a lot. Often not together. Maintaining the starter can be challenging. Asking Magic Man is probably not the best idea either. He has other things far more important than playing with paste. He'd rather eat the paste than tend to it.
My supplier, Mr. M tells me I can freeze starter, thaw it in the fridge overnight, and feed the next day. I discovered we can dehydrate starter, crumble and store in an airtight jar until needed. Mr M was a happy camper... literally. He loves to camp and now he can have his sourdough pancakes on the trail.
It's quite an easy process, along with a few memorable lessons, to dehydrate starter. Let's begin...
First, feed the starter and when its happy, stir it down. On a sheet of plastic (I used gallon sized freezer bags) or sil-pat, spread the starter just as thin as you can. Then spread it a little more. The air temp should be warm. I oh so wisely chose to use my dehydrator set on low, taping the plastic to the trays. That was good... and bad.
|Starter spread on plastic freezer bags|
|Starter after 30 minutes of drying|
Next time, the dehydrator will run for 1 hour, we'll pull the trays and crank up the heat. Then we'll turn off the machine, return the trays, and let the starter continue to dry in the warmed box.
To use, mix a little warm water with the starter flakes. Slowly add water until the mixture is pancake batter consistency. Let the mixture sit a few hours to activate. Use in your favorite recipe.