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Food - Drink
Can You Bake Bread With An Unfed Sourdough Starter?
Maintaining an active sourdough starter is one of the keys to producing excellent homemade sourdough. It's important to feed the starter with a few spoonfuls of fresh flour at least once a week to keep the microorganisms in the mixture healthy, but you may wonder if you always have to use a freshly-fed starter to bake bread.
A regular part of starter maintenance is always giving it a feed before baking a loaf, typically the night before, so the starter is doubled in volume by the next day. However, if you're in the groove of sourdough baking, and keep your starter routinely well-fed otherwise, it's not necessary to always use a fed starter.
A cold, unfed starter will still work in bread dough, gobbling up the yeast, expelling carbon dioxide, and raising the dough, but the dough will need some extra rising time of about 12 hours or so. However, you’ll definitely need some experience with baking sourdough before you can get a little lax about pre-baking feedings.