Activation of a “forgotten” Sourdough culture

If you have forgot your Sourdough starter culture for several weeks in the refrigerator, no worries!!!

On one hand the Sourdough microorganisms are able to survive under cold conditions, but on the other hand some of the microorganisms will die and in consequence you will lose some aromas.

One option is the establishment of a fresh new culture just from flour and water and enjoy all the enthusiastic vitality that it will bring to your bread.
The other option is the reactivation of the forgotten culture. After several weeks in the fridge the Sourdough culture looks very wet, the upper part of the culture looks grey and a liquid layer has formed. This layer can be very dark or brown but it is very important, because the fluid is acetic acid produced from the acetic acid bacteria and is the protection against mold.

Sourdough after 8 weeks Sourdough after 8 weeks
Sourdough after 8 weeks in the refrigerator; an acetic acid layer has formed, protection against mold!

If no mold colonies are visible on the top of the “forgotten” culture and the smell is very sour but not moldy start with the following steps:

- add 50g (1.8oz) rye flour in a new glass
- add 50ml water to the flour
- take 5g (0.2oz) from the bottom of the “forgotten” culture (not from the upper grey part) and mix with water and flour until it become smooth, close the glass and allow the culture to work for 24 hours at room temperature
- repeat these steps 2-3 times after each 24h incubation at room temperature
- if the culture rise at every repeat, build bubbles and smell aromatic sour it is ready for bread baking

If a dried Sourdough stock is available, sprinkle one teaspoon of it to the first passage.