If you have lovingly grown a sourdough starter from scratch, you might want to start sharing your sourdough starter with friends and family. I've put together this post to show you the easiest ways to share sourdough starter, whether you want to share it in a liquid form or dried form.
You can easily share your sourdough starter with friends and family - whether you're gifting, sharing or sending a starter, the easiest thing to do is take 20g of sourdough starter and place into a small jar and then add 20g of flour and 20g of water. You now have a small sourdough starter to gift to your friend.
In this post you'll learn:
- how to split and share your sourdough starter
- best container to share sourdough starter in
- how to share a liquid sourdough starter
- how to share a dehydrated sourdough starter
- best ways to gift a sourdough starter
- how to post a sourdough starter
- resources to share with new sourdough starter owners
How To Split or Divide Your Sourdough Starter
If you have a mature sourdough starter, you might want to share the sourdough love with family and friends. Dividing your sourdough starter to share with friends is really easy. You just take out 20g and place into a clean jar with 20g of flour and 20g of water.
You don't need to share a huge amount of starter, this will give them 60g of starter to work with, which is plenty! Remember, sourdough starter can be increased very easily by feeding an increased ratio.
Keeping some small jars or plastic containers on hand is a great idea if you think you'll be regularly splitting and sharing your sourdough starter.
But remember, unless you're dividing your starter to share, there's really no reason to keep more than one starter (it just creates a tonne more work for you).
Best Container To Share Sourdough Starter with Friends
I always have a good supply of small glass jars handy so I can share a little sourdough starter at any given time. Visitors to my home will often ask for a bit of sourdough starter, so it's easy to grab a jar and pop a little in for them to take home with them.
I mostly use 120ml jars (like these small mason jars) because they are a great size for giving small amounts of sourdough starter. These mini take out tubs are also great if you prefer to give a plastic container (they are a bit cheaper too). You don't want to be giving away your best sourdough starter jars every time you share your starter!
I don't recommend using zip loc bags as they can easily burst and leak and aren't always strong enough. They are better for storing frozen sourdough starter discs in the freezer.
How To Share Liquid Sourdough Starter (so it's ready to use)
Sharing a liquid sourdough starter is really easy - you just need to feed a little of your existing starter into a small, clean jar.
Here's how to share a liquid sourdough starter:
- Place 20g of liquid sourdough starter into a small jar or plastic container.
- Add 20g of flour and 20g of water to the jar and stir vigorously.
- If you know the person you're giving the starter to won't be able to feed it that day, consider adding only 10g of water to give them a "stiff" starter.
- Screw the lid on and watch the starter bubble!
A stiffer starter is easier to transport, won't require feeding so soon and is a little more resilient than a runny sourdough starter.
How To Share Dehydrated Sourdough Starter
Dried or dehydrated sourdough starter is really easy to share. Because it's completely dried out, it can be placed into a zip loc bag, glass jar, small take out container or even a vacuum sealed bag.
Dehydrated or dried sourdough starter can be given in situations where the recipient needs to travel or isn't ready to start their sourdough journey right away.
How To Mail Sourdough Starter
If your sourdough starter needs to travel a long distance and needs to be posted, drying it out and putting it into a "paused" state is the way to go.
A dehydrated sourdough starter is light weight, easy to post in an envelope and can sit in this state, unfed for a very long time.
To mail a sourdough starter:
- Dehydrate your sourdough starter using these instructions
- Place 20 to 50g of dried sourdough starter into a small zip loc bag or vacuum sealed container.
- Add instructions for reactivating the dried sourdough starter
- Place in an envelope and send it off!
Best Ways To Gift A Sourdough Starter
Gifting some of your sourdough starter is such a lovely way to share your sourdough journey with family and friends. Gifting a starter means the recipient saves time when starting their own sourdough journey, since they don't have to nurse a sourdough starter to life.
Some fun ways to gift your sourdough starter include:
- Adding 20g of dried sourdough starter to a small jar and tying a USB stick to the lid that contains instructions on how to reactive the sourdough starter, as well as some of your favorite recipes.
- Use a QR code attached to a small baggie of sourdough starter that takes the recipient to instructions for how to look after their new starter.
- Gift them a copy of your favorite sourdough book so they can start their own journey more easily.
- Tie a small bag of sourdough starter to a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread to show friends and family what the sourdough starter is capable of!
Resources To Share With New Sourdough Starter Owners
If you're looking for some resources to share along with your sourdough starter or some beginner friendly information, then these resources are definitely ones to bookmark!
- How to Activate a Dried Sourdough Starter
- Most Common Sourdough Starter Problems + Solutions
- How To Feed A Sourdough Starter
- How to Strengthen Your Sourdough Starter
- Beginner's Guide to Making Sourdough Bread
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can give your friend a portion of sourdough discard to start their own sourdough starter, however it's best if your starter is mature (at least 3 months old) when you do this, so that your friend can start baking straight away. Giving them the discard from a young starter is really pointless as they can just start their own starter.
Technically, yes you can start another sourdough starter with your sourdough discard - however you don't need two sourdough starters! So as long as your starter is at least 7 days old, why not bake something yummy with the discard?
Yes you must discard before each feed, otherwise your sourdough starter will grow exponentially and get out of control. Regular discard and feeding also ensures your starter doesn't become too acidic and prevents mold and bad bacteria from forming in the jar.