No matter how good you are with keeping your sourdough starter alive, it might happen that your starter will develop mould. It can happen when you neglect your starter for a while, leave it out somewhere where it’s too warm or forget to feed it.
The good news is that it’s not the end of the world and your sourdough starter can be easily saved.
Why do you get mould in sourdough starter ?
First of all you need to understand that by it’s nature sourdough starter is full of bacteria – the good kind of bacteria, which help to create the natural yeast. When you forget to feed your sourdough starter the natural yeast bacteria start to die (as they haven’t got anything to feed on) and creates the opportunity for mould spores to start to develop.
The mould spores can be also brought into your starter by unclean utensils or equipment. By ‘unclean’ I don’t mean necessarily dirty or not washed, the mould spores are so small you won’t even notice them.
The mould spores could be also present in the flour that you feed your starter with.
So, as you can see there are lots of ways the mould spores can just sneak in to your starter. But how do we stop them?
How to stop sourdough starter from developing mould
- Feed your starter regularly
- Use clean mixing spoons, container etc.
- Use fresh flour
- Keep your starter in a correct temperature
How to save your sourdough starter
Scrape off the top mouldy layer, but be careful so that you don’t contaminate the starter underneath.
Keep going until your get starter mixture that’s not mouldy.
The minimum amount you’ll need is about a teaspoon, but obviously the more you save the quicker your new sourdough starter will flourish.
Depending on how much sourdough starter you manage to rescue, measure out the same amount of fresh bread flour and water.
For example if you managed to rescue a tablespon of your old starter add a tablespoon of bread flour and tablespoon of water. Mix it together and keep in a freshly cleaned plastic tub with a lid.
Treat it as a semi new sourdough starter, which means you’ll need to discard 1/2 of your sourdough starter each day and add the same amount of bread flour and water to replace it.
You might need to continue for at least next 5-7 days, but this is still quicker than starting a new sourdough starter, plus I find that the flavour is usually much stronger and deeper than if you have a new starter.