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If you want to keep an Amish Friendship Bread starter but don’t want too much of it, or if you’re keeping a careful eye on your pantry ingredients, here are three solutions to help you reduce your starter or keep less of your starter on hand:
- Freeze excess starter to use on another day (recommended).
- Work on a 7-day, rather than a 10-day, feeding/sharing/baking schedule.
- Reduce and maintain your starter amount by half.
Method 1: Freeze Your Starter (Recommended)
This is the easiest and most stress-free way to keep a starter without worrying too much about it. You won’t be feeding it while it’s frozen, and it can be kept up to 9 months in the freezer, sometimes longer. When you’re ready to bake, just pull a bag out the night prior or even a couple hours before.
Method 2: Follow a Weekly Schedule
Another option is to adjust your schedule. Instead of feeding your starter on Day 6 and Day 10, which will leave you with 4-6 cups of starter on Day 10, you’ll feed and bake Amish Friendship Bread over a one-week period.
- Once a week, feed 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk to your 1 cup of starter. Mix well. You’ll have approximately 3 cups of starter once everything is combined, maybe a little more/less.
- Bake with one cup immediately. (-1 cup)
- Save one cup if you plan to keep baking. (-1 cup)
- Give away or freeze any remaining starter away. (-1 cup)
Method 3: Reduce Your Starter By Half
Some people assume that feeding their starter less (less frequently or with less ingredients) is the best solution. It might work for one or two feedings, but ultimately your starter will die out. Even worse, you’ll risk having a starter on your counter that doesn’t have live organisms keeping it healthy, which means potential spoilage or contamination.
Amish Friendship Bread starter is a type of sourdough starter. It needs to be maintained at the proper feeding ratios, or there won’t be enough “food” to go around. One cup starter is the sweet spot, but if ingredients are tight, try this:
- Using an active starter, stir well then remove 1/2 cup and put in a new bowl. Bake with the remaining starter or freeze for future use.
- Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, and stir well.
- Store in a warm place.
- Move to a weekly schedule of baking once a week.
The only risk with this is that if you don’t have an active starter to begin with, your starter could die out. So keep an eye on it and make sure you see some kind of activity throughout the week.
Less starter means smaller storage containers. You all know that I’m a fan of Bormioli Fido glass jars with the wide mouth (the one I recommend often is the 67.5-ounce jar), but I have a bunch of these 50.75 ounce-jars with the chalkboard labels because they only cost about $5-6.
If you still have questions about reducing your Amish Friendship Bread starter or keeping less of it on hand, drop them below!