Starter cultures don't usually need a babysitter if you go on vacation, but here are a few tips for keeping them healthy and happy while you're gone:
Sourdough: I generally just feed my starter and put it in the fridge, tightly covered. (I try to use up all but about a cup of the starter before I store it, just to conserve space.) When I get back, I pull it out, feed it, and give it at least four hours to get back up to room temperature and "wake up" again before I use it for baking.
You can also freeze a portion of your sourdough starter; again, just bring it back up to room temperature before you feed it. It may take a couple of days to get back up to full strength again.
Yogurt: Unless you're planning to be gone for more than a week, yogurt doesn't usually need any special treatment. It will easily last a few weeks in the fridge (although it's best if you make a new batch right before you leave, so it will be as strong as possible when you return).
Buttermilk: This is pretty much the same as yogurt; it should last just fine in the fridge.
Both yogurt and buttermilk can be dried for longer storage if necessary.
|My sourdough and yogurt, all ready for their nap in the fridge while we're gone!|