Bucket of rye sourdough flowing over the top

Rye sourdough starter

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • plus 5-6 days fermenting
  • Easy
  • 1 LOAF (12-15 SLICES)

Use rye flour to make an easy sourdough starter with a deep molasses flavour. Once active, you can use it to make any type of sourdough bread

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Ingredients

  • 250g wholemeal rye flour

Method

  • STEP 1

    Day 1: To begin your starter, mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water in a jar or, better still, a plastic container. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, covered with a tea towel, at room temperature for 24 hrs.

  • STEP 2

    Day 2: Mix 25g flour with 25g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, covered with a tea towel, at room temperature for 24 hrs.

  • STEP 3

    Day 3: Today you might see a few small bubbles forming and the mixture should smell grassy and a little acidic. Mix 25g flour with 25g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, covered with a tea towel, at room temperature for 24 hrs.

  • STEP 4

    Day 4: More bubbles should have appeared today and the mixture should smell of yeasty beer. Mix 25g flour with 25g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, covered with a tea towel, at room temperature for 24 hrs.

  • STEP 5

    Day 5: Fermentation should have set in now and the mixture might be ready to use. If a teaspoon of the starter floats in warm water, it’s ready. If not, mix 25g flour with 25g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave covered, with a tea towel, at room temperature for 24 hrs.

  • STEP 6

    Day 6: The mix should be really bubbly and be giving off a strong smell of alcohol. Test in the same way as yesterday. If it’s not ready, continue mixing 25g flour with 25g tepid water into the mixture daily until it becomes active. 
    If your jar is becoming full, spoon half the mix out of the jar and continue. 
    You now have rye starter, which is a malty flavoured base to sourdough bread. Keep it in the fridge (it will stay dormant) and 12 hrs before you want to use it, spoon half of it off and feed it with 100g flour and 100g water. Leave it at room temperature and it should become active again. The longer the starter has been dormant, the more times it will need to be refreshed – the process of pouring off half the starter and replacing it with new flour and water – to reactivate. 
    Use the starter to make rye sourdough bread.

Goes well with

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    Rating: 4 out of 5.4 ratings
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