Rye Starter

Thank you for purchasing dried sourdough starter!

Buy Sourdough Starter

guaranteed to rise every bake

£4.99 +pp

Time To Bake?

If you’re not ready to start baking yet, the dried starter can be stored for years in this state.

When you are ready, you’ll need to activate the starter and feed it until it’s ready for baking.

It takes 4 Days in total to activate your starter

Activation:

You will need:

  • dried starter
  • lukewarm water
  • flour
    (strong bread flour or plain flour)
  • a storage container
    (with transparent sides is best)
  • with a lid
    (just use cling film if no lid)
Day 1:

In a pot, soak the dried starter in 20g of lukewarm water for a few minutes to soften. Stir in 20g of flour (organic is best as it contains more natural yeasts) and 25g of water. Cover and let it sit for 24 hours in a warm spot.

Day 2:

Stir in 25g flour and 30g of lukewarm water, cover and let it sit for another 24 hours in the same place.

Day 3:

Stir in 50g more of flour and 75g of lukewarm water. Within 12 – 24 hours you should see bubbles appearing and it should start to smell a bit fruity.

Day 4:

Stir in 100 grams of flour and 150 grams of lukewarm water. Within about 12 hours you should have a lively starter that is ready for baking.

Maintaining the starter:

Continue to build the starter with daily feedings until you have a quantity to use for baking.

Aim to have 200 – 300g of starter available.

You can double or triple the quantity of starter with each feeding. Using a ratio of 1.5 weight of water to rye flour gives good consistency. You’re aiming for a consistency like porridge. Add a splash more flour or water if required. If you don’t know when you’re next going to be baking, store the starter in the fridge and feed it every few days. Tip half of the starter away and then feed it as normal.

See the following link for guidance on when to feed your starter:   should-i-feed-my-sourdough-starter

Make sure you use a starter that has been fed in the last 24 hours when baking.

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Starter usually "peaks" about 3-4 hours after a feed.
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Baking:

Your starter level will rise and fall with feeding. Mine usually “peaks” about 3 – 4 hours after a feed. Try and use the starter at its “peak” when it is at its most active. When baking, always keep back a small amount of starter, say 50g, and feed it equal amounts of flour and water to build up the quantity again.

You’ll easily find sourdough recipes online. After trying multiple recipes and techniques, this is the one I use most. It takes about 24 hours from start to finish. The times can vary according to the temperature of the house. In Spring and Summer, I do most of the proving in the fridge.

My usual baking routine is:

Day 1:

Morning: complete steps 1, 2 & 3
Afternoon: complete steps 4 & 5

Day 2:

Morning: complete steps 6, 7 & 8
Afternoon: EAT – Nom-Nom

You will need:

  • 400g strong white bread flour
    (organic if possible)

  • 10 g salt
  • 200g sourdough starter
    (white or rye)
  • 275g cold water
  • Semolina / flour for dusting
  • A baking surface / loaf tin / lidded casserole dish
  1. Mix the flour and salt until it is combined. Add the starter and water and mix until it comes together in a wet dough. Cover and leave it for 30 minutes (this will allow the gluten to develop)
  2. Knead by hand for 15 – 20 minutes until it passes the windowpane test: Window Pain Test. If you are using a mixer, about 10 – 15 minutes on a medium setting should do it.
  3. Cover and rest the dough for 6 hours at room temperature or put it in the fridge overnight until it has doubled in size
  4. Turn the dough out and shape it. This basically involves shaping it into a round lump rather than the amorphous lump it is now
  5. If you’re going to be using a baking surface or lidded pot, transfer the dough to a floured proving basket and leave for 3 – 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge) until it has got larger again and it springs back when you touch it. If you’re using a loaf tin, just put the dough in the tin at this point.
  6. Preheat the oven and your baking surface or lidded pot to 240C / gas mark 9
  7. Turn the oven down to 210C / gas mark 8. Turn out the dough from the basket onto the preheated surface or lidded pot and bake for 40 minutes. Use flour or semolina to dust the surface and prevent the loaf from sticking. If you’re using a loaf tin, pop the tin in the oven. If you’re using a lidded dish, take the lid off the pot half way through cooking. The dough should rise significantly during the first part of cooking; this is called the “oven spring”.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. If the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a finger you will know it is cooked. If you want a softer crust, wrap the loaf in a tea towel while it is cooling.

Please get in touch if you have any questions!