Combine 4 ounces (about just under 1 cup) whole rye flour with 4 ounces (about 1/2
cup) cool water in a non-reactive container. No need for yeast, this allows for the start to build natural yeast. I only used glass, I’m not sure
what else works.
had in our kitchen, but it is only used in the beginning. Whole grains contain
more nutrients and make it easier for the microorganisms to grow than all
purpose or bread flour.
make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let
the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours.
cold and we found out that we had to find the warmest places to put our start,
such as on the dryer, on the fridge or by the oven.
may see no change at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth
discard half of the start. You should only have 4 ounces left, then add 4
ounces of bread flour (scant cup) and 4 ounces of cool water.
flour in the bowl. I mix mine with a rubber spatula. Let the mixture rest at
room temperature for 24 hours.
By the third day you will see the picture above. It should be bubbling and
start to smell good. The first 2 days it smelled awful so don’t be concerned.
Now you are going to feed it every 12 hours, just as the directions above.
so that most of the air is out of the start. Then weigh out about 4 ounces of
start and mix it with 4 ounces of bread flour and 4 ounces of water.
hours and repeat. Do this for day 4 and 5 until the start is very active,
doubling in size every 12 hours or less.
should be ready for use after about a week on this schedule.
This is what it looks like after day six.
Maintaining the Start:
this routine everyday, so once you have used the start, take the left over
start (4 ounces), feed it, and let it sit for about 2 hours. Then seal the
start tight with a lid and put it in the fridge.
off any fluid, and cut out all but 4 ounces of the start and feed it 4 ounces
of flour and 4 ounces of water. Let it set out for about 2-3 hours and then put
it back in the fridge.