Which recipe is your STARTER for ?


For the past fortnight I've followed all the steps for making a starter from scratch - now what do I do ?!

I know it sounds a stupid question but I'm unsure which recipe to follow, given that my starter is based around 100ml water, 70g strong white and 30g rye flour.

Thanks for any suggestions.



219 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 July 24

Hello Paul,

A starter is just that, it is the other ingredients that you add to make the dough that makes the bread, by and large.

I would suggest that you stick with the beginners blog and make the Pane francesa recipe that Sourdom gives (the non-yeasted version) and practice making that until you get your technique right.  Don't be disheartened if the first couple don't look too pretty, I can assure you that they will taste just fine and after three or four, you will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Once you get to the stage of making nice bread with this simple recipe, the world is your oyster and the range of breads available is wider than your imagination.

Let us know how you go.


lenohbabe's picture
lenohbabe 2012 July 24

Hi Paul

I have  given you the first recipe i tried as it has very easy steps. Things do get easier the more you bake its like a jigsaw eventually everything fits into place.


For the preferment:
50g ripe rye-wheat starter ( use your starter at its peak approx 8-12 hours after feeding, depending on when its has risen to its maximum)  *see note
90g light rye
90g room temp water


For the final dough:
230g preferment
320g strong white
65g wholemeal
180g room temp water
2 tsp salt

Prepare the preferment the night before:
mix 90g water into the starter in a medium-sized bowl. Add the light rye and mix until even consistency.
Cover the bowl and leave at room temp overnight.

Prepare the final dough:
Pour 180g water(not cold or warm, just room temp)  into the bowl of preferment and mix to an even consistency.
Measure out the flours  into your mixing bowl .
Pour the liquid preferment mixture over the dry ingredients and roughly combine with your hand(s)
You only need to get the dough barely combined at this stage, this loaf uses a minimal kneading technique.
Cover the bowl and leave for 30 mins to autolyse Add salt and do a quick knead to combine the salt rest covered for 10 mins

Lightly oil the work-surface, scoop the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface.
Perform a quick knead (about 15 secs) then leave the dough sat while you clean out the mixing bowl.
Very lightly oil the mixing bowl and return the dough to it, leaving it covered for a further 10 mins to rest.
Perform another short knead, then leave for 30 mins.
Perform a further short knead, then leave for 1 hr.
Perform a quick knead and now shape the loaf, according to the style of proving basket you have.
Leave to prove for 3 hours (or 2 if it's summer) before baking.
Preheat your oven to Gas 9 (approx 250 C) with a baking stone inside. Also place a heavy-bottomed pan
in the bottom, which will be used to provide the steam.
Bake the loaf on the stone at max temp for 20 mins - pour in a cup of boiling water into the lower pan
1 min after the loaf goes in.
Turn the heat down to Gas 6 or 7 (approx 220 C) for a final 10 mins.
Always consider you may want to rotate the loaf half way through cooking, to account for any heat imbalance in your oven.   recipe adapted from Shipton Mills Sourdough with rye,


I made my  flour and water starter from scratch in may 2011 and its still going strong. I use this recipe often as its so simple. Once i was more experienced i played about with measurements by doubling, tripling and even quadrupling the recipe. I even do a soaker with different seeds and add that with salt after autolyse.  I also sometimes use  Malthouse flour instead of wholemeal.  These variations have  all worked wonderfully.

When I first made this bread my starter was only 6 weeks old and the bread, although edible did not turn out like it does now.  So keep at it.


* note  in my limited experience i have found that bread dough is more successful when my starter has been fed well  at least 2 times in a 24 hour period.  So 1st feed 9pm, second feed 9am, Now 9pm at night make your pre-ferment, then follow the recipe 9am nect morning.  I would suggest at least doubling the recipe to start with, eat a loaf and freeze one.


Good luck would love to hear how you get on. regards Linda from Scotland


I also use tthe Norwich sourdough recipe  as its also simple, you will find it here.  http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/






Kuler 2012 July 24

Many thanks for your help and advice.

This is a great site and has been very inspirational in making me want to try this style of bread.

Thanks once more.



Post Reply

Already a member? Login