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Rye Sourdough Starter

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If you are lucky, you may get your first sourdough starter from a friend, otherwise follow this recipe from Healthy Breads with the Breadmaker by Silke Alles and Sieglinde Janzen (alive Natural Health Guide #13).

If you are lucky, you may get your first sourdough starter from a friend, otherwise follow this recipe from Healthy Breads with the Breadmaker by Silke Alles and Sieglinde Janzen (alive Natural Health Guide #13).

1 Tbsp (15 ml) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) warm water (100 F/38 C)
2 cups (500 ml) rye flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) unpasteurized honey

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water. Add remaining warm water and stir in rye flour and honey then whisk until smooth. Cover with a cheesecloth and let stand at room temperature for five to 10 days, stirring two to three times daily. Mixture should stand until it has a sour, fermented aroma (the warmer the room, the faster the process). When fermented, transfer the starter to a jar and cover with cheesecloth (do not use a metal lid) and refrigerate.

To use, remove starter from the refrigerator and mix well. The cold starter should have the consistency of a thin batter. If too thick, add water before measuring the amount needed for the recipe. Let stand until it warms to room temperature.

To keep your starter going, for each cup of starter used, replenish the remaining starter by stirring in one cup (250 ml) of water, three-quarter cup (185 ml) of rye flour and one teaspoon (5 ml) of honey. Cover with cheesecloth and let stand at room temperature for one day, or until bubbly, then refrigerate. If not used within 10 days, stir in one teaspoon (5 ml) of honey. Repeat every 10 days unless starter is used and replenished in the meantime. Yields 2 1/2 cups (625 ml).

Source: alive #228, October 2001

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