Recipe by Gil Marks

Rye Starter

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
6 Servings


- Gluten - Wheat

Ever thought about baking your own sourdough bread? If you have, you may have learned that unlike your standard bread doughs, for which you can use active dry yeast available in any supermarket, all sourdough begins with a cultivated yeast called a starter. Though it sounds mysterious and totally complicated, making a starter for sourdough bread is actually easier than you may have expected. You’ll only use a little bit each time you bake, and you can continue growing your starter in the refrigerator between baking sessions.



  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1/4-ounce) Gefen Dry Yeast or other active dry yeast

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • 2 cups medium or light rye flour, preferably stone-ground

  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped and tied in cheesecloth (optional)


  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup medium or light rye flour, preferably stone-ground

  • 1 cup warm water


Prepare the Starter


Sterilize a two-quart ceramic or glass container and dry with a clean cloth. Add the yeast and half a cup of water and stir to dissolve. With a wooden or plastic spoon, stir in the remaining water, then the flour. If desired, insert the onions in the cheesecloth into the center.


Cover (with its own lid or plastic wrap) and let stand at room temperature, stirring once a day, until bubbly and sour smelling, at least three days. If using the onion, remove and discard after 24 hours.


Stir the starter, then add all the “feed” ingredients. Let stand at room temperature until the mixture begins to bubble, at least six hours.


At this point you can either use the starter or cover loosely (to allow the bubbles to escape) and refrigerate until needed. Let the starter stand at room temperature for at least one hour before using. Whenever the starter is used, replace with equal parts of flour and warm water. (Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon and not metal.) Place in a warm place until bubbly, at least six hours or overnight, before returning to the refrigerator for storage.


If the starter is not used within one week, it must be bolstered by stirring in an additional one cup flour (use a blend of wheat and rye flour if desired) mixed with one cup warm water. Let stand at room temperature until the mixture begins to bubble, at least six hours, then cover loosely and refrigerate.

Rye Starter

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Rochel Jacobs
Rochel Jacobs
2 years ago

does anyone have starter I can have

Brandi Giddens
Brandi Giddens
Reply to  Rochel Jacobs
8 months ago

Check out http://www.TheKosherKornerBakery.com, hope this helps!