Sourdough starter from rye flour

It is also known as rye sour. When baking with rye flour, sourdough is of particular importance, because if you tried to bake rye bread only with the help of purchased baker's yeast, it would remain flat. Rye flour needs added acid to rise. In sourdough, our fabulous friends, the lactic acid bacteria, produce this acid in the form of lactic and acetic acid.

The sourdough starter that you need to bake really delicious rye breads can ideally be given to you by friends or acquaintances. Or you can make it yourself - after all, that's why you ended up here, isn't it? Spontaneous leavening of rye flour is quite easy if you create the ideal conditions, and it is worth it to create these conditions for the result. Besides, many children enjoy watching the development of the sourdough and stirring or weighing the ingredients.

How does your sourdough succeed?

Your sourdough starter needs a constant temperature of 22° - 25°C and slight humidity to get going. In the summer, it should therefore be easier than in the winter. In some summers and some regions, the starter must nevertheless be placed in the oven from the beginning. There, warmed only by the oven light, it feels comfortable and gets just the right dose of heat.

By the way, the most important thing for a successful result is to give the sourdough a name. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, here comes Dirk.


  • rye flour (for Dirk I used 997 organic rye flour)
  • water
  • 1 tall, rather narrow glass
  • 1 piece of fabric (e.g. cloth napkin or tea towel) & 1 elastic band to fix in place


For dealing with sourdough, get into the habit of weighing the water. Be it to bring the starter to life, be it for future bread baking. Because, although 1 gr. water corresponds to 1 ml, most measuring cups are unfortunately too inaccurate.

Thoroughly mix 50 grams of flour with 50 grams of lukewarm water directly in your jar and fix the cloth on the jar with the rubber band so that no pests get to your batch. Not to forget, the most important thing (you remember): give the dough a name!

Leave in the warmth for 24 h at a minimum of 22°C. Make sure that the temperature does not vary too much, the mixture does not like it. The next day add 50 gr. fresh flour and 50 gr. Add water. Continue this for 3-4 days.

Spätestens am 4. Tag nimmst Du ein wenig des vorhandenen Ansatzes weg und beginnst, den Sauerteig nicht mehr zu “füttern”, sondern frischt ihn auf.

After 6-7 days, your sourdough starter should double in volume over the course of 24 hours. If it is a bit slower to get going, check if it is warm enough. It often helps to refresh it twice a day with flour and water. Continue to remove a little of the batch and change the jar whenever it seems necessary.

How to start a sourdough starter?

Here I have copied a practical brief overview from my diary. This is how my sourdough Dirk was made.

150 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O
2+ 50 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O
3+ 50 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O
4change your vessel, + 50 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O
5- 100 gr. sourdough starter + 50 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O
6- 100 gr. sourdough starter + 50 gr. organic rye flour + 50 gr. H2O

How to store and maintain the sourdough starter?

It's called sourdough starter because you use it to start new sourdough when you want to bake a loaf. Namely it's a small amount of concentrated sourdough. You can store the starter in a jar with a loose lid in the refrigerator between each baking. Particularly suitable for this are jars with a lid, without seal.

The sourdough starter will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. After that you need to refresh it again. This means that you mix 10-15 gr. of the starter with 50 gr. of rye flour and 50 gr. of lukewarm water in a fresh jar. Put the lid on the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature for 8-10 hours, until the volume of the dough increases significantly. When refreshing, the batch does not need to be as warm as when you first made it. When your starter has risen nicely and smells pleasantly sour, you can put it back in the refrigerator for storage.

Before you bake a loaf, you need a strong, active starter. So it makes sense to have refreshed the starter beforehand.

The ideal bread for beginners is Ben's mixed rye bread.

Sauerteigstarter Dirk
Beautiful and very active sourdough starter after 6 days


  1. Hallo liebe Katsu,
    ich finde deine Brötchenrezepte nicht mehr … ich fand die klasse und habe sie regelmäßig gebacken – aber die Rezepte nicht ausgedruckt. Stellst Du sie wieder ein oder wo kann ich sie finden?
    Danke und schöne Feiertage!

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