Note: if you haven’t already, and if you have the time, I’d recommend reading the natural yeast guide. It contains not only this recipe, but some clarifying information about starters and natural yeast.
- 60g mature sourdough starter (if refreshing)
- 60g flour (any will do, but dark rye flour is my preference)
- 60g warm (90ºF/32ºC) water
- In a smallish tub or jar with a lid, mix the flour and water until fully combined.
- If refreshing a starter you’ve already begun, discard all but 60g from your existing starter. Add the reserved starter to the flour-and-water mix.
- Leave in a moderately warm place for 12–24hrs.
- Refresh the starter every 12–24hrs by repeating steps 1–3. After several feedings, the starter should begin to show a consistent rise and fall. It’s ready to bake with when it’s at the peak of its rise, and after several days of regular feeding.
You might find that depending on a number of variables—including your kitchen’s temperature, the mineral content of your water, or the kind of flour you’re using—you may need to adjust the timings or ingredient quantities. It’s easy to get frustrated by this process, but try to embrace the experimental nature, and consider starting two different starters with varying approaches to feeding schedules or temperatures.