The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much to feed a rye starter

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A-F-M's picture

How much to feed a rye starter

I've decided to embark upon a rye starter (having never made sourdough before) - and I have a rye sourdough recipe I’d like to try, but I'm unsure what I should do to maintain the starter after I've used some of it. I've heard that it's possible to keep it in the fridge and only feed it once a week, but if so how much flour/water will it need? What consistency will I be looking for?

 Sorry if this seems a little premature, but I want to make sure that I know (vaguely) what I’m doing! Oh, and can anyone explain how the percentages given in starter instructions mean – maths is not my strong point!

 Thank you in advance :)

Floydm's picture

Once your starter is well established, you definitely can keep it in the fridge and only feed it once a week or so.  I often go two or three weeks without a feed.

3:2:1 is a very common ratio for folks to use when refreshing their starters, with 3 parts flour (by weight) to 2 parts water to 1 part old starter.  It is roughly what I use, though I just eyeball it rather than measure.

Consistency-wise, it is typically somewhere between a batter and a wet dough.  

As far as percentages, baker's percentages are based on the weight of all the flour in the formula, so a 70% hydration starter would have 70g water for every 100g flour in it.

I hope that helps.  Good luck! 


A-F-M's picture

Thank you. That's very clear, I shall start one now!