Spelt Sourdough Starter

There seems to be a lot of angst about creating a ‘Mother’- a sourdough starter – and sustaining her, but it is actually incredibly simple. Once your starter is working, you can gradually add to it and it will improve in flavour. Use this starter to make a classic Sourdough Bread (see page 24) however there are endless versions which you can find once you have started exploring this new world. Once you are in, you will be hooked!



Day 1:

  • 35g/1 ¼ oz / ¼ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 35g/1 ¼ oz / ¼ cup white spelt flour
  • 150ml lukewarm, water
  • 2tsp raisins
  • 2 tsp Natural yogurt


Day 2 & 3:

  • 35g/1 ¼ oz / ¼ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 35g/1 ¼ oz / ¼ cup white spelt flour
  • 55ml/ 2 fl oz/1/4 cup lukewarm water


Day 4 - 7

  • 75g/ 2 ¾ oz / ½ cup white spelt flour
  • 75g / 2 ¾ oz / ½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 100ml/3 ½ fl oz / ½ cup lukewarm water


Day 8

  • 75g/ 2 ¾ oz / ½ cup white spelt flour
    75ml /2 ¾ fl oz / ½ cup of lukewarm water


  • Chopstick
  • Kilner jar
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Kitchen Scales


Day 1: Put 150ml lukewarm water in a 500ml Kilner jar with the flour, raisins and yogurt, stir well, (I like to use a chopstick) then close the lid and leave then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 2: Put 55ml lukewarm water with 35g white and 35g wholegrain flour, stir well, cover and leave for another 24 hours at room temperature. The mixture will start to change colour, the raisins will start to dissolve and there will be a bubble or two on the surface.


Day 3: Put 100ml lukewarm water with your white and wholegrain flour as Day 2, stir well, close lid and leave for another 24 hours.


Day 4: You should now be able to sniff the fermentation. Throw away three-quarters of the mixture and add 100ml of lukewarm water. Strain to remove the raisins, then return the liquid to the preserving jar. Now add double the previous amount of flour, 75g of wholegrain and 75g White, stir well, cover and leave as before for 24 hours


Day 5: You should notice an acidic tang to the mix. Repeat Day 4, Throw away three-quarters of the mixture. Add the flours and water to the jar and combine. Seal the lid and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Use an elastic band to mark the level of the starter just after you have added in the flour and water. It is then easy to see how much it is rising and falling over the course of the next 24 hours.


Day 6 & 7:

The mixture should be bubbling and ready to create your ferment. If the starter is not showing bubbles, repeat but using a 12-hour flour and water feeding routine, and ensure the starter is kept in a constantly warm place. From now on you will be maintaining the starter.


Feed this remaining starter with an equal amount of flour and water. Roughly using 100g of each. Add this to the jar and combine thoroughly. Bear in mind that the amount of flour and water you add in should always exceed the amount of starter you begin with. Seal the lid and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 8:

Remove 2/3rds of the mixture, BUT, do not forget to refresh your Mother replace with 75g of white spelt flour and 75ml of lukewarm water, stir well with chopstick, cover and leave for 24 hours. You could accelerate this process and remove and replace, twice a day.


Finally, it’s time for action!

Wait until your Mother doubles in volume, take off 75g and then follow my Sourdough instructions. (Go to page 26.) Final, Final check, take out a tsp of starter from the jar and drop it in a glass of water if it floats you are set to go!

Extracted from Spelt by Roger Saul © Roger Saul 2015
Published by Nourish Books, London. 
Hardback £16.99
Commissioned photography by Lara Holmes & Neil White

7th October 2019

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