Making a sourdough starter

Nuush always encourages people to eat real bread, but what is real bread?

It’s bread made from no more than flour, water, yeast and salt, and in the case of sourdough the yeast is naturally cultured in your kitchen!

Just 20 mins hands-on time gets you the most delicious loaf of bread which contributes to a healthy gut. Gorgeously chewy and holey, with a delicious tang, and far more filling and nutritious than the mass-produced pap that’s widely available. It’s the stuff of life!

But first you need to make a sourdough starter to use in place of dried yeast. It’s just a culture of flour and water that breeds natural yeast and gives the bread its lovely tang!


  • small bag of rye flour
  • regular bag of very strong white flour
  • water

You’ll also need 2 x 1L pyrex measuring jugs or 2 pudding bowls or high-sided cereal bowls. A piece of baking paper and an elastic band. And a silicone spatula and mini hand held wire whisk can be very helpful!

Nuush clients: Please apply the portion sizes stated in your account and divide the recipe so that you make only as much you need.


Stage 1:
Mix 50g rye flour with 50g of just warmer than lukewarm water. Mix them together in your jug or bowl and cover with baking paper secured around the bowl with an elastic band. Leave it on the kitchen worktop until the same time tomorrow.

Think of a name for it 🙂

Stage 2, 24hrs later:
To the same bowl/jug add 50g rye flour and 50g of water, as yesterday. Mix and cover as yest. Leave until the same time tomorrow.

Stage 3, 24hrs later:
Now you are moving to a clean vessel. So, into the spare jug or bowl add 25g of the existing starter and 50g of water, mix together (discard what was left in the old one). Now add 25g rye flour and 25g v strong white flour, mix and cover again as before. Leave for 12 hours.

Stage 4, 12hrs later:
You may or may not see some activity/bubbles. Don’t worry if you don’t! Now, into the other clean bowl/jug add 25g of your starter, 60g water, and mix. Now add 50g of v strong white flour, mix and cover as before. Leave for 12hrs

Just to be clear, you are swapping to clean jug/bowl each time now and discarding what was leftover in the other one after you took 25g out!

Stage 5, 12hrs later:
You’ll now have some activity. Do exactly the same feed as stage 4 and leave 12 hrs

Stage 6, 12 hrs later:
All as stage 5!

Stage 7, 12hrs later:
Now we’re going to start increasing the amount of starter. So take 50g of starter and add 110g of water and 100g of v strong white flour. Mix and cover as before. Leave 12hrs.

Stage 8, 12hrs later:
Same as stage 7!

Stage 9, 12hrs later:
Take 75g of starter and add 150g of water and 150g of v strong white flour. Mix, cover and leave 12hrs.

Stage 10, 12hrs later:
Take 75g of starter and add 130g of water and 150g of v strong white flour. Mix, cover and leave 12hrs. The mix will be quite dough’y, don’t worry, it will loosen as it cultures and be just right for baking.


Now just repeat stage 10 until your starter is rising up beautifully each time and smelling yeasty but not vinegary. When you feel it’s really found its feet you can seal the bowl/jug tightly with clingfilm or tin foil and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake but it’s worth feeding it a lot at first to really give it some character and strength. Once you start baking regularly you won’t need to throw any away any more.

Note 1: If your starter needs a bit of oomph, when you feed it add a touch of rye flour as there are more enzymes for the yeasts to eat but you don’t want a full-rye starter unless making a full-rye loaf because it has no gluten.

Note 2: Don’t let your starter get to hot or too cold. A room temp of about 21-22C is good, away from direct hear or draught. If the room is cold use slightly warmer water at each feed, but not hot.

Note 3: My starter is well established and I bake 3 x pw. I just use some for the loaf then feed the remaining starter, leave it 8-10hrs to develop then seal it and keep in the fridge til I bake next time. When I use starter straight from the fridge I use warmer (but not hot) water to make the levain. This way I never need to throw any away.

When you have your sourdough starter up and running you can move on to actually baking a loaf ♥

Nutrition Info

Sourdough bread

Sourdough bread is slow-fermented and kinder to your gut. It’s done alot of its partying before it gets into your stomach, so things stay much calmer. Its lack of artificial additives is good for taste and good for you!

Good honest nutrition

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter the greatest of feasts.

James Beard

Portion Guidelines

Instead of living with the bore of weighing food, counting points or calories and tapping everything you eat into a phone you can use nature’s custom-designed tool – your hands!

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