Give A Hearty Welcome To…

…the newest member of our family: Our whole wheat starter baby!

I conceived this baby two days ago, Tuesday morning, by putting one cup of white starter in a clean half-gallon jar, adding 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup water, and voila! I had me a new baby!

I feed it three times a day, like the other baby. I think you’re supposed to wait for three full days of feedings before using the starter in bread, but I’m going to cheat and start a batch of bread today, after only two full days.

The feeding schedule for a whole wheat starter is as follows:

In the morning put one cup of starter (only use the white starter once, just to get it going—from then on reserve one cup of the whole wheat starter every morning) in a clean jar, add 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup water. Give the slurry a good stir, lightly secure the lid, and set the jar out of the way on the kitchen counter or up on the fridge.

At noon, or four to six hours later, add ½ cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup water.

In the evening, or four to six hours later, add one cup of whole wheat flour and 1 ½ cups water.

This is a much more runny starter than the white starter, the water and flour separates, and it just doesn’t look like it’s doing much. But it makes excellent bread, as I will soon show you!

Note: If you make the Farmer Boy Pancakes with whole wheat starter, you will need to add some extra flour, either white or whole wheat, or another one of your choosing, to thicken up the batter. Or you can combine both the white and whole wheat starters in the recipe—that is, if you have both babies going simultaneously.


  • Jennifer Jo

    I’ve never used pH paper—I rely very heavily on Silverton’s directions first, and my senses second (though my senses are beginning to take the lead).


  • Anonymous

    Ah, good. I’ve got a less-runny whole wheat sourdough starter in the fridge, but I wanted to try this runny levain kind. Question: do you ever use pH paper to test your starter’s acidity, or do you go by smell/taste/sight? -MAC the sourdough novice

Leave a Comment