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New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter

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SKU: 5109

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New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter

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Our New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter is our fastest sourdough starter culture; it proofs in under 3 hours to produce amazingly delicious rye and rye/wheat baked goods, like Rye Sourdough Pseudo English MuffinsRye Sourdough Crepes, and more!

  • Each box contains 1 packet of dehydrated New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter Culture.
  • Store in a cool, dry place until ready to activate.
  • Activate using rye flour and unchlorinated, unfluoridated water (bottled spring water).
  • Sourdough starters culture at room temperature, 70º-85ºF. 

  • Once activated, feed your starter using 1 part starter, 1 part water, and 1-2 parts flour daily for frequent use or weekly, if baking infrequently.

  • Instructions for using this starter are included and can be found here.

  • Having trouble activating your sourdough starter? Browse our Sourdough Troubleshooting Articles or contact us for assistance


Also recommended: 100% Rye Sourdough Cookbook

New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter Instructions and Troubleshooting 


New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter Ingredients

  • Organic rye flour, live active cultures
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients.


New Zealand Rye Allergen Information

  • Manufactured in a facility that processes products containing gluten.
  • Non-GMO


New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter Shipping Information and Shelf-life

Our New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter Culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a dehydrated culture. The starter is best if stored:

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 12 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12+ months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12+ months


Actual product may differ from image shown above.




Why I Love This Product

Our family loves all things sourdough, and most especially the flavor and health benefits. But since some of us have a sensitivity to wheat, we prefer to use 100% rye flour for many of our baked goods. This rye sourdough starter has worked wonderfully to create a full-flavored, very active starter. Using all-rye flour I have been able to keep this starter alive and flourishing for months, even with occasionally missing a feeding. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking in our busy kitchen, while providing lovely rustic 100% rye loaves and our favorite sourdough rye flour pancakes. It has also easily converted to wheat flour when I experiment with that, which is just one more reason I find it useful and dependable. Shannon, CFH Content Writer


Questions on New Zealand Rye Sourdough Starter

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  • From Lissa at 3/22/2015 10:05 AM
    • I see that this is made with organic flour, was the seeds from the flour fermented/sprouted?
    • The rye flour used is organic, stone ground. It is fermented as part of the process of making sourdough, but it is not sprouted.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Janet at 6/25/2014 11:17 PM
    • Does the starter contain any dairy products, fats or oils?

    • Our sourdough starters are grown in just flour and water. There are no additives of any kind.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Karamjeet at 8/21/2012 1:11 AM
    • Can you use this to make bread in a bread maker?
    • Sourdough usually requires a little more human intervention. An automatic bake makes it more difficult to bake at just the right time but that does not mean it can't be done. You would have to experiment with your bread maker.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From terrie at 7/4/2012 3:44 PM

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Customer Reviews

excellant Review by Norsknitter

It was amazingly healthy within a week. I really love this. It's hands down the strongest starter I've ever had. Making great rye bread.

(Posted on 11/8/2015)

First timer here. Glad I went for it. Review by Idaho

This is my first starter and I was sure I would kill it, but I didn't! I pampered it the first few days with one slip up that made me feel like a bad parent ;) I have since realized it's pretty forgiving. My first two loaves went well. The flavor was very mild but the bread cut really well (not crumbly) and made great toast. From what I have read, the flavor may improve with age and from keeping it just a bit dryer of a starter, not so wet. I moved it to the refrigerator just over a week ago after deciding I was discarding too much starter... pouring money down the drain. We don't eat a lot of bread so I will keep it refrigerated most of the time. I tried some bread sticks one evening and they failed terribly. You really need a good recipe and time to follow correctly and time to experiment. My experience is very little so far. I hope to try rolls and pretzels but so far the bread is good and that's the reason I bought the starter, so I'm good with that. I took it out last night, fed it and left it on the counter. I will be making my second batch of sourdough bread today. If you enjoy baking and healthy bread, give it a try.

(Posted on 3/15/2015)

Update after 2 years Review by Kim

This review is a followup for my previous review. The New Zealand starter has been excellent. I've cultured it with barley, rye, and wheat, and made numerous types of breads, pizzas, English muffins, pancakes, and even desserts (like gingerbread, cookies) with it. It has been very adaptable, tolerating a wide range of temperatures (after it was already live). I love how quick it is, as well.

The only thing I'd change in my last review is my review on price - it's absolutely worth it. At the time, I didn't appreciate the value of what I was buying, as it was my first starter, and I didn't realize it could last a lifetime. Of course it's worth the minimal initial investment! All and all, I think that making my family's bread from scratch has been our biggest dollar saver and health enhancer.

(Posted on 8/8/2014)

My first starter - a dream to work with. Review by Sara

After unsuccessfully trying to make my own starter from scratch I purchased these starter cultures. A year later, and I am in love with baking sourdough breads. This culture is un-fussy - the rise is FAST!! almost as fast as breads with yeast, and one feeding out of the fridge has it ready to go for baking day. I highly recommend this culture for beginning sourdough bakers.

I fiddled around with a few recipes but now have a reliable 80% whole wheat sandwich style bread that I can adapt to suit my moods. I don't find it overly sour as the other reviewer mentioned - but to make it even less so I add in a bit of baking soda to counter-act the acidity - in my opinion this is a better a solution than adding sweetener.

Do not think that you can only make Rye breads with this rye starter. It has worked beautifully in many different recipes with all different types of flour.

(Posted on 11/27/2013)

My First Starter - very good, very active, pleasantly surprising! Review by Kim

This starter is my first one. I've used it to make a bunch of breads from freshly milled emmer farro (an ancient wheat with a superior taste, in my opinion). This starter has performed much better than I expected. It's VERY sour, and seems quite quick to me. To my surprise, it actually makes bread rise without the use of additional yeast. That hadn't occurred to me - but is a wonderful effect! I had imagined I would still need yeast, and it's awesome to find that I don't.

Our house is pretty cold, since we heat with wood, so I chose this starter because it said it was the fastest (thinking I wouldn't have to worry as much about maintaining a long constant temperature). I've now made four different recipes with it. Saving the best for last, here are my results:

1. The sourdough bread recipe that came with the starter. It's good, but was too sour for some people. With the low-gluten emmer farro, even if kneaded well, it makes a very hard bread. I made some good, hard sourdough poppyseed rolls for family members who like dense bread. It does rise, but has a very firm texture and makes a remarkably hard crust. The emmer farro does not seem to have enough gluten for this recipe, but I'm sure it would be fine for regular flour.

2. The sourdough pancake recipe that comes with the starter. It's a way to use the extra starter (if you overproduce it when freshening it). Excellent recipe. Got great reviews from family and makes delicious crepes, too. These are becoming a household staple. Very delicious.

3. This Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe from

This made a nice bread with the emmer farro. It rose well, and fit perfectly in the specified baking pan. It had a good crumb and flavor, and will certainly work as a sandwich bread. It cut well, too. We cut it into slices and froze them to remove later for sandwiches and such.

4. This Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffin recipe from

These were was the biggest hit! Light and soft and fluffy perfection, with a nice crust. Mine only took 3 minutes on each side in a cast-iron pan, vs. the 5-min-each-side specified in the recipe. These are definitely going to become our "daily bread". We also made these with emmer farro wheat which is grown here on the west coast:

So, to sum up, this was a great starter for a total beginner in a wood-heated home. Please note, I did and continue to activate and/or freshen the starter on top of my water heater - which is consistently warm. But I have risen the breads just in the house, which is drafty and unevenly heated, with no problem.

Happy baking!

(Posted on 12/4/2012)

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