Step 1: Obtain Dry Starter 

Click Here to Obtain Old World Natural Leavening Dry Starter

Steps 2: Activate Dry Leaven (Starter)

Days 1-2: Activate Dry Leaven

Mix 1/4 tsp. of Old World Natural Leavening Dry starter with 1 1/2 cups of whole grain flour and 1 cup water in a quart container.  Cover with a lid and leave at room temperature (68-78′F) a total of 36 hours. Stir Leaven every 12 hours.

  • There is no need to add sugar, potato peelings, pro-biotics, etc.
  • Use non-cholrinated and non-softened water.
  • When fully active and cultured, Leaven smells good and appears more voluminous, airy, structured, fluffy, and light.
  • Natural Leavening can be perpetuated indefinitely.  You’ll never have to activate dry starter again.

Step 3: Days 3+: Cook

Make a batter bread like “Easy Naturally Leavened Pancakes and Waffles”, “Amy’s Cornbread” or “Blue Berry Muffins”.

Retain some uncontaminated Leaven to “feed” for for your next use.


Step 4: Refresh Wet Leaven


Pour off any liquid that may have formed on top of the Leaven (the hooch).

Stir 1 1/2 cups whole grain flour* and 1 cup water with the Leaven remaining in the quart container after use.  Cover and leave at room temperature to culture. For culture time, please see below.

For optimal health, research is showing that all flour you are consuming should be cultured with natural leavening for at least 8-12 hours.  When making “Batter Bread” with fully cultured Leaven, culture gluten-free grain flour for up to 12 hours. Culture any glutenous grain such as wheat for an additional 12 hours or more (24+ hours).  When making leavened “Flat and Loaf breads”, simply culture until the Leaven is doubled in volume, because you will be adding this to more flour and culturing the bread dough itself.

Step 5: Storing Your Leaven


Cover cultured Leaven and refrigerate to put “on hold” until ready to use.  For best results, use Leaven often.  Leaven will keep in the fridge for months, but will continue to sour–requiring some additional refreshments to return to sweetness.

Countertop Alternative

Allow the remaining Leaven on the sides of the container to air dry with the lid off.  Refresh the same day or up to a week later, as if it were wet Leaven!  See “Refresh Wet Leaven”.

Step 6. Click Below to View Bread-Making Videos:

1. Making NL Bread Dough

2. Make NL Bread Loaves

3. Make NL Flat Bread

4. Make NL Braided Bread Treats (awesome!)

5. NL Extras

Step 7: To Learn More, Please Visit:

 Dr. McClean's bread-making website

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Replies to This Discussion

Do you know if there is still a place we can send a SASE to get some dry starter?

You can still send one to the following address:

Jim and Colleen Simmons

Dry Bread Starter

1221 N 1270 E

American Fork, UT 84033

Julie Greenman said:

Do you know if there is still a place we can send a SASE to get some dry starter?

Does your dry starter require the addition of a probiotic?

No. A starter can be made from scratch using an active probiotic, water, flour, and banana. You don't really need the banana, but the lactobacilli love the fruit sugar. Many sugars will feed the friendly bacteria because the sugar in wheat flour. The starter we have is simply dehydrated starter that once was wet starter and now is inactive until it is mixed with water and fresh flour.

Thank you for your prompt response.  I have not been able to activate the dry starter following the directions on your web page despite 3 attempts. Do you have any suggestions?

How do I get a starter in canada

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