Last week I was devastated when our sourdough starter that we have been using for the last year went mouldy. We were desperate for a fresh loaf of sourdough and making a new starter from scratch was out of the question (they usually take about a week to establish) so I thought I'd try a method I once heard from a friend.
I mixed equal parts rye flour, water and water kefir, covered it and left it overnight and the next morning it was light and bubbly just like a sourdough starter. I tried it out in our Simple Spelt Sourdough recipe and it worked a treat. The bread was light, fluffy and delicious.
I've been maintaining this same starter since and have successfully baked 2 more loaves of bread and 2 batches of hot cross buns.
You can use this starter for any recipe that calls for sourdough starter. This makes just the right amount for our Sourdough Hot Cross Buns.
While this method works well if you don't have the time to make a proper starter the flavour is slightly different. If you're a bread novice you won't notice the difference but I encourage you to try out both methods and see what you prefer.