Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sourdough Bread and Sourdough Starter

I have never had much luck with Sourdough Starter, admittedly I've tried many different recipes and have watched what look like Science experiments emerging from my own kitchen.  Some bubbled up and then deflated, others never bubbled up, others smelled so rank that I couldn't bear to cook with.

It's just been a downhill battle when it comes to Sourdough bread for me.  Until I got The Amish Cook at Home cookbook.  As I read through the pages, I came to the Autumn Season and there it was Sourdough Starter that you pop in the refrigerator and leave....sort of.

I can do that.  So last week Monday I did a sort of interactive post on the Facebook page as I made the starter and then waited patiently for 5 days to feed it and then waited patiently another 12 hours, then patiently again overnight and then again patiently 4 hours this morning to finally pop it in the oven and see what comes out.

The result.  AMAZING Sourdough bread and the first starter that I was able to make without botching.  Now that is a sure success.

So if you've had issues with Starters before and are ready to throw in the towel, might I suggest one last attempt?  If it doesn't work out for you, then you won't ever hear me ask you to try it again but if it does work out like mine did, just think of all the yummy Sourdough bread your family will be enjoying.

Sourdough Starter


3 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115F)

Starter Feed

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant potatoes
1 cup warm water (105 to 115F)

To make the starter: Mix the yeast and warm water in a small bowl. Put into a plastic container, seal, and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.

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To make the starter feed: Combine the sugar, potatoes, and water in a small bowl and stir into the starter. Cover loosely (to allow some of the pressure to escape as the gases build) and let stand at room temperature for 5 to 12 hours. The mixture will be bubbly.

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Take out 1 cup to make bread and loosely cover the starter and return it to the refrigerator. Feed again after 3 to 5 days. If not making bread after feeding the starter, throw away 1 cup to avoid depleting the starter. Note: Do not put the lid on tight.

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For the Sourdough Bread, this recipe makes 3 loaves.  If you want to make cinnamon rolls, then just divide the dough into two balls, roll it out and continue with your favorite cinnamon roll filling and icing :)

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Sourdough Bread


2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115F)
6 cups of bread flour
1 cup Sourdough Starter
3 teaspoons butter, melted

Combine the sugar, oil, salt, water, flour, and starter in a large bowl. Stir to make a dough. Form the dough into a ball. Grease another large bowl. Put the dough in and turn to coat. Cover with waxed paper and let stand overnight. (Do not refrigerate)

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The next morning, punch the dough down and divide it into thirds.

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Knead each part on a floured surface 8 to 10 times. Grease three 81/2 by 41/2 inch loaf pans and turn each loaf over in the pan to coat. Cover with waxed paper and let rise in the pans until it is just above the rims of the pans, 4 or 5 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread until the crust is nice and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each loaf with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Unmold and let cool on wire racks.

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Here are the cinnamon rolls. I divided the dough in thirds just like the recipe stated, but made 2 loaves and then used the other 3rd to make cinnamon rolls. I think if I had actually divided the dough in half these would have been HUMUNGOUS. Will try next time.

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6 comments:

  1. Irene5:26 AM

    I am very excited about this post. I have always wanted to try this because I love sourdough bread. I am fairly new to your blog and I think it is one of the best that I follow. Thank you for it.

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  2. Shari3:27 AM

    so happy to see this!!! I have some sourdough starter in my fridge, but it has been so long since I have used it, that I wanted to start a new one! Now I can!!!!! Thank you!

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  3. I am so happy you've posted this! I've never tried my own- I usually buy it in the bakery. But we love it and I can't wait to try this!

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  4. I think I have all the ingredients on hand. This is on my to-do list now for tomorrow.Thanks!

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  5. Shari8:36 PM

    I made my first batch of bread the other day & it turned out great!!!! Next time, a batch of cinnamon rolls will appear from part of it! Thank you!

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  6. Sandra, do you take out your one cup of starter before or after feeding? Recipes for sourdough starter that I have seen call for 1 cup of unfed starter and so I looked up recipes for starters and they are saying to take out before you feed... help! Dede

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