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Joan's Sourdough Bread Primer

For those who remember:  my award winning Culinary Web Pages- Culinary Lessons From Joan,  graced the Net from 1995 to 2003; I had over 30 primers on various baking, cooking and culinary topics.

Unfortunately for a variety of reasons I decided to take my site offline -all except for this sourdough primer.  It's still here for your enjoyment and baking pleasure!


BE SURE TO SCROLL THE ENTIRE PAGE FOR SOURDOUGH RELATED TOPICS - Recipes  across the page ------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>



This primer contains a Lot Of General Information To Get You Started.


My information is presented to you from the best of my knowledge and experience.

I have been baking bread for more than 30 years and sourdough for the past 15 years. My friends and family agree I make excellent sourdough breads. I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert in the field of sourdough ; so  I would like to share with you the things I have learned. So use this primer as a good starting point and do as I, gather as much information about the topic as you can.

Experiment, bake and enjoy as you learn. I have achieved my goal if I have given you a basic idea of what is involved in sourdough baking. Sourdough baking is not as difficult as it seems.

Also note that I use the words: culture and starter and batter and sponge to mean approximately the same thing.

Although I have made bread and baked goods for so many years I also enjoy making sourdough bread. It's a rewarding bread making experience that requires patience and practice .

First of all sourdough yeast is not the same as the conventional baker's yeast. Some people feel if baker's yeast is added in the recipe or starter, the sourdough is not a true sourdough. Other people advocate the use of baker's yeast in the sourdough.

From what I read , baker's yeast is probably added in small amounts to "assure" a good rise in the bread without losing any distinctiveness of the sourdough bread. This issue seems quite debatable. All I can comment is make your bread the way you want it and enjoy it! If you have the opportunity , I do suggest you try sourdough baking without baker's yeast and you will be pleasantly surprised and rewarded with a bread that rises well, with a good texture , distinctive flavor, and chewy crust.

Sourdough yeasts thrive in an acidic environment. Lactic acid and acetic acid , produced by bacteria , account for the special sour taste in sourdough. Of course other factors such as , temperature, fermentation ( generally the time period of incubation of the sponge right up to the baking process - when yeasts become activated and sugars and starches are broken down with dough becoming more acidic ) plus the kinds of ingredients used etc. also account for the quality of sourness in the dough.

The characteristics of the particular starter you use also determines the quality of your sourdough bread. Sourdough yeasts also help the bread rise and , as in any other yeast bread recipe, carbon dioxide ( as well as a small amount of alcohol ) is produced , pushing on the air pockets between the cell walls and thus causing expansion of the dough. The bread stretches and rises also because of the gluten content present in the flour. Sourdough is so variable and I think it is this quality that makes sourdough baking so enjoyable and often times a challenge.

Reliable starters have survived for decades and seem resistant to contamination.

Therefore the very first thing you need for your sourdough baking is obtain a reliable starter. Some people have had success making their own starters basically from flour and liquid ( such as water or milk etc. ) and exposing it to the wild yeasts present in the environment. I personally haven't had such luck and prefer to obtain a reliable starter.

 However I do not discourage anyone from making their own sourdough starter. When you make your own starter from scratch you will have to determine whether you are satisfied with the leavening power, degree of sourness, taste and texture and the overall reliability and consistency in the long run.

There are numerous recipes for starters on the Net , bread cook books and from Darrell Greenwood's Sourdough FAQ found at his website. The Sourdough FAQ's are also frequently posted to the rec.food.sourdough group. For starter information, read on below.. If you have a favorite sourdough starter recipe and wish to post it here, please do share with us!

If you can get a reliable sourdough starter from a friend or even at a bakery then you are fortunate.You can also purchase reliable starters from Sourdough International: P.O.Box 670, Cascade Idaho 83611 .I believe they have about 9 international varieties of starters and their own site on the Net.

One of my favorite starters was obtained free from a kind and generous gentleman, Carl Griffith of Sequim Washington who has passed away.


Carl's starter is again available at:   

A volunteer group ( including me ) who wish to keep the Carl starter( Oregon Trail ) going on as long as possible. .Dick Adams has posted his basic pan bread sourdough recipe with photos.

To see my photos click on the photo pages.  Other people have posted their recipes and photos as well.

The site contains info from Carl's original brochure ( instructions, recipes etc. ) , a history and photo of Carl , and E-mail adresses of the volunteer board members etc.

For obtaining other free starters people use the rec.food.sourdough group ( now a Google group )  or  sourdough & bread baking Blogs for posting to trade their own sourdough starters. For other varieties ( and there are so many ) you may wish to order from the International Sourdough group. I also know that gourmet stores sell other brands of dried cultures ( for example: Goldrush , San Francisco or Walnut Acres Organic Farms cultures) which I personally have had no experience with.

Many of my reader's have offered to share their personal starter recipes and techniques for this page.

I will gladly post any shared recipe/tips/starters that you may send me to include on this page.

Just E-mail me ! 

Rec.food.sourdough ( now a Google Group ) has posts from some very experienced people well versed in sourdough baking  and who are willing to help you, answer questions and share information. You can trade starters with others, share recipes and ideas.

All questions welcome, no matter how simple or how complex! Posted routinely at this group by Darrell Greenwood are the rec food sourdough FAQ ( frequently asked questions and answers ). If you can't access the sourdough newsgroup try the following for an abundance of information as well as a large variety of sourdough recipes.



http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/sourdoughqa.html  Lots of excellent sourdough info/ a hugh variety of recipes at Darrell's site

This information used to be posted on a regular basis at the rec.food.sourdough Usenet group

You may want to see these  :

Mike's Sourdough Home ( sourdough hydration spread sheets ) http://www.sourdoughhome.com/

or Samartha's Page at http://samartha.net/SD/

or Dick's Page:


Remember one link leads you to so many others! There are so many other wonderful links retrieved from these pages.

I will glady add more sourdough links to my Links page, so Email me if you have your own special page about sourdough!


There are also many books on the subject as well as more information on the Internet and so it is up to you to read and search and seek for more specific information and recipes. At the end of this primer I have listed some of my favorites. Some are out of print but I list them anyway since I enjoy collecting old cookbooks as do many of you!


You may receive your culture in various states, usually as a dried form, moist dough ball or as an already existing batter. ( A common misconception is that sourdough culture must always be kept warm. Interesting to note is that chilling ( refrigeration ) does not kill the sourdough yeast but very high temperatures will indeed damage or kill the sourdough yeast.) . See my notes re drying and freezing culture further on below.

The dry culture as well as the dough ball must be reconstituted according to directions sent with the culture. Generally quantities of equal amounts of flour and water are added, but be sure to follow specific directions . If you receive the batter, you are then set to progress for recipes and feedings etc. New cultures need to feel at home with your environment so to speak and you may want to feed and care for them for a while (a few weeks ) before making bread. Of course you may use the new culture sooner for such things as pancakes etc.


I keep my starters in non metallic containers such as glass or heavy duty plastic. You can invest in a ceramic sourdough crock, but you really don't need it. Whatever you use, make sure there is enough room for expansion . I usually keep my containers about 1/2 full and place them on the lowest refrigerator shelf. Most starters will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator and require feedings about every two weeks if not used.

Refrigeration slows down the activity of the yeasts. Some people keep their starters at room temperature providing the sourdough yeasts a small feed daily of flour and liquid and then refrigerating once they have achieved the degree of sourness they want.

Truthfully, I only feed my well established refrigerated starters once a month unless I use them more often. You will notice that a liquid will rise to the top ( not necessarily clear and often in variable yellow or even dark shades ) which is an alcohol affectionately called "hootch" .Stir this well into the starter again before using. Your starter should have a fresh sour, tangy smell and taste.

As a rule, I remove all my starters about once a month from their containers and wash containers and covers well and return the starters again to the containers.

I have frozen starters ( both in batter form and dried form ) and from my experience found the thawed starters may be unreliable. I have also dried ( stored in a glass jar, tightly sealed and wrapped in foil and kept in a cool dark place ) some starters and sometimes they too may be unreliable when reconstitued. So if you choose to dry or freeze cultures do several portions at a time just in case one portion doesn't reconstitute as you would expect. This is my experience and others may have a different story because different cultures and environments vary etc.

Note: For short term keeping in the refrigerator with the goal to send or mail to others , one may add enough flour to a few tablespoons of the starter to form a noodle dough consistency to form into a dough ball. Then this can be flattened as pasta dough and sealed in plastic and refrigerated for short term such as a week or so ( and possibly longer ) . When the recipients receive this dough they then can reconstitute it with flour and warm water in equal small amounts, building up the starter gradually.

How you feed and care for you starter is up to you. The consistency of the starter should be as the consistency of pancake batter, not thin or runny. I never let my cultures get to thin or soupy and sometimes I do let them get a bit thicker than pancake batter. You can keep building and feeding your starter by adding equal amounts of warm water and flour to the starter ( but please note the ratio of flour and liquid amounts may not always be equal to each other.

Experienced sourdough bakers who know their cultures quite well don't always use the "equal rule "  or you may wish to remove and pour out the same amount or half the amount of the total added . The excess batter may be used in a recipe such as pancakes or you may just throw it away.

This adding to and deleting of the culture is sometimes called " freshening" or " sweetening " of the starter if cultures get to sour. Sometimes, but not always, most all starter is poured out of the container except perhaps for one cup. Some people remove some of the hootch ( alcohol ) that rises to the top of the starter. I prefer sour cultures and I don't remove hootch. Some people tell you to add a teaspoon of baking soda ( an alkaline agent which neutralizes acids ) to the starter to sweeten it if the starter is much to sour for you. It may be worth a try.

Baking soda also has a dual action and is used in some recipes for its rising effects and not to reduce sour flavor. It is activated by the presence of acids and carbon dioxide is released which helps dough things rise.

However, baking soda may turn some batters yellow. You may see baking soda added ( for rising effects not to reduce sour ) in such sourdough recipes such as pancakes, waffles, cakes or sourdough type of " quick breads". The sourdough cake and cornbread recipe below is an example of baking soda added for its rising effects only.

I prefer to let my staters get quite sour. The more you feed and use your starters the better they will get in the long run. If your starter is sluggish and as Carl Griffith suggested, try the addition of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the starter which will give a boost to the the ailing starter .

Sometimes people add a teaspoon of sugar to the starter to help feed it ( not for sweetness ) but I don't add sugar to any of my starters. Carl also recommended  to occasionally feed the starter with a tablespoon of instant potato flakes. In any event if your new starter has a few scattered tiny bubbles present or formed a little bit of early "hootch" , all is not lost and you may be able to successfully revive an ailing starter.

Temperature factors are important. I usually stick with 85 to 90 F degrees when I prepare a sponge." Sponge" is just the name when you use a portion of your starter and add fresh flour and water and let it sit and ferment. Actually the temperature and time period will determine the degree of fermentation, the sourness and rising abilities of the dough. When your sponge is ready the way you like, then you can add the remainder of the ingredients and prepare your recipe. Experience and preference will dictate how long you wish to incubate your sponge once you understand the characteristics and stages of your sponge.

When you make your sponge batter from the starter usually equal amounts of flour and water are added to the starter, although some people may not necessarily use this ratio all of the time. . Then let the mixture sit in a warm place, to get bubbly and more sour ( may be up to 48 hours ) and then return 1 cup of it to the sourdough container. The remainder of the bubbly sponge is used in the bread recipe.

What I do is remove my entire container of starter from the refrigerator and stir it well and let it sit until warm and active (bubbly) at room emperature.

This may take several hours or so. Then I usually remove a cup of it ( depends on the recipe ) and return the starter container to the refrigerator again. I add water and flour ( I add the flour first and then water over the flour ) stirring very vigorously and let the mixture sit about 12 hours or until very foamy and bubbly. I then return some of this sponge ( not necessarily a cup - but enough to feed the yeasts ) to the starter container stirring well . The remainder of the sponge is made into bread by adding the remaining ingredients and letting the dough rise for about a minimum of 8 to 12 hours.

There is always the issue of the degree of sourness and rising ability related to the length of rise. The longer the fermentation, the more sour the bread and some loss of rising capabilities resulting in perhaps not so tall a loaf. You have to experiment with your doughs and understand how they react. Sometimes I have my dough rise 2 or 3 times prior to baking and sometimes just one very long rise before the bread goes into the oven This is what I do and other bakers do it quite differently !

I always use bottled water , never tap water. Tap water may be full of chlorine, salt or impurities which may affect the quality of the bread. I also use bread flour or high gluten flour for my sourdough bread recipes. The high gluten is needed for the stretching of the gluten and long rises required in sourdough baking. As I mentioned, I use no baker's yeast in my sourdough bread recipes. My rolls and muffins come out tender with bread flour but you may want to experiment by using a lower gluten flour for part of the flour in your more tender recipes.

I prepare my sourdough bread recipes with the same techniques required of any other yeast bread recipes. I knead the dough well by hand, getting a smooth, pliable texture. It certainly can be done with a machine but I enjoy hand preparation. I don't find the dough quite as elastic as I do with a baker's yeast bread dough probably because the sourness of the dough makes it less elastic. I only add enough additional flour to the dough to prevent it from being very sticky. I aim for a moist pliable soft to medium dough- never stiff.

The dough is then put in a slightly oiled bowl, covered , to rise until puffy and double or triple in a warm place ( 85 to 90 F degrees ) which takes many hours. I then punch down the dough, reshape it and let it rise again in an oiled bread pan.

All these rising times are quite lengthy ( 6 to 12 hours ) and you must be patient while the dough rises. Sometimes I just shape my dough after the kneading process and let it rise puffy and swollen ( for boules ) and bake the bread without any further risings. You will have to experiment to see what you like best.


You may choose to deeply slash ( score, cut ) the dough with the tip of a sharp knife or razor blade in a decorative fashion after shaping the loaf and prior to rising . Some people say slashing the dough helps it give a better rise and bake. Score marks are more prominent in firmer doughs than softer doughs. My breads rise well despite the slash or not.

After the final rise you can gently brush the loaf with a glaze ( brush with milk, or melted butter, egg yolk or white mixed with a bit of water ) and sprinkle on some seeds ( seseme, poppy, caraway, anise etc.) and bake as instructed. If you don't glaze you may choose to spray or brush the dough with water.

I like to use a spray bottle of water and periodically spray the insides of the oven and bread after the first 10 minutes of baking, spraying every 5 minutes thereafter for at least 15 minutes while the bread is baking. Water spray produces a crisp crust. For a bakery look, I often sprinkle flour over the top of the unbaked loaf.

If I don't bake in a loaf form I shape the dough into a round "boule " or bowl shaped form. I put the dough in a cloth ( linen ) napkin lined basket ( sprinkle the cloth with flour or even spray it with bakers spray ) , spray the top of the dough with either water or oil and cover with some plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until swollen and puffy. Make sure the plastic wrap doesn't touch the dough or it may stick and be hard to remove. I use long toothpicks pushed into the edges of the basket to support the cover of the plastic.

At other times, I put the dough filled basket ( or even the dough filled loaf pan ) into my plastic cake container and cover it with the plastic dome and not the plastic wrap. I also put a small glass of warm water in the cake container to keep moisture in and prevent the dough from drying out.

Sometimes I place my dough filled basket on top of the radiator cover in my home during the winter or even place the basket on a warming tray on low heat setting to maintain the warmth.

Then the trick is to carefully remove the inflated dough from its basket container to a baking stone or sheet without deflating it ! No matter how careful you do it, I find there is some minor deflation of the dough. You can use heavy duty foil to line the basket and remove the foil containing the inflated dough and bake the dough right in the foil! Thank you Dick Adams for this trick.

Actually his advice includes much more detail , such as making handles from the foil for easier lifting and transfer etc.( He has other good sourdough advice and info found at: Dick's Page : http://www.angelfire.com/ma/dicka 

I have taken his idea one step further and have bought a metal mesh bowl and lined it with foil and then baked the bread in the bowl with the foil. The loaf keeps its wonderful puffy shape!  If you can't find a metal mesh bowl then try to find a small round metal mesh colander which suffices very well. The small deep aluminum or stainless steel colanders with handles and feet are wonderful for oven baking. Be careful with other metals which may be treated, and are not suitable for oven baking because they may melt or give off fumes .

I also bake my sourdough in free form round loaves. The bread may sag a bit but I still get wonderful puffy loaves. I do have a " cloche ", a dome covered ceramic container especially for baking breads but I don't use it often. You don't really need it but the cloche does produce nice crispy crusts!

Across, are a few basic recipes. As I have mentioned earlier in my primers, I don't mean to fill my web page with volumes of recipes. You can get many wonderful sourdough recipes from the internet , links,  blogs and newsgroups.

Mine are only a start. My breads taste mild to medium sour only because my family prefers them that way. Very often I also make plain ( or what some people refer to as "true" ) sourdough bread consisting of nothing more than the culture, flour, water and a dash of salt as in my free form loaf pictured at the top of this primer..The texture is light; the bread full of lacy holes. Other times, I bake an assortment of sourdough recipes incorporating a variety of ingredients.

Sourdough bread baking is a wonderful experience. You must try it!




This basic method ( with some of my changes ) comes from Sourdough Jack's Cookery ( 1959 ) and is a reliable technique that will turn your favorite bread recipe ( buns, breads etc. ) into a very good sourdough one. You must have a

good reliable starter. Try you favorite one loaf recipe such as white , anadama , oatmeal or any yeast white flour bread recipe (or buns and rolls ). All come out very well.

1. Place one cup of your favorite active sourdough starter in a large bowl with about 2/3 of the total flour called for in your recipe. Add all the milk or water to make a stirable thick batter.You don't want a dough but a batter.

2. Cover the bowl and set aside the mixture in a warm place for 14 to 16 hours.

The longer it stands, the more sour it gets. This sponge mixture will get bubbly and light.

3. Now add all the additional ingredients ( such as salt, sugar, oil, eggs etc.) called for in your recipe except the remaining flour. Do not include any yeast or baking soda- omit them! Please trust your starter. If the starter is bubbly and active, the recipe will turn out okay.

4.Add the remaining flour, mix and knead well by hand, adding additional flour only if needed to make a soft pliable nonsticky dough. Dough will smooth and elastic but just a bit softer than your typical yeast dough recipes.

5. Let the dough rest 10 minutes, covered.

6. Form your dough into a loaf ( or loaves ) and place dough in the pan (s) or how your recipe instructs.

7. Let the dough rise, to the tops of the pan (s ) or until light and puffy in a warm place. Patience- this takes much longer than standard yeast dough recipes- often many hours !.!

8. Bake and cool as your recipe instructs. Your bread should have a nice soft interior, a good chewy crust and that special sourdough tang .


A Last Thought On Fermented Batters and Breads


Many people enjoy making unique sour or fermented breads/baked goods from starters which in my humble opinion I don't consider 100% true sourdough. Such a recipe is the "sweet" sour dough starter and bread recipe which many people enjoy making. Many popular versions use the potato flake starter and bread recipe which can be found on the Internet. "Herman" and Amish bread starter recipes are easily found on the internet!



Some of the following books/booklets are out of print but I have picked them up

at yard sales or book sellers.Not all are strictly sourdough but all are good basic books.

Today , there are numerous books available on bread and sourdough baking available at the major book stores

However, the ones below are what I like to collect! I have often found that some of the following books may have been reprinted again so check with your library or bookstore.

The more you read, the more you learn!


MAGGIE GLEZER Copyright 2001- Beautiful recipes and their color photos. Chapters on Sourdough and pre- fermented doughs ( poolish, biga, old dough scraps, sponge/levain, mixed starters/chef )


Making bread dough using your food processor - includes a chapter on sourdough recipes for starter and breads


Copyright 1971- basic recipe for starters and many assorted sourdough baking recipes


104 baking recipes using homemade starters ( inc. recipes using raw & cooked potato starters )

SOURDOUGH JACK'S COOKERY - JACK MABEE- Copyright 1959 featuring Alaskan sourdough recipes- One of my favorite books!

ALASKA SOURDOUGH - RUTH ALLMAN- Copyright 1976 assorted starter and baking recipes



Assorted recipes for starters and baked goods using the Herman Starter so popular in the 1980's

This book may be ordered at Barnes and Noble book store. I know as I have seen it on the shelves!


Copyright 1995, not strictly sourdough but offers several wholegrain sourdough recipes amongst an assortment of wholegrain baking recipes


A booklet from Storey Bulletins, featuring assorted recipes for starters and baked goods


A nice chapter on sour style and sourdough breads amongst other bread and baking recipes


A large selection of sourdough recipes featuring many innovative baked goods. A book I recently acquired from a bargain book store.


Remember to use a reliable active sourdough starter as the bread is only as good

as the starter you use. HAVE PATIENCE.

Flour Power to You !


RECIPES- across
























Share your recipes/info/comments and/or trade your cultures here .

Below , are an amazing assortment of sourdough recipes  including bread machine recipes, cakes, buns, waffles, pancake, biscuits and designer sourdough recipes. I do hope you enjoy them !

Editor's Note:  please note, I make no claims about the following recipes/information since I have not tested any. They are simply shared here by my reader's for your reading and I hope your baking pleasure !

I have received many more positive comments and will post them here when I get a chance  along with new recipes anyone wishes to share-just email me!


Reader's  Comments Throughout The Years:




May 2012

From Cindy F:

Your pages are just great. Appreciate all the sourdough stuff. Here is a recipe for your readers to try!


Sourdough Popovers

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sourdough starter
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

Stir together the flour and salt.

Whisk together the eggs, sourdough starter, butter and milk.

Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture.

In a preheated 400F. oven, heat a popover pan for 5 minutes, or until it is hot.   Brush the cups with melted butter, and fill them half full with the batter.

Bake the popovers in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve immediately.


March 2012:

Also got to your wonderful page via a Google search. The recipe choices you and the readers post are awesome. I like to use sourdough French or white bread to make a wonderful  tangy french toast for breakfast. I am definetly sending away for the Oregon Trail sourdough starter. Thanks for all that info without getting too technical !

take care



 May 2011


Just got to your page!  Here are  some recipes I collected from the Net ( they are not mine ) that I wish to share.  I have a large collection and am sorry I cannot  remember where I got them from. Although I Iove sourdough I am also giving you the recipe for the Herman Friendship starter also and hope you don't mind!. This recipe  appears all over the Net and it was all the rage in the 1980's!!

 I esp. love  cinnamon buns made with sourdough

Yours in Sourdough ...Amy


  •  Cherry Sourdough Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sourdough starter (see recipe below)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Cherry Filling (canned pie filling used also)
1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
3 tbsp unbleached flour

Mix the 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1/2 cup butter till mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix Sourdough Starter, egg, and vanilla; add flour mixture. Stir just till moistened. Spread half of the batter in a greased 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Spread Cherry Filling atop. Drop remaining batter in small mounds over fillling. Mix oats, brown sugar, nuts, and 3 tablespoons flour. Cut in 1/4 cup butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over batter. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 35 - 40 minutes or till golden. Serves 9.

Cherry Filling:
Bring 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch; add to cherry mixture. Cook and stir till bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Cool completely.

Sourdough Starter:
When using starter; don't use quick-rising yeast.
In a large bowl dissolve 1 package active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in 2 cups warm water, 2 cups unbleached flour, and 1 tablespoon sugar or honey. Beat till smooth. Cover bowl with cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 days or till mixture has a fermented aroma, stirring 2 or 3 times a day. (Fermenation time depends on room temperature; a warmer room hastens fermation.)
To store, transfer Sourdough Starter to a jar. Cover with cheesecloth and refrigerate. Do not cover jar tightly with a metal lid.
To use starter, bring desired amount to room temperature. Replenish starter after each use by stirring 3/4 cup unbleached flour, 3/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon honey or sugar into remaining starter. Cover; let stand at room temperature at least 1 day or till bubbly. Refrigerate for later use.
If starter isn't used within 10 days, stir in 1 teaspoon sugar or honey. Repeat every 10 days unless replenished.


  • Sourdough Scones

2 c flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbsp butter
1 1/4c sourdough starter

Preheat the oven to 400.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Cut in the butter.
Mix in the starter.
Lightly work the dough on a floured surface until no longer sticky.
Divide into four parts, and shape each part into a circle 1/2" thick.
Cur each circle into 4 parts.
Place on a lightly greased sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 18


  • Herman Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Makes about 15

2 cups Herman Sourdough Starter - also called friendship starter): see recipe below
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsps. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl combine Herman Sourdough Starter, flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and eggs; stir until well blended.
Knead dough in bowl for 5-7 minutes.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down, On a lightly floured surface, press dough into a 10x20" rectangle. Combine melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread mixture over dough. Sprinkle with raisins and walnuts, if desired.
Start on long side, roll up dough, jellyroll fashion. Seal the seam. Cut in 1 1/4" slices and place in an ungreased 11x14 pan. Allow rolls to rise double their size.
Bake in a preheated 325* oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool. Then frost with buttercream or cream cheese icing

  •    Recipe for Herman  Friendship Starter

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup white sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups milk, divided

In a large glass or plastic container, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in the flour and sugar, mix until smooth. (DO NOT USE A METAL SPOON)! Cover loosely and store in a warm place overnight.
The next day, stir and refrigerate.
Stir once each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, stir, then divide in half. Give half away with feeding instructions.
Feed starter with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. Stir until smooth. Cover and place in refrigerator. Stir once each day for next four days.
On the tenth day feed again with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. Return to refrigerator and stir once each day for the next four days.
On the fifteenth day it is ready to be used for baking. Reserve one cup of the starter in the refrigerator and continue to follow the stir and feed cycle (Stir once a day for four days, stir and feed on the fifth day, ready for use on the tenth day.)


  •  Cinnamon Sourdough Crumpets

1 cup  sourdough starter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Heat a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Drop dollops of batter in, and cook until tops are set.
Serve immediately or cool and freeze in plastic bags. About 4 servings

  •  Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 8 servings

1 cup active sourdough starter
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup dry skim milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar mixed with
 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sticky Mixture:
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon liquid coffee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt

Mix first seven ingredients together, working in the flour until a good dough results. Divide the dough into two parts, rolling each out into thin cakes about 1/4 inch thick.

Do the following with each half: Dot with butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll dough into 12-inch long pieces. Cut off 1 inch slices and place in prepared pan (mix Sticky Mixture ingredients and place in the bottom of a baking pan).

Let dough rise about an hour and bake at 325 degrees F.

Serve with sticky side up.


  •  Sourdough Cinnamon rolls # 2
    1 1/2 c. sourdough starter
    2/3 c. milk
    2 T. sugar
    1 1/2 ts. vanilla
    1 T. melted butter
    1 tsp salt
    2-3 cups flour
    1/2 tsp soda
    2 T. melted butter
    1 2/4 tsp. cinnamon mixed 1/3 c. sugar
    Powdered sugar glaze
    Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together first five ingredients in a large, non-metallic bowl. Stir in salt and enough flour to make a soft dough just stiff enough to handle. Turn out onto a well-floured board and sprinkle with 1/4 c. flour which has been mixed with the soda. Work flour in and knead for five minutes or more, adding more flour as necessary.
Place in a buttered bowl and turn once to butter top. cover and let rise until double, about 3 hours.
Punch dough down, turn out onto floured board and roll out to 918 rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up and cut into 1 inch slices. Arrange with sides touching in a buttered 913 pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, 2-3 hours. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes.
Brush warm rolls with a glaze as below.
Makes 18 rolls.



October 2008

Hi Joan,

I am new to this game, but addicted. 

Thanks much, you site is awesome... WOW! I was really impressed.

Take care





Santa Fe, Texas


Thank you for your sourdough website.  I am new to baking with sourdough but am getting addicted very quickly.  Today I made the chocolate cake from your website.  I make loaves every few days. ......



From: Bo Ure

Sept. 2004


Joan, hello.........


I'd like to add, since I may not get another chance, that your page has been most influential to me. It was one of the first pages I encountered when I became interested in baking sourdough last year, and it is the page that taught me the most -- yours and the FAQ page that the fellows put together. Your photographs were especially helpful, they showed me what to aim for. I kept thinking, "Gosh, if I could only produce one single loaf that looks fractionally good as Joan's then I'll be happy," so you set the goal and I held that image in mind as I proceeded to enact every single mistake known to baking through 3 consecutive 50 lb. sacks of flour. Since then, tons of new stuff has suddenly appeared all over the Internet but I will always think of you and your page with fondness for giving me the encouragement and information I needed to get started.

Bo Ure, Denver CO


From Joe Quinton

June 2004

Sourdough Advice


I don't use a sourdough bread recipe per se. The good nuns that gave us the starter  still going strong after two years  gave us several recipes but by now it just seems to go by experience. Oven time has been my most critical point. I wrote these lines to send to several friends to whom I give bread, googled up your site and decided to share. I think the most important thing I learned was to clean up immediately as I went along. Otherwise things don't get clean!

yours in dough

Joe Quinton

I'm continually amazed at the elegance of sourdough baking . . . Bread is simple and yet it's one of the most satisfying foods there is, and the most fundamental.

Since I have set the sourdough starter to rise I thought I would get some thoughts on sourdough baking as above Tomorrow morning I will turn the risen starter, called a sponge now, into a bread bowl about four feet across and add water, flour. and whatever additional goods strike my fancy. Currently these run to Grape Nuts and flax seed meal .

Then I will stir the sucker with a large wood paddle we have, about one hundred times is about right, then let it sit and rise for maybe an hour.

There really isn't a recipe either for amounts added or times though there are general guidelines and >does it look right?< Then I tilt the mass out of the bowl and roll it around into shape. The bread shapes I make depend on whim rather than science. Sometimes I make all regular bread pan loaves and other times free shapes large or small. We even have a muffin pan that makes 24 at a crack.

Let it bake, turn it out of the pans or off the sheet and let it cool on bakers racks. I make so much at a time that it is bagged and frozen after cooling.


From: bikenutz


Subject: Thank You!



I just came back from our first adventure in Alaska and our first experience with Sour Dough Cooking. We want to learn how to cook like this. After bringing home 300# of fresh seafood catch and cookbooks I began to explore how to make Sourdough. Your website has the best information and today I am sending for Carl's starter. I had so many questions about the recipes I brought home and your website has answered all of them. You are a true gem. I can tell you have already saved me from making some really huge mistakes. I look forward to learning from you. Thank you for generosity to share your knowledge with others.

You are a true blessing.

My total admiration and respect,

Nancy Stirek

Omaha, NE


From: Dalepaulg@aol.com

April 2003

Subject: Hello again after a long winter...


Hello again, Just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoy your culinary pages. I visited the sourdough primer again and was pleased to see that you have posted the recipe I sent to you. Thank you. There is no need to look any further on the web than your site. If it involves baking, you have covered it.

Thanks again...



From: Alishaj529@cs.com

Nove 2002

Subject: What a great Place!


Hi Joan,

I happened on your sourdough site simply by typing sourdough into my key word box.

What a great place!..........


From: Bill Sering

Oct 2002

Subject: excellent site!


I was looking for some new sourdough recipes this morning and came across your site. It is amazing!

One of the joys in life is being around people who love what they do and it is obvious you love cooking!

My wife, Sheri, and I will be spending plenty of time unwrapping this amazing gift you've so graciously left for all!

Thank you very much!

Bill Sering

Darlington, Indiana



From Keith

March 2004


  • Subject Sourdough Doughnuts


Joan, I got this recipe from an old cookbook and hope you enjoy as much as I do.Of course you can use your own sourdough starter if you wish.

Sourdough mixture:

2 cups flour

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups warm water


2 eggs

1 Tbs. oil

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, salt

4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3 cups flour ( approx )

oil to fry


In a non metal bowl combine the first 4 ingredients and set out in a warm place covered until mixture starts to bubble abd sour - about 2 days or so. Transfer mixture to a larger bowl and stir in the eggs and oil. Combine the remaining dry ingredients ( except the flour ) and stir into the sourdough mixturre. Mix in enough flour gradually until the dough has a nice doughnut consistency for rolling and cutting. Cut and roll as you would with any doughnut recipe. Fry in hot oil ( 365F ) until golden. Drain on absorbant paper. Dust with powder sugar if desired. The texture of this doughnut should be a cross between a cake and raised doughnut. Makes several dozen

Editor's Note: see another sourdough doughnut recipe further on below


From Michele

Dec 2003


  • Subject: Sourdough French Bread

Hi, I am including the whole recipe which uses yeast. I did not not use any bakers yeast but used Carl's starter and the bread came out great.

Here it is, a recipe I found in a woman's magazine

Sourdough French Bread

1 pkg yeast ( I did not use )

1 3/4 cup warm water ( I reduced the amt and increased the amt of starter )

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( I used bread flour)

1/4 cup sourdough starter ( I used 1 cup starter and reduced the amt of water above )

2 Tbs. oil

2 Tbs. sugar

2 tsp salt

Cornstarch glaze ( I think this can be optional )

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in starter, oil, sugar and salt.Add flour and knead on a floured surface 20 to 30 times ( dough will be sticky ). Place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat , cover and let rise double about 1 1/2 hours. Puch down, divide in half. Roll each half into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle and roll up from long side, placing seam side down on baking sheet .Cover and let rise double about 1/2 hour.. Slash top in several places. Combine cornstarch and water and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Brush some mixture over loafs. Bake bread 400F for 15 minutes. Brush remaining glaze over bread and bake until done and golden about another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to racks to cool. Yield 2 loaves

100 % Sourdough Version

Note: since I didn't use any yeast, my dough was much more sticky. I added enough flour to hand knead for a pliable dough. The dough took about 3 times longer to rise the first time as well as for the second rise. It was worth the wait ! Good Luck



JOAN, I am going to give this to you like you never made it before,


  • Anne Atkins SOUR DOUGH BREAD

1 and one fourth cups starter *( see starter preparation note below )

one half cup of sugar

one half cup of oil { I use olive oil }

1 Tablespoons of salt

1 cup of warm water

5 or 6 cups of bread flour


*Take starter out of refrigerator, and feed, with 1 cup of bread flour, three fourth cup of sugar, one fourth cup of potato flakes { or a small potato roasted} 1 cup of warm water, Stir with wooden spoons only and leave covered with dish towel until next day, Next remove 1 and one fourth cup and put into stone bowl or glass do not use plastic, Place 2 cups back into glass jar , Do not put air tight lid on it, If you have any left use or give away but only keep two cups in starter,

With remaining ingredients:

Mix with wooden spoons well, Turn out on floured surface and kneed well, Put oil into stone bowl and place dough in turning coating with oil, cover and let set until rising {next day} Punch down and kneed dividing into three loaves place into baking pans and let rise, Next day it should be risin very much bake in 350F oven

Enjoy, !


Richard & Cynthia Foote

March 2003

Subject: Assorted Sourdough Recipes


  • Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Angel Mellow Frosting

1/2 cup starter

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 each eggs

3 foil wrapped squares of Hershey's semi sweet Baking Chocolate (melted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup Walnuts (Chopped)

Mix starter, milk & flour. Let stand for 3 to 5 hours in a warm place until bubbly and there is a clean sour milk smell. (Note I like to cover the sourdough mixture with glad plastic wrap while it is sitting to keep it from drying out. "this makes the cake more moist". Cream shortening, sugar, flavorings, salt & baking soda. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sourdough mixture with the creamed mixture and melted chocolate and stir in well. Next add the walnuts and stir 300 strokes or mix at low speed until well blended. Pour into greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes ore until done. Cool and frost.

This recipe came published to a church cook book back in the 1960's

  • Angel Mellow Frosting

My Mothers recipe. We feel this frosting really goes well with this cake

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg whites

2 Tablespoons Water

2 Cups Marshmallow cream 7 oz. ( the small jar)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, egg whites and water in a double boiler. Beat with and electric or rotary beater over boiling water until soft peaks form. Add marshmallow cream, beat to stiff peaks. Remove from heat, beat in vanilla.

*Note if you don't have a double boiler you can use to pans one large pan and one a little smaller being careful not to let your frosting go swimming into the boiling water. I make this frosting this way for awhile I used a clamp too hold the handles together.


  • Sourdough Applesauce Cake

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup dry skim milk

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine softened

1 well beaten egg

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix the start, powdered milk and 1 cup of applesauce in a bowl, cover and let rise double in bulk, about 2 hours. Cream together the 2 sugars and butter then stir remaining ingredients together. Add the sourdough mixture and beat only enough to blend in. Pour into a well greased 9X9 dripper pan at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool and top with a standard white frosting!

This recipe is out of a sourdough book I got many years back!

SOURDOUGH COOKIN by Dean Tucker, the copyright 1976


  • Sourdough Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sourdough starter

2 Tablespoons Cornmeal

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs (separated)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

vegetable cooking spray


Optional whipped cream for serving

" fruit preserve for serving

" maple syrup for serving

" butter for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Wisk until well combined and no lumps remain. Add more water if necessary to achieve the proper consistency. Add sourdough starter, and wisk to combine cover with plastic wrap, and let it set at room temperature (place it in the sink if the batter bubbles over), for at least 12 hours.

2. Heat a nonstick waffle iron. Remove 1/2 cup batter, and add to remaining sour dough to keep the starter alive.

3. Add cornmeal and salt to batter, and whisk in oil and eggs yolks. Combine baking soda with 1 Tbs.. water, and stir into batter. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to stiff glossy peaks, then fold into batter.

4. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon in batter to fill but not to overflow iron. Close lid; bake until no steam emerges from waffle iron, 3 to 5 minutes. Place the waffle on serving plate. Serve with the topping of choice.


  • Sourdough Pancakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

3 Tablespoons cooking oil

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 egg

2 cups sourdough start

In a medium bowl: Add start, salt,sugar, & egg mix well. Next add cooking oil and mix well. Then fold in soda. Pancake dough will start to foam and rise. Now you are ready to start cooking


  • Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

1 Cup Sourdough Starter

4 Tablespoons Melted Lard (or Oil)

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

8 Cups Flour (approximately)

2 1/2 Cups Warm Water

1 Tablespoon Salt

2/3 Cup Sugar

Cinnamon Filling:

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine ( to brush on dough).

2 cups light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 Tablespoon cloves

2 cups finely chopped nuts ( walnuts or pecans )

2 cups raisen if desired


2 cups powdered sugar

water (enough to make smooth)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingrediants together



Combine starter, all the water, all the sugar, and 3 cups of flour the night before. Cover in warm, draft free place. (note I like to cover with a piece of plastic wrap "Glad Wrap" over night).

The next morning add other ingredients leaving out 1 cup of flour. Kneed dough until smooth and elastic (note add flour from the last cup as needed to achieve the desired texture). Place Dough into a grease bowl large enough so dough can double in size. Once dough has doubled kneed down, and roll dough out to desired thickness, and cute out your rolls, or you can form the dough into two loaves.

Roll each half into a rectangle (about 15" Long). Brush lightly with melted butter, then sprinkle each rectangular piece of dough with half the cinnamon filling. Make sure to cover all the dough. press the fillinglighly into the dough, then add raisens, and nuts if desired. Then roll un each piece of dough Jelly roll fashion and seal edges. Cut the rolled dough ito 1" slices. Place cut side up on a greased pan. Cover them with plastic wrap and a towel. Let them rise in a warm place until double in size - about 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Until golden brown. Be sure to keep and eye on them.

Now add the frosting on top while cinnamon rolls are still warm.


  • Sourdough Cornbread

1 1/2 Cups sourdough starter

2 1/4 Cups yellow corn meal

2 1/4 Cups canned milk

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 eggs (beaten)

6 teaspoons butter (melted)

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sourdough, milk, corn meal, sugar, and eggs: stir well. Add melted butter, soda, and salt; Stir until mixed well. Turn mixture into a lighly greased Pan and spread evenly.

Bake at 400 degrees. for 25 - 30 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown.

Serve Hot with honey butter!


  • Sourdough Rolls/Bread

1 Cup Sourdough Starter

4 Tablespoons Oil

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

8 Cups Flour (approximately)

2 1/2 Cups Warm Water

1 Tablespoon Salt

2/3 Cup Sugar

Combine starter, all the water, all the sugar, and 3 cups of flour the night before. Cover in warm, draft free place. (note I like to cover with a piece of plastic wrap "Glad Wrap" over night). The next morning add other ingredients leaving out 1 cup of flour. Kneed dough until smooth and elastic (note add flour from the last cup as needed to achieve the desired texture). Place Dough into a grease bowl large enough so dough can double in size. Once dough has doubled kneed down, and roll dough out to desired thickness, and cute out your rolls, or you can form the dough into two loaves, Place rolls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. or if making bread lightly greased bread pans. Cover rolls or bread and let stand until rolls double in size, About 1 1/2 hours, or let bread rise to top of bread pan plus a little.

Now you can bake 375 Degrees , 10 - 15 minutes for rolls; For bread about 1 hour until tops are light brown. Turn out onto cooling racks and cover with a dish cloth and let cool.

From dalepaulg@aol.com

Jan 2003

  • Sourdough Biscuits using Amish Friendship Starter

I don't have any original recipes to share, but I do have one that is a bit different and, I think, very good. I keep a gallon jar of Amish Friendship Starter going on my kitchen counter. Seems like I always have extra starter. I found a recipe on the web somewhere for "sourdough biscuits" and have been using my Friendship Starter to make them. I think they come out real nice...

Editor's note: the Net has many recipes for the "friendship starter " . Search on  Google: http://www.google.com



  • Sourdough Biscuits :

1 cup starter

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt,

1 cup all purpose flour...

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, mix starter and oil. Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix well by hand. Drop by tablespoons full onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. (I have found it takes the full 15 minutes).

Simple recipe that works well... Enjoy...



From: The Taylors:oz1@inreach.com

Sept. 2002

Subject: Sourdough Bread

Dear Joan,

I love your sourdough primer! I have a recipe for bread machine sourdough, but if I let the machine do its thing for 1 1/2 hours, I think it is too long. Maybe if I just let it rise once and then do my own kneading and rising, it might work. Otherwise, my dough just doesn't rise the 2nd time.

What do you think? I'm about ready to forget the bread machine, but it does save my aching wrists some.

I wondered about the lengthy final rise in my WelBilt. I really don't think my starter is tired out because it bubbles up so hugely when I feed it. And the first rise after I take the dough out of the breadmachine is excellent, though maybe I let it rise TOO long, as you said, and it DOES poop out then!

We are at 3000 ft. of altitude here in the boonies and baking goods sometimes need adjustments. However, maybe if I stick to the "double in size" rule I might find it is a better idea than overnight like I tend to do.

And yes, you may certainly put this on your web page, but the recipe isn't mine and I wish I could remember where I got it, darn! My husband and I just love the taste of the bread - even when it doesn't rise properly, so I want to stick with it. I will enjoy any comments from your readers.

Thanks so much for all your advice, Joan!

Yours with gratitude,

Peg Taylor

Editor's Comment. I agreed with her in that she should prepare the dough in the machine and let is rise fully in the pans and then bake it. Also her dough cycle takes an hour and a half. My machine for instance, only take 60 minutes for the dough cycle to complete.


Dear Joan,

Well, I tried it and tried it to no avail. Just as I had decided to throw out my starter and "start" again, I thought I would do one more batch. Actually, yesterday I got a call for help from a neighbor so I let the dough rise in the oven until this A.M. That's 24 hours! So I looked at the dough, wrapped in wet towels encased in plastic over my baguette pan, and behold! the little things had risen! Now I am in proud possession of two mini-loaves of sour dough heavenly smelling bread.

I think I have it figured: I need more rising time! Is it because we live at 3000 ft.? I don't have any trouble with cakes, though. I am mystified, but happy. What do you think?


Peg Taylor

Editor's note: appreciate reader's comments on making/baking sourdough at high altitude baking:

  • San Francisco Sourdough Bread for Bread Machine

Makes 1 large loaf.

1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature

3/4 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F.)

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour


Add all the ingredients except cornmeal in the bread pan of bread machine.

Process according to manufacturer's instructions for a dough setting. NOTE:

Don't be afraid to open the lid and check the dough. It should form a nice elastic ball. *When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly oiled surface. Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.


After resting, knead dough on a lightly floured board.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. Place a damp towel over the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap (the humidity in the bowl helps in the rising process). Let rise until it doubles in volume (when you can put your finger in the dough and it leaves and indentation and doesn't spring back out) approximately 4 to 8 hours (depending on the temperature and the starter used, the rising time can vary as much as 12 hours).

After dough has risen, remove from bowl, and place on a lightly floured board. Knead in flour to feed it one more time before baking. Shape dough into a loaf shape and place on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet that is dusted with cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After rising, slash the bread with a bread razor or a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes. Brush or spray the top of the bread with cold water and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this is because the bread is still cooking while it is cooling) *And here is my concern: Should I let the final rise in the B/M happen? Or should I skip the final rise in the recipe? Or what? I simply can't get the last rise to happen. The bread dough just spreads out flat! This last time, I re-kneaded the poor flat dough one more time and let it rise forever and I have a flat concrete loaf. Sigh...

My machine is a WelBilt and takes 1 1/2 hours to complete the dough cycle:

1st knead 5 min.

1st rise 5 min.

2nd knead 20 min.

Final rise 60 min.



From Bob Hurt:

Subject: Jugito's Sourdough Banana-Date-Nut Bread

Copyright by Bob Hurt 7/19/2002, All Rights Reserved.

More at Jugito@Jugito.com

I would like to say that this recipe has been in my family for generation, for it makes unbelievably light, crunchy,delicious bread. It had never seen the light of day till I decided to make it instead of tossing out some overripe bananas. After several months of messing with sourdough starter and various kinds of breads, I felt that I had the technique of making a good loaf with a pleasing taste and texture. I instituted variations in the process that have to do with starter batter and yeast.

I often do not want to wait all day or overnight to let sourdough loaves rise, but at the same time, I enjoyed the sumptuous tartness of good sourdough bread. So, I decided to add double or triple the amount of sourdough starter most recipes call for. I reasoned that since the starter was already sour, it would impart sufficient tartness, and then I could add a little yeast for faster rising. But since Banana nut bread is not supposed to be tart (is it?) like sourdough bread is, I thought I would only put a cup of starter into the dough, and balance it with a teaspoon of yeast for quicker rising. When you use yeast, recipes usually suggest you mix it with warm water and sugar or honey to make it foam up before adding it to the dough. I decided that it was better to give the dough a longer rise time to assist a little of the sourdough flavor by not foaming it before adding it. The result was a magnificent-tasting Banana-Date-Nut bread, for which I give you the following recipe. My wife Maria, usually conscious of her calories, devoured half a loaf by herself.

The rounded loaf was baked in a metal mixing bowl.

  •  Recipe for Sourdough Banana-Date-Nut Bread

Bob Hurt 7/19/2002


• 2 cups King Arthur Special unbleached bread flour


• 2 cups King Arthur whole-wheat flour

• 1 rounded teaspoon small grain sea salt

• 1 teaspoon Redstar dry baker's yeast granules http://www.redstaryeast.com/

• 6 tablespoons cold butter

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil

• 1 cup sourdough starter batter (see recipe following this one)

• 3 eggs

• 4 ripe bananas

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/2 to 3/4 cup walnuts

• 1/2 to 3/4 cup pecans

• 6 fat Medjool Dates http://dejafarms.com/

• 1/4 cup milk

• shallow baking pan of water


• Cuisinart food processor or heavy duty electric mixer with dough hook

• Oven

• 3 medium or two large Bread loaf pans

• 1 quart measuring cup pitcher

• 2-cup bowl

Preparation Time:

• Making dough - 20 minutes

• Rising of dough - 4 to 6 hours

• Baking time - 25 to 45 minutes


Lightly oil the bread pans on sides and bottom.

• Lighty oil a counter top, smooth stove top, or other work surface for the dough

• Remove pits from dates and quarter them; put dates and nuts nuts into food processor and chop for a few seconds. Do not over-process - leave them coarse enough to give the bread crunchiness and texture, no larger than the size of pinto beans or a little larger.

• Put bananas into food processor and blend. Gradually add eggs, sourdough starter, honey, then yeast granules and blend till homogenized. Pour into 1-quart pitcher, and set aside. I should contain between 2 and 2 1/2 cups of goo.

• Clean and dry the food processor container

• Put flour, salt, yeast granules into food processor and blend thoroughly for 10 seconds.

• While machine is running, cut butter into small chunks, drop into feed tube one at a time, and run machine till thoroughly mixed in, 30 seconds.

• While machine is running, gradually add the contents of the pitcher through the feed tube as fast as the flower can absorb it. Be careful NOT to pour it onto the bare bottom of the food processor container or you will gum up the blade.

• Process the dough till it converts into a relatively smooth, sticky mass that tends to pull away from the sides of the container, and then for another minute. If the machine bogs down, oil your hands, remove half the dough, and process each half separately. If it is too wet

• If you are using an electric mixer, dump in the chopped date/nut mix and continue processing till they are thoroughly mixed into the dough. Otherwise, turn out the dough onto the oiled surface and knead the chopped date/nut mix into the dough till it is evenly distributed.

• Form the dough into elongated lumps that, when flattened into the pan, are between a third and a half the inside height of the pan, then cover each loaf loosely with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap.

• Set the bread pans in a warm place to rise, but not indirect sunlight. A good place is the oven, with the ovenlight on. The heat from the light will provide abundant warmth. The doughwill rise to more than double the original size, and protrude an inch or more above the topof the pan when it isready, typically in 4 to 6 hours,depending on temperature and humidity. If you let it rise too long,it will tend to collapse. If you don't let it rise enough, it will be too heavy and dense.

• Remove the risen loaves from the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

• Meanwhile, set the shallow pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil, then shove it onto the bottom rack of the oven just above the heating element. The water will create steam which will give the bread a hearty crust.

• When the oven is up to temperature, put the pans of loaves on the center rack. After 10 minutes, open the door, brush the tops of the loaves with milk, shut the door, and lower the temperature to 375 degrees. If you leave the temperature too high for too long, you will burn the loaves. If you are using dark pans, they will absorb heat better than light pans, and brown the bread faster. If your oven is hotter in one area (like the back) than another, rearrange the loaf pans after 20 minutes of baking.

• After 30 to 45 minutes, depending on altitude and climate, the bread will be nicely browned and done. Remove them from the oven. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove them from the pans. If they are a little sticky, run a sharp knife gently down inside and along each vertical edge of the pan to loosen them up, taking care not to tear the bread. Hold the pan upside down. If the bread does not drop out, shake the pan downward to force the bread out. Set the loaves on wire racks to cool fully.

• If you just cannot stand the wait, use a serrated-edged bread knife to cut a warm slice for everyone in the house, and spread on a little pure butter for a delicious treat.

• After the loaves are completely cool, put them in plastic bags to keep them from getting too dry. If you are not going to eat or give them away right away, put them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. It is okay to freeze them, but if you do, you should wrap the bagged loaves in a brown paper shopping sack to protect them from freezer burn.

  • Recipe for Sourdough Starter

• 2 cups+ unbleached white bread flour

• 2 cups+ water

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 1-quart plastic or glass container with loose-fitting lid, or

• 1 square of cheese cloth, folded into 6-inch square

Stir together ingredients in container, cover with cloth or loose-fitting lid, and set in warm place out of drafts or direct sunlight for one week.

Batter should become bubbly, indicating natural yeast and bacteria have started processing the flour and honey into carbon dioxide gas, alcohol, and tart flavor.

Each day after the first week, stir the batter, remove 1/2 cup or more, add a like amount of flour and water in equal proportions and stir it well. In 10 to 14 days, the batter will be well established sourdough starter.

You can use whatever you remove for baking pancakes and breads. The purpose of sourdough starter is to make the bread rise, and to give the bread a tart taste. It does not work as fast as baker's yeast. Bread dough takes 8 to 10 hours to rise properly when leavened with sourdough starter, and only two hours when leavened with baker's yeast. The longer it is left to rise, the more sour or tart will be the taste of the bread.

If you do not like the result of your own sourdough starter, you can purchase a sourdough culture from a variety of sources. It takes only a teaspoon of the culture mixed in with the above flour and water mix to produce the starter batter.

You may store the batter in the refrigerator, and take it out for a day once a week to let it warm up, feed it more flour and water, and return it to the refrigerator. Usually, you may freeze it for 6 months or more, but freezing will kill some batters. You may kick-start a batter's tartness by adding a tablespoon of Bragg's apple cider vinegar.

You may vary it by adding any good source of starch, such as raw or cooked potatoes, or using potato water or whey (the fluid in clabbered milk) for the liquid.

If you leave the batter too long without stirring it, the alcohol it produces will collect as a tan liquid on top of the starter batter. This is called "hootch", and is reported to have been a poor man's source of alcoholic beverage. "Hootchie-Kootchie" is probably a derivative term that refers to the inebriates and playful attitudes of cooks who consume too much hootch. Hootch is harmless to the batter. Just stir it in. Unless the starter batter is refrigerated, you should stir it at least once a day to aerate it, and feed it at least once every two days.

Some people question whether the bacteria in the starter batter causes a problem. Yeast and bacteria are natural enemies. Yeast is a fungus. Most medicinal antibiotics are synthesized from funguses. As the yeast in the batter grows, it kills the bacteria. That is why you can puree a raw potato and feed it to the batter as a source of liquid and starch without it rotting.

You should, nevertheless, clean your starter batter container once a week. I does not matter what kind of container it is in, but it should not be metal of any kind because the acids from the bacteria will leech metal into the batter, and that is not good. A crock or glass jar is preferable, but plastic works fine. Do not leave the container completely open to the air at the top. Cover it with a folded piece of cheese cloth to let it breathe and to keep out excessive dust and bugs if any are around.If your starter is working okay, you should share it with other baker friends.Spread some batter thinly on a piece of plastic wrap, and lay it out in the air to dry. Once it has dried, crunch it by hand into a powder, put it in a plastic bag, and give it away. You can send it by mail, and you can freeze the remainder of the powder for later use. It should last 6 months to a year in the freezer.

From: Bob Hurt

Aug. 2002

  • Subject: Jugito's Sourdough Bread Recipe

For a nice loaf of "healthnut" sourdough bread:

1 cup unbleached King Arthur bread flour

1/2 cup whole wheat King Arthur flour

1/4 each of cup rye flour, rolled oats, rolled barley, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

1 cup sourdough starter ( see recipe below )

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

enough water to make a very soft sticky muck

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, beat the eggs in with 1/3 cup water, add to the starter, mix, add to the dry ingredients, mix till it pulls from the side of the bowl, then knead on oiled surface for 10 minutes till nice and stringy. put in oiled metal bowl about twice as big as the dough and cover with oiled saranwrap. When dough is about double (filling up bowl if the bowl was twice as big as the dough, preheat oven and baking stone or cookie sheet to 450 for 15 minutes, and boil water on the stove in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle cornmeal on baking stone or sheet with cornmeal, remove plastic from dough, invert bowl onto stone and gently lift off. Then use razor blade to slit the top of the dough several times, and shove in oven on middle rack. Shove baking dish with boiling water onto bottom rack. If you have a sprayer, spritz the inside walls of the oven with water, and shut the door. Spritz it again in 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 after 15 minutes of baking. Let bread bake for 35 to 45 minutes total. Crust should be dark brown. Remove stone from oven, let cool, then bag clean up an bag (or slice the bread). 10 minutes, then remove from pan Expect bread to take 8 to 10 hours to rise. Don't be impatient. The longer it rises, the more sour or tart its flavor is.

To make sourdough starter, Mix flour and water, about 50-50, maybe 3 cups total, with 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon salt in a crock or big glass container. cover with cloth. stir in a little flour and water, say 1/4 cup each, daily.

After a week of this, it will bubbly and ready to use as starter. You will need to feed it 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water once a day at about the same time each day, and remove (and use or throw out) an amount similar to what you add.

You can refigerate it and feed it once a week. Makes great batter for apple pancakes.

If you let the starter sit too long without feeding it, a water/alcohol brownish liquid will form on top. This is "hootch". If you are a Catholic, drink it. If you are a Baptist, skim it off and throw it away. If you are anything else, just stir it in. It is good to stir vigorously once a day in order to aerate the starter.

I like King Arthur flour because it rises better than most flours do. The reason the dough needs to be relatively soft (won't hold a loaf shape, but flattens out if you don't let it rise in a bowl) is that to tight a dough impedes the rising process. If the starter does not bubble robustly every day a few hours after feeding, then there is something wrong with it and you can add a little storebought baker's yeast to it, say a teaspoon, and also add a teaspoon of "live" apple cider vinegar like Bragg's, the kind with the "mother" silt in the bottom. This will kickstart the starter batter, and then you should keep feeding it every day. If you don't want to risk making your own (it really isn't a risk, but you might not want to mess with it, do a web search for sourdough starter and try to buy some.


I have gotten better at making sourdough bread.

I have evolved two good ways of doing it

When I want fast loaves,

I make a teaspoon of yeast granules in a little honey water, 2-3 cups bread flour (or half and half with other flours), 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, heaping teaspoon sea salt, and 2 -3 cups sourdough batter, plus a little water for not-too-soft dough. It rises for about half an hour, I punch it down and put it in pans. After it rises a couple of hours, it is ready, and I bake at 450 with waterpan in oven for 15 minutes and lower heat to 375 till done (another 20-25 minutes. I spritz the oven with water. Makes good crust.

When I want slower loaves, I use 1-2 cups sourdough batter, no yeast, and 3-4 cups flour, oil, salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to suit texture. I put it into an oiled metal bowl and let it rise in a warm place, like in the oven with the light on.

I always cover the top with oiled plastic wrap while rising.


I found ultra cool bread pans for the soft french loaves. It is anodized aluminum with thousands of tiny holes in it, and from the end it is shaped like a curve-bottomed W. Loaves come out fabulous.



I told Maria (my wife ) to call me Jugito, and sometimes she does. It literally means "little juice".





From: "Tom Garbacik" TomA.Garbacik@orst.edu

July 2002

  • Subject: Jay's Bread Machine SourDough Recipe - modified

Editor's Note: see Jay's bread machine recipe further on below


Hi Joan-

I've recently baked several loaves using a modification of "Jay's Bread Machine SourDough Recipe" (on your web site).

Here it is:

1 cup of sourdough starter (the one I'm using is a whole-wheat version of Carl's)

1/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder

1 Tablespoon each: salt, lecithan granuals

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup 10-grain cereal (from bulk bins at our grocery)

3 cups bread flour

2 Tablespoons butter

I plop everything in the bread machine and use the dough cycle. I do tend to add an additional tablespoon or so of water as it mixes- I aim for a dough on the slack side. When it's done, I turn it out of the bread machine, form into a batard and let it rise on parchment covered with plastic wrap. Our house is cool, so this can take up to 6 hours.

Then I spritz it with water, slash the top, pop it into a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, then lowering the temperature to 400 for about another 12 minutes. Turns out great, with good texture and fantastic flavor.


Tom Garbacik

Corvallis, OR




From: "Steven Spinali" sspinali@earthlink.net

June 2002

Subject: A thing I discovered about starter or how to create a starter from a baked sourdough loaf

I'm not sure if anyone else has come across this yet.

Boudin Bakeries in San Francisco, as you know, makes very fine sourdough, but they make a very big issue of keeping their original sponge from 150 years ago under tight seal. They also make a point of not selling their starter, for obvious reasons.

But there's a way to beat the system. Mix some water and flour until it has some consistency. Take a Boudin roll (or any sourdough roll you like), break it open, and sprinkle several tablespoons of the white of the bread into the water and flour mixture. Put it in a lukewarm oven for a day.

After a day, add two tablespoons each of water and flour, and put it in a lukewarm oven again for a few hours. (This last step isn't always necessary, but it's good insurance.) Within three hours, you'll start noticing the bubbles. The batter will have a distinct sourdough smell.

Here's why this works: When sourdough is baked, all the yeast is killed, but not all the sourdough cultures. (That's why sourdough loaves typically become more sour over a period of days.) If you have a sourdough roll, you have full access to all the live cultures within -- for the price of a roll, and a little flour and water. (And time.)


Many bakers (especially on a production line, like Boudin) include yeast with their sourdough starter. Of course, yeast isn't needed for sourdough if you take your time.

Whether your recipe asks for sourdough exclusively as a starter, or it asks for yeast plus sourdough starter, the sourdough culture will still survive baking.

It's best taken from the white of the bread while it's fresh.




From: William

Nov 2001

Subject: Assorted sourdough recipes


Joan, I haven't tried these but I thought you reader's may want to try some of these I had in my collection- different than the usual recipes.

Source:from the Internet

  • Sourdough Sugar Cookies

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract or almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sourdough starter, active

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Milk Frosting

A good recipe for excess starter

In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening and sugar.

Beat in eggs, lemon or almond extract and vanilla extract until mixture is fluffy. Stir in sourdough starter; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into sourdough mixture. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour or overnight ( helps firm dough etc. )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured board, roll dough to 1/4-inch thick; cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. When cool, frost with Milk-Frosting and decorate as desired.

Yields 5 dozen cookies.


1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon extract, and enought milk to make frosting easy to spread. Tint, if desired, with a few drops of food coloring.


  • Sheepherder Sourdough Bread - Bread Machine

1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature, bubbly

1 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup light rye flour

3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose

Extra flour / Cornmeal

Sesame seeds

Olive oil

The thickness of your sourdough starter can determine how much flour needs to be used. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). Add all the ingredients in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer's instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly oiled surface. Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. After resting, turn dough bottom side up and press to flatten. Form dough into a one-inch high circle and place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Press sesame seeds into the surface of the dough and brush with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise 1 to 2 hours until almost double in size. NOTE: It takes much longer to rise; sourdough rises much slower than bread made with regular yeast. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. After rising, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and bake and additional 15 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


  • Sourdough Cinnamon Pan Buns

1 1/2 c bubbly,active, sourdough starter

3 C self rising flour ( flour with baking soda already mixed in )

4 Tablespoons oil

1/2 C warm water

1 egg

Syrup for Buns

Mix all together and knead dough well, adding enough flour to keep from sticking. Roll on floured board to 1/2 inch thickness in a rectangular shape. Spread with 1/2 C melted butter and sprinkle with 2 Teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Roll like a jelly roll, cut into individual buns.

  • Syrup For Buns:

Melt :

1 C brown sugar

3 Tablespoons water

1/4 C butter in saucepan.

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper. Pour syrup into lined pan (may add chopped nuts if you like) and place each bun on top of the syrup to rise until doubled.( rise in a warm place ) Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. When baked, immediately turn the buns upside down to coat the top side with the syrup.



From: Jay : kewbeachltd@sympatico.ca


  • Subject: Plain and Simple Sourdough in the Breadmachine

Advice and Comments


Hello, Joan,

The recipe for Plain and Simple Sourdough Bread isn't mine. I found it on the NET

Here it is:

  •  Plain and Simple Sourdough (ABM )

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 cup of sourdough starter

1-1/2 teaspoons of salt

2-2/3 cups bread flour

1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


1. Add all ingredients in order suggested by your manufacturer.

2. Select white bread setting and push start

Approx. time 3 Hours. Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf (12 servings).


On Basic White, Joan, my machine is for 3 hours, 50 minutes, with a 25 minute delay. When I first did this loaf, I did it on Rapid White with a Regular Crust, which was good, and only took 1 hour, 58 minutes. The second time I did it, I did it on the Basic White, full time, added 1 tbsp. of margarine and 1 tsp. of sugar, because it was just too 'blah' for our taste, and it didn't turn out as well.

Trying to find a good sourdough recipe for the bread machine is certainly a problem.

And my advice on the above recipe is:

Do it on the Rapid bake, as the starter combined with the yeast in the recipe gives fast rising. Someone on another site mentioned that sourdough goes flat and tough if left on too long a time in the bread machine. I must admit 3 hours, 50 minutes is a bit much.

I just, however, had another sourdough bread recipe disaster. Even though I added a little water at "ingredient beep" time, the machine was having trouble mixing this recipe, which called for 1cup of starter and 3 cups of Best For Bread Flour. I hated the taste of it,so into the garbage it went. I'm so upset with sourdough failure that I've put my Starter away and won't try again till I receive Carl's sourdough starter and instructions.


Hi, Joan, I'm so excited that I just had to share this with you. After starting Carl's wafer Starter on Dec. 1st, I finally made 2 loaves with it today.

The original recipe called for too many ingredients of just about everything, so I reduced them to suit us.

It's a recipe for the Bread Machine, but I only mixed it until the "add ingredients" beeper sounded.

Here's the recipe I used:

  • Jay's Bread Machine SourDough Recipe
  • ( mix in machine/bake in oven )

1 cup of Sourdough Starter

2/3rd to 3/4 cup of Milk ( with additional water)- . I preferred, however, to just add small amounts of water until the machine wasn't having a problem mixing. ( see note below )*

2 Tablespoons of Marg/Butter

1 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Salt

3 1/4 cups of Bread Flour

2 teaspoons of Yeast

By intending to do this loaf fully on the machine, I set it on Basic White, which would have been 3 hrs., 50 minutes. However, I changed my mind when the beeper went for adding any extra ingredients. Forgot to mention one important item when mixing the bread in the machine, and that is * I had to add small amounts of water a couple of times, as my machine was getting bogged down with the mixing., meaning it might have been wiser for me to have made the water ingredient 3/4 of a cup, or a little more, instead of 2/3rds. It took those two water adjustments to give it that smooth, sleek look.

Took it out, greased a large bowl, put it in the oven with oven light on & damp tea towel covering, and let it rise for 2 hours. It doubled in size, so I punched it down, divided into 2 loaves and placed in greased loaf pans to rise again, which only took a little over an hour. I did not spray water in the oven, or any of the other suggestions on the web for sourdough bread, nor did I slash the two loaves.

I baked them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and, Joan, they are wonderful.

Not like all the other loaves I tried, either in the machine or even the round one baked in the oven that actually looked like a San Francisco loaf.

They are very crusty on the outside, but beautiful and soft inside, and I'm getting fatter.

The aroma is breathtaking. It's so strange, because when I set up Carl's starter in the first couple of days, I didn't like the stale or dead or (as my DH said) wall plaster aroma. Boy, give me that aroma all the time, if it turns out bread like this.

Next time (being braver), I will leave out the yeast; it ( dough ) will no doubt take much longer to rise, but that's okay.



Editor's Note: There is always much discussion about the challenge/techniques to produce a quality sourdough in the bread machine. Purists who don't advocate the use of any baker's yeast in a sourdough recipe are very skeptical that a true sourdough can be done in the machine because of the varied nature and unique qualities of sourdough cultures . Others who may or may not add yeast in their recipes still are confronted with the feat to tailor their recipe to a particular bread machine and it's cycles.( as Jay describes above ). Others just opt for sour style bread ( non sourdough but flavoring of vinegar, sour salt etc. ) for their machine.

Jay's email prompted me to post these recipes sent to me in the past by various readers. I have never tried these and I suggest you bake at your own risk. I only bake my true sourdough by hand. However if you have tried any of these recipes ( or have any more to share ) or perhaps will test these, please let me know how you made out.!



  • Sourdough bread for the ABM

1 1/2 c Sourdough Starter

3/4 c Milk

2 1/2 Tbs Margarine/Butter

2 2/3 Tbs. Sugar

1 1/3 Tbs. Salt

4 c Bread flour

2 1/2 tsp. Yeast

Note: Large (1.5 lb) loaf, Put everything in the machine in the order suggested by your manufacturer, Bake on regular cycle.

  • Bread Machine Sourdough #2

1/2 c Water, warm

1 c Sourdough Starter

2 1/4 c Bread Flour

1 Tbs Sugar

1 Tbs Oil

1 tsp Salt

3/4 Tbs Yeast

Place ingredients in order in bread machine manufacturer suggests. Makes large loaf ..

Try the quick or rapid setting another time if your bread gets flat with long rises..


  • Bread Machine Sourdough #3

1 c sourdough starter

1/2 c warm water

1 T sugar

1 T milk powder

1 T oil

1 t salt

2 1/4 c bread flour

2 t yeast

Place sourdough starter in bread machine and leave for 1 hour to warm to room temperature. Place remaining ingredients in order in bread machine. Use quick setting - if it rises too long it may collapse. Yield: 1 large loaf



From : John, USA

Feb. 2001

  • Subject: Sourdough Doughnuts

Joan, here is another recipe I am having fun with! I haven't really got into bread making yet but have been baking a lot of quick type things.

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup active sourdough starter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 Tbs. oil

4 1/2 cup flour , approx

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Oil to fry

Beat eggs with sugar well. Add sourdough starter, buttermilk and oil. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture and mix well. Turn out and knead on floured board until smooth .. Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 2 3/4 inch donut cutter.

Place on a greased baking sheets let rest 30 minutes. Fry a few in hot oil ( 370F ) until golden, turning once or twice. Drain on paper towels. Roll in granulated sugar. Makes about 3 dozen. Note: I use my table top fryolater for these but I guess one can fry in a heavy duty pot with deep oil.


From: John, USA

Nov. 2000

  • Subject: Basic Sourdough Biscuits

Joan, here are a few sourdough recipes which my wife and I just learned to make . I am new to sourdough baking and appreciate all your advice, recipes and tips!

. My wife also makes sourdough banana bread. She says all you do is add about 1/2 cup sourdough starter for some of the liquid in a basic banana bread recipe and bake as instructed. You may like her muffin recipe also.

  • John's Sourdough Biscuits

2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup white vegetable shortening

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1/2 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients into a bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening until mixture is crumbly. Stir in sourdough starter and enough milk to make a soft dough that clings together. Knead briefly with floured hands. Pat on lightly floured counter about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out with your biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet . Bake 450F until golden. Makes 10 to 12 average size biscuits.


  • Basic Sourdough Muffins

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sourdough starter ( great use of excess starter )

1/3 cup oil

1 egg

Make these as you would regular muffins. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Stir both together just to combine.

Place in muffin tins and bake in a 400F oven until done and golden ( about 20 to 25 minutes ). Serve them warm with butter and jam. Makes about 12. Experienced bakers can add other things to the recipe ( maybe vanilla , nuts , cinnamon ? )



From: Mareike Sattler mareike_sattler@yahoo.com

Sept. 2000

  • Subject: Gersterbrot ( from Hanover ( Northern ) Germany )


Mareike writes: The recipe gotton off the Net , is translated from German, so everything is in grams. I substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried yeast for the 20g fresh yeast it calls for. The crust makes the flavor, so the darker the better, try the bread plain with lots of good butter, my favorite way!

When you buy this bread in a bakery it is very flavourful due to the slightly "burned" or double crust and has a deliciously flexible or chewy inside. Good luck!

Editor's Note: Even though Mareike translated the German recipe to English another reader wrote me, informing me "gerster" means barley in German and thought perhaps the 300g of flour below should refer to barley.

I got onto the Net and saw the recipe and did not see any barley flour listed. I listed the German equivilent of ingredients for those of you nterested. For conversions of ingredients, pan sizes etc, use  The Net .



( editor's note: makes a 3 lb loaf - for a 10 x 10 x 30 cm loaf pan - ? equivilent 12 x 4 inch long loaf pan or something similar) recipe:

350g (medium) rye flour ---Roggenmehl Type 1150

300g bread flour ---- Weizenmehl Type 550

700g rye-sour dough ( saueteig nach Hobbythek ), recipe follows below

20g salt ( saltz )

20g fresh yeast or 1 1/2 tsp dried yeast ( frischhefe = 1/2 packung a' 45 g )

300ml water, ca 104F warm ( grad warm )

1 tsp sugar ( zucker )


blow torch

bread pan



Take 50ml from the water, add yeast, sugar and 2 Tbs of the breadflour, stir together and let rest for 15 min.

Mix the two flours together, add salt and the sourdough, add yeast-mix and allmost all of the remaining water. Knead with your hand, adding the rest of the water as you go. The recipe says to knead it in the bowl until the dough pulls off the sides and bottom completely, up to 20 min. I usually knead on my board. Cover bowl and let rest for 30 min.

Knead again. Roll the dough into a loaf slightly shorter than bread pan, and let rest again for 30 min.

Roll again into a loaf, put the dough onto a well floured board and mist with luke warm water. Get your torch and flame the outside of the whole loaf until a crust with little black dots is formed. The crust has to be so hard that you can lift up the loaf without it losing its form.

OR:. I if you don't have a torch, try to broil the bread under a broiler. I think you get better results with the torch, though.

To broil it I put it in an breadpan and let the top get brown, then I reversed the bread and browned the bottom also.

Score the "burned" loaf lengthwise on both sides along the middle, put in bread pan and let rest 45 min.

Before baking score the top of the bread diagonally 3 to 4 times and mist with water. Mist the oven also, or put an oven proof dish with water in it.

Preheat the oven to 475F, reduce after 10 min baking time to 375F. Open (and then close again) oven after 15 min to let out steam. Bake for 60-70 min. After taking the bread out of the oven, take it out of the pan , mist or rub with water immediately and let cool on rack.

Guten Appetit!

  •  (after Hobbythek recipe)

First: mix 100ml water, 104F warm with 100g rye flour. Cover and let stand for 48 hours, stirring every 12 hours.

Second: add 100ml water, 104F warm, and 100g rye flour, let stand for 24 hours, stir after 12 hours

Third: add 200ml water, 104F warm, and 200g rye flour, let stand for 24 hours

That should make 800g sourdough starter. Take 700g for the recipe and save the rest for another time.

Or use the rye-sour that you are used to working with.



  • JOAN'S Recipes:
  • a few listed for examples of what I bake
  • Recipes for the following  mentioned  below may still be found at Darrell Greenwood's Sourdough FAQ ( vast amount of sourdough recipes ); the url posted in my primer further on above along with  other sourdough links . All my other recipes included in this primer are posted further below this section . Remember, you can use the conversion technique at the end of this primer to convert any favorite non sourdough recipe to a great sourdough one!


  • Basic Plain Sourdough risen in the Brotform/ Banneton

The basket is used only for rising ( not baking ) to produce a characteristic pattern with good crust ( chewy ) texture Whole grains or firm doughs work best- over risen or soft doughs may deflate when inverted from the form! The basket is expensive ( about $30 ) and not really necessary for most bakers.

Tip : Some bakers use cheap plastic or wood baskets lined with a floured linen cloth for rising

For the above recipe I used Carl's Stater and a basic white sourdough recipe .

Note: the complete recipe and detailed photos are at :    http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends.

My sourdough seeded pumpernickel - note light and airy rexture

Photo  also found at the Carl'sfriends link above


My sourdough sweet cinnamon buns ( light and fluffy with unique flavor )

My Sourdough Colander Boule

An experiment- Not bad for a bread risen in a foil lined colander!

Risen in a colander lined with foil-( foil removed from colander and bread baked in the foil!). I could have also used a piece of linen cloth ( dusted with flour ) in the colander and inverted the dough. But I decided to bake right in the foil so I wouldn't have to remove and invert the dough!.

However, for comparison,  bread risen in  a banneton,  then gently inverted onto a baking stone and then baked which resulted in an entierely different looking bread. However, this colander risen bread was also beautiful with airy, holey texture and wonderful flavor.




CAKES: good use for excess cultures

  • Sourdough Chocolate Cake- A One Bowl Cake!

An easy popular recipe using sourdough starter and cocoa

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk ( skim is fine also )

1/2 cup oil ( not olive )

3/4 cup cold brewed coffee

1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

This recipe is very popular since it has many variations:

Place starter in bowl and let become bubbly at room temperature. This can be a few hours or you can let it stand overnight. Add all the remaining ingredients in order listed beating well until thoroughly mixed. Batter will be thin. Place in 2, round 9 inch cake pans or an oblong baking pan , filling pan at least 1/2 full. Bake in a preheated 350F oven about 30 minutes or until cake tests done with tooth pick inserted in center. Cool completely. Frost as desired with a good chocolate frosting or glaze. A fudgy , moist chocolate cake. Note: there are different versions of this cake. You can use 1/2 part brown sugar and 1/2 part white sugar for all the sugar or you can use buttermilk for the whole milk.


  • Sourdough Chocolate Cake # 2

adapted from Sour Dough Jack's recipe- recipe uses starter and bar chocolate

1 cup thick sourdough culture

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla or almond

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 oz. ( 3 squares ) semi-sweet chocolate melted

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

Let your starter remain out at a warm room temperature overnight. Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add and beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in starter, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and melted chocolate until smooth and well mixed using whisk or hand held rotary beater. Combine salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in flour mixture into creamed mixture until smooth. Pour into greased and floured cake pans ( 8 or 9 inch round pans or a square pan.) Bake in a preheated 350F oven about 35 to 40 minutes or tested done. Cool completely and frost as desired.


Reader's Comment concerning the following recipe for "coffee cake ":

From: Cynthia Read

Subject: Success with sourdough


Having so much of the starter, I also made your sourdough coffee cake recipe.

Yes, my husband, daughter and I had cake for breakfast. It was lovely, thank you.


  • Sourdough "Coffee" Cake

( a breakfast or brunch item )

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 cup active sourdough starter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup brewed room temperature coffee

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in sourdough starter. Combine dry ingredients together. Add alternately to creamed mixture with coffee. Spoon batter into a greased tube or bundt pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven about one hour or tested done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to cool completely. Slices of cake taste great toasted and buttered !



  • Sourdough Jack's Pancakes

1 1/2 to 2 cups sourdough culture

1 egg

2 tbs oil

1/4 cup evaporated canned milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbs sugar

Mix sourdough culture, egg, oil and milk and blend smooth. Combine salt, baking soda and sugar and sprinkle over batter and fold in gently. Allow batter to rest a few minutes. Batter will be on the thin side. But if batter is too thick you may thin with some extra milk .Drop by spoonfuls onto a hot lightly greased griddle. Yield: 25 to 30 dollar size pancakes.



  • Pizza Dough:

Photo of my conventional, Sourdough Thin Pizza on the http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends. ( Friends Of Carl's Sourdough Page )

  • Frying Pan /Skillet Sourdough Pizza

( although uniquely baked in a skillet you can bake the recipe in any pizza pan or use the dough recipe as you wish to prepare a pizza


( see note 2 below if you want to make a 100% sourdough without any yeast )

1 pk Yeast

1/4 c Warm water

2 c Sourdough starter ( active and room temp. )

1 c Water

1/4 c Oil

4 c Flour

Additional flour

1/4 c Dry skim milk powder

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

2 ts Salt


1 8 oz tomato sauce (not paste)

1/4 c Olive oil

1/2 ts Black pepper

1 ts Basil

2 ts Oregano

1 ts Tarragon

1 Med. tomato chopped,drained

1 Tb Brown sugar

Optional toppings:

Chopped garlic

Chopped onion ( soak in cold water, rinse and pat very dry! )

Sliced mushrooms

Sliced gr peppers

Sliced salami

Sliced pepperoni

Sliced olives

Drained sliced artichoke hearts

Chopped cooked shrimp

16 oz Grated mozzarella ( enough for 3 pizza )

Make dough:

For the best quality dough for pizza, prepare dough overnight. Since this recipe involves a starter ( your favorite sourdough culture ) make sure you have had that prepared ahead of time .

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine dry ingredients in a 4 qt mixer bowel. In separate bowl mix active sour dough starter, dissolved yeast, olive oil and water. Make a well in the combined dry ingredients and add the sourdough starter mixture. Stir well with mixing spoon. Continue to mix with hands coated with flour. Even though the dough may be quite moist, add no extra flour.If the dough is too dry just add enough water so dough remains moist. Depending on how thick or thin your starter is, quality of flour, etc all will determine the consistency of the dough. The dough should be moist and a bit sticky . Cover this "primer " dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and let set overnight at room temperature.Make sure the bowl is large enough for dough expansion. When ready to prepare final dough, stir or gently punch down, add a cup of flour ( or enough four ), hand kneading the dough, adding only additional flour until dough is elastic and pliable and no longer sticky. Divide dough into 3 portions and cover with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside. Or freeze/refrigerate well covered portions of dough if not using .

Make sauce: combine all ingredients and simmer on stove top no longer than 30 minutes.Cool.

Prepare toppings: slice, dice, grate or chop the number of the desired toppings you choose

Assemble pizza: Place one portion of dough in a greased 10 inch oven use heavy duty skillet. Spread dough toward edge, about 1/4 inch thick ( or more if desired ) molding dough to skillet's outer edge to form a crust. The dough will rise as you are working. Spread on some of the sauce, 1/3 of the mozarella cheese, layer on onions if using before any other toppings. Continue layering toppings, large toppings under small ones.

Bake pizza in the skillet at preheated 450F oven for 20 minutes. (Pat off any excess liquids with paper towel which may have accumulated in center of pizza ).One tip to prevent sogginess of vegetables is to saute or precook them first before using as a topping . Carefully remove pizza from skillet and place pizza in baking sheet to finish baking.

Return to 450 oven and let bake 5 to 10 minutes more. Dough should be golden and done . Let pizza set a few minutes before slicing .

Note 1: if desired you can use the sourdough pizza dough recipe as is and prepare the pizza as you wish using a regular pizza pan etc.. Yield: approximately 3 pizza shells

Note 2: if you desire a 100% sourdough recipe just leave out the dry yeast and 1/4 cup water. Prepare the complete dough in one stage, adding enough flour/water , kneading to make a dough that is smooth and pliable. Let this complete dough set overnight at warm room tempearture in a well covered bowl ( or long enough so it at least doubles in volume and gets puffy.) Punch down, gently , knead briefly with floured hands, divide and use as desired for pizza.

The true sourdough will be delicious yet somewhat less spongier and puffier than the yeast based dough and in my opinion will have a better flavor


  • Sourdough Jack's Corn Bread -

makes 1 round skillet loaf - This is the easiest of sourdough recipes. A good recipe to use your excess starter !

1 cup sourdough starter- room temp and bubbly

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 Tbs sugar

2 whole eggs beaten

1/4 cup warm melted butter ( I use margarine )

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda ( this is used for rising abilities not to make the bread less sour )

Mix the starter, milk, cornmeal, sugar and eggs well. Stir in the melted butter, salt and soda. Turn into a 10 inch round cast iron skillet and bake 450 F degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until tested done. Serve hot! This is a moist delicious bread which can also be made in corn stick pans.



  • Sourdough Biscuits/aka/pinch-offs ( very basic, great for camping )


1/2 cup active sourdough culture

1 cup buttermilk or milk

2 1/2 cups flour

1 Tbs. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

melted butter, margarine, shortening as needed


Mix culture, milk and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl, cover and let sit out overnight in a warm place..Turn out onto floured surface (using 1 cup flour) mixing by hand to make a soft dough ... Combine sugar, salt, baking powder and remaining 1/2 cup flour and add over dough kneading lightly on the floured surface to make a biscuit consistency. Roll/pat dough out to 1/2 inch thickness.

Dip biscuit cutter in melted butter and cut out biscuits. Place biscuits close together in pan and let rest 1/2 hour. Brush with extra melted butter. Bake in preheated 375F oven about 30 minutes or golden and done. Yield: 12 to 14 standard size biscuits..Best served warm.

Note: this particular recipe has no added shortening in the recipe.For pinch-offs, just pinch off pieces of the dough ( don't roll out ) and cook in a dutch oven or camp griddle.

Note 2: For another biscuit recipe, scroll up towards reader's contributed sourdough recipes.



Readers comments about the following Potato Sourdough bread recipe:


From: Weezy2374@aol.com

April 07, 2003

Subject: Sourdough Potato Bread


Hello Joan:

Just had to send a note to tell you how great your Sourdough Potato Bread is.

I've had Carl's starter for about two weeks. My first loaf of plain sourdough was tough enough to play football with. Then I make your potato bread and couldn't believe my eyes when it started to rise. It looks beautiful to me and tasts very good. Using an electric knife really slices it beautifully.

Thanks for all your hard work.


Cleveland, TN


From: Scott: srogerssprint5@earthlink.net

Nov. 2001

Subject: Sourdough bread


I have been trying for six months to make sourdough bread. I obtained Russian starter from SDI.. The bread I made was never sour and I have tried many, many different recipies. I followed your instructions for sd ( potato sourdough ) bread and I just tasted the loaf and is was WONDERFUL!!!

The loaves looked like a picture. It was not as sour as I would like it, but I have a feeling that that might relate to the starter only being activated less than a week and also I might need to let the sponge develop for a longer period.

( Editor's Note: Carl's Starter does improve nicely with age! )

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!

Again, Thank You!

Your Sourdough Primer is superior............




From: Tom Garbacik garbacit@ucs.orst.edu

March 2001

Subject: Potato Sourdough - Thanks!

Thanks so much for the potato sourdough. That is a fantastic bread! My only problem is that if I forget it, it overflows the pan. Thanks again.



  •  Cosmo's Favorite Sourdough Potato Bread - 100% Sourdough - No Yeast!

Yield: 2 loaves .

This recipe uses the sponge method and gives you more of an idea of what is involved with traditional 100% sourdough baking. This bread rises beautifully without any baker's yeast in the recipe. Recipe requires basic bread making techniques.

I enjoy using Carl Griffith's starter in this recipe for a high rising, moist bread.

1 cup sourdough starter- left out at room temp and bubbly

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 cups bread flour

1 cup plain prepared mashed potatoes

3/4 cup warm water

2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup oil or melted margarine or butter

1/3 cup sugar

6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour


Combine the active starter with 1 1/2 cups water, 2 cups flour and the mashed potatoes.Beat well, cover and let this "sponge" stay in a warm place until very light and bubbly. This will take several hours in warm surroundings or overnight in cooler surroundings. Then stir down the mixture and add the 3/4 cup warm water, salt, oil , sugar and half the remaining flour. Beat well by hand with a wooden mixing spoon.Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a medium firm dough. Knead the dough well, only adding additional flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough in an oiled bowl , cover, and let rise until doubled in a warm place ( patience, this will eventually happen after quite some hours !) .When doubled, lightly punch down the dough and divide it into two equal portions. Shape the dough and place into oiled bread pans. Cover and let the dough rise in the pans until doubled or well above the rim of the pans. Again, have patience as this will take hours. Then bake in a 375 F degree oven until golden and tested done about 45 minutes or more.When done carefully remove form the pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Bread freezes well. Bread has a creamy white moist interior and excellent taste and texture and is a high riser.

You can see a photo of this bread plus a few other of my sourdough photos at the http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends.









This basic method ( with some of my changes ) comes from Sourdough Jack's Cookery ( 1959 ) and is a reliable technique that will turn your favorite bread recipe ( buns, breads etc. ) into a very good sourdough one. You must have a

good reliable starter. Try you favorite one loaf recipe such as white , anadama , oatmeal or any yeast white flour bread recipe (or buns and rolls ). All come out very well.

  • 1. Place one cup of your favorite active sourdough starter in a large bowl with about 2/3 of the total flour called for in your recipe. Add all the milk or water to make a stirable thick batter.You don't want a dough but a batter.
  • 2. Cover the bowl and set aside the mixture in a warm place for 14 to 16 hours.
  • The longer it stands, the more sour it gets. This sponge mixture will get bubbly and light.
  • 3. Now add all the additional ingredients ( such as salt, sugar, oil, eggs etc.) called for in your recipe except the remaining flour. Do not include any yeast or baking soda- omit them! Please trust your starter. If the starter is bubbly and active, the recipe will turn out okay.
  • 4.Add the remaining flour, mix and knead well by hand, adding additional flour only if needed to make a soft pliable nonsticky dough. Dough will smooth and elastic but just a bit softer than your typical yeast dough recipes.
  • 5. Let the dough rest 10 minutes, covered.
  • 6. Form your dough into a loaf ( or loaves ) and place dough in the pan (s) or how your recipe instructs.
  • 7. Let the dough rise, to the tops of the pan (s ) or until light and puffy in a warm place. Patience- this takes much longer than standard yeast dough recipes- often many hours !.!
  • 8. Bake and cool as your recipe instructs. Your bread should have a nice soft interior, a good chewy crust and that special sourdough tang .


A Last Thought On Fermented Batters and Breads


Many people enjoy making unique sour or fermented breads/baked goods from starters which in my humble opinion I don't consider 100% true sourdough. Such a recipe is the "sweet" sour dough starter and bread recipe which many people enjoy making. Many popular versions use the potato flake starter and bread recipe which can be   found on the Internet. "Herman" and Amish  Friendship bread starter recipes are  also easily found on the internet!




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By Any basic good camera may be used although one with a lens for various close-ups may be desired. Most modern cameras have auto focus, built in flash etc.

The information below concerns non digital cameras. take 2 or 3 photos of each object at various angles so you can decide which ones you prefer for the quality you are trying to emphasize.

Photograph in daylight hours with natural bright lighting if possible. If not possible, you'll need to add/adjust your lighting for the object.

Make sure there aren't any shadows surrounding the object to be photographed which can deter from the picture.

Consider the background for your object. For example a bread may be placed in a basket, on a cooling rack, cutting board, on a towel, etc. Sometimes simple over ornate is the best rule. Too much color or patterns in a photograph may inhibit the result you want to portray. Often simple garnishes for food are best.

If your baked goods are pale then you may consider placing them on a dark serving plate. Or if the baked good is very dark, you may consider a glass or pale platter or other attractive serving piece. After a while you can judge what looks best.

As with any baked good or bread, photograph them while they are fresh because sometimes defrosted or frozen baked goods will not have that "just baked appearance". (That is they can shrivel or shrink, etc.)

Always have your camera nearby so when a photo opportunity arises you'll be ready!

It is not necessary but you may want to develop doubles once you become confident with your photography.

You may want photos to come back on computer disc. Many companies offer download photo services.

Be careful how your handle and store your photos. Fingerprints or smudges on the pictures will deter from their overall quality.

Use the capabilities of your scanner to enhance (brighten, make smaller or larger, etc.) your photographs for your web page, etc.

As with anything practice makes perfect Email me with your comments/suggestions etc.

Email Joan