Weeks after I posted a teaser on Facebook about starting a new batch of sourdough, I’m finally posting all the recipes as promised.

The original starter came from a talented cook at First Lutheran, who got it from a lady at Concordia Kingsport (I think), and it had been passed to the ladies of the congregation for years. Somehow, lightning struck us all at the same time a few years ago–I was sick/pregnant with Jonathan, one lady was having radiation for cancer, another lost her husband, yet another was out of town–and we all let our starters die.

If you know anything about sourdough starters, you know that older is better. The yeast is stronger and more complex, and some starters from San Francisco and Italy are a century old or more. How cool is that?

So starting over means the starter won’t be as good for a long while, but I miss the bread, and I miss the weekly routine of baking something from sourdough.

Here’s the first batch. It didn’t rise as high as my old sourdough (see above re: weaker yeast) but it tasted fabulous, with a beer tang from that extra boost in the starter batch.

And here are the recipes. Since this is my personal blog and I’m not trying to entice anyone back, I’m going to post them all in one ginormous post instead of spacing them out over days or weeks. I’ll just tell you that I developed the muffin, bread, and pancake recipe based on recipes I found online and fixed up for my taste and to accommodate the liquidy starter. My favorite, after the bread, is the blueberry muffins (cranberry in the winter) but the kids love the chocolate cake.

Sourdough Starter (first time)

1 c warm water

1/2 c sugar

1 package (2 1/4 t.) dry yeast

3 T instant potato flakes

Mix ingredients in a clean quart-size canning jar and let sit on the counter for two days with the cover slightly loose to allow gas to escape. You should see bubbles form in the starter, and it should smell pleasantly tangy. Refrigerate 3-5 days, then feed starter (see directions below) and let sit out 12 hours before making your first batch of bread.

NOTE: Don’t let the starter come into contact with the metal lid, and use a plastic spoon to stir.


Starter Feeder

1 c. warm water

1/2 c. sugar

3 T. instant potato flakes

Dissolve sugar in water and potato flakes. Add to starter, let stand on counter top 12 hours before making bread. Refrigerate after until you’re ready to use. Feed the starter at once a week, or every time you use some.


Sourdough Bread

6 cups bread flour

1/4 cup sugar (optional)

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup starter

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix all ingredients well. Place in a large greased bowl and cover; let rise 12 hours. (In winter 12 is about right; in summer it will double faster, depending on the room temp.)

Knead 4-5 times, then divide dough in half and shape into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans; let rise another 12 hours. (Same as above; in summer this will go faster.)

Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes. Bread is done when you tap it and it sounds hollow inside. Cool, slice, and serve with butter.


Banana Sourdough Bread

2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2)

1 cup sourdough starter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated orange rind

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar; add egg and beat well. Add bananas, sourdough starter, and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in flour mixture just until combined and fold in walnuts.

Pour into a WELL GREASED loaf pan. (If it’s not greased enough, the bread will stick.) Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool to cold before slicing.


Chocolate Sourdough Cake

This cake is nothing like boxed mix cake—it’s rich, moist, and chocolatey. The cocoa powder adds extra chocolate flavor and richness.

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 cup sourdough starter

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Stir in sourdough starter, milk, and vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into one greased 9-inch square cake pan or two greased 8-inch round cake pans or. Bake 40 minutes for square pan or 25 minutes for two pans, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Serve plain, with whipped cream, or frosted with sour cream chocolate frosting. (Basically a mixture of melted cooled chocolate chips and sour cream, whipped until smooth.)



Sourdough Blueberry/Cranberry Muffins

1 cup white or wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries or blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 F and spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes or until done.


Sourdough Pancakes

Adapted from a Food Network recipe. Here’s another way to use sourdough starter when you don’t feel like making bread. This can be made with straight white flour too.

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

(or 2 cups white flour)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sourdough starter

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons oil

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until blended. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Measure batter by 1/4 cupfuls and cook until done.