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The easiest way to acquire a sourdough starter is to make your own by adding water to flour and wait for natural spores that are everywhere to ferment a water /flour mix. After a few weeks of evolution it will assume a balanced character for your kitchen.

Recipe & instructions to make starter .

Leavening starter, 1/2 cup flour +1/2 cup warm water and a small pinch of baking yeast might help kick things off.

mix well and let set 1 day, then second day add another batch of half cup flour and half cup water, mix well,, 3th day again.  it should be working well enough to use, remove 1cup to make leavening, you should remove a cup of starter every day or two and replace with new ingredients or put container under refrigeration to slow it’s action, After the mother reaches the character that you like freeze a bit to save it in case you forget to feed and nurture it. This bit will be helpful in quickly reestablishing your starter.

I pull off enough starter,(1 cup) every morning to make 2 waffles, after 2 weeks my starter developed good character, The first few days were pretty poor stuff. but after 2 weeks things got much better. Starter doubled it’s size in 3 hours, had good leavening and flavor.

The water encourages the enzymes in the wheat flour to break down the starch into sugars, the yeast breaks down the sugars into Carbon dioxide and alcohol, and bacteria breaks down the alcohol into acetic acid. At the start there are a bunch of wild yeasts and bacteria that don’t work right together and you will get foul odors and poor leavening.  Just keep cycling it and in time it will balance it’s self out. Like any living thing it needs food and water and a cozy 72-76 F environment to thrive.

add about 3/4 cup water and 7/8 cup flour as makeup for 1 cup starter removed

Bread making

Bread ingredients, per cup flour:

3/4 cup warm water (80F)
1/4 cup starter, mix with half cup of the warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt mix with 1/4 cup warm water
best bread making temperature 75-78 degrees F

Ingredients for 2 loaves;

(6 cups for 2 – 4x 4 x 8inch or 2 – 7inch diameter loaves) nearly 4 pounds total


#1 – mix cup of leavening (starter) with 2 cups warm water + 2 heaping tablespoon sugar  and then let it rest a bit, stir a few times to keep it mixed while yeast works, keep warm, 76F more or less)
#2 – mix in 5 cups General Purpose (GP) flour with water/leaven mix (to make sponge )
let set 1 – 4 hours to grow sponge ( double in size)
#3 – add 1 teaspoon salt to a cup of warm water
(salt improves the strength of the gluten as well as the bread flavor
but limits the speed of the yeast multiplication)
and mix salt water well with sponge

GP flour will make the bread soft, Bread Flour will make it tougher (more gluten)


Bread Dough Ball

start working liquid sponge and adding flour (about 1 cup bread flour) to dry out dough ball,  until liquid sponge gets to be a strong dough ball to develop gluten, Let rest covered for at least an hour.

Kneading will develop the gluten and mix the leavening to make smaller bubbles in the finished bread. So the knead and fold is important to develop the wanted internal structure in the bread. you are softening and stretching the gluten strands so that the leavening CO2 can inflate the bobbles that create the desired bread crumb texture

#4 –  knead 30 minuets/ rest 30 minuets while adding bread flour to dry dough ball, use sparingly or the added flour will make the bread tough
let rest half an hour then knead and add flour again, up to 6 times
# 5 – let rest,  hour or more,  then divide and shape and let rest half hour
finish kneading and shaping and then let rest for proofing 1-4 hours
or overnight in refrigerator before baking

for baking in dutch oven or cast iron pot.
pre heat the cooking container to 450F before putting the dough loaf in it
start baking at 450F covered for 25 minuets then bake at 400F for 20 minuets
then remove lid and bake to desired browning.

Sweet bread;

mix well  and add to  the sponge from above (about 4 pounds)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup melted butter
1+  cup sugar
4 large eggs

work in soft flour , about 3 cups plus until dough just starts to lose it’s stickiness, don’t over do it.

Cover and let rise 1 hour, knead and then let rise, repeat

Cinnamon rolls; take half of the sweet roll dough to fill 9.5×14 baking dish, flatten into about 12×20 sheet

fill with, 1 cup dark sugar, 1 cup toasted ground nuts, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 table spoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon water, heat and mix well, spread on dough sheet and roll into log.

slice log into 15 equal parts and fill dish, let rise until dish is filled.


preheat oven 400F cook covered 25 minutes, 15 minutes uncovered to brown

Icing; 1cup fine ground sugar, (confectioners sugar) 1/2cup butter, cap of liquid flavor,

add heavy cream to get the right consistency while heating and whisking, (maybe too much icing)

pour over warm/hot rolls and let icing dry out a bit before covering.

this is enough for 2 pans of rolls, cut in half for one

4 responses to “Sourdough

  1. H.R. February 3, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Pavlov has nothing on you, p.g.

    Wanna know how to make someone drool from thousands of miles away? That picture at the top does it for me! 😁

  2. p.g.sharrow April 28, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    I am still perfecting my recipe, so I keep adding to or changing this post. the latest is working out better for a nicer product.
    I have hit on a way to cycle the sourdough starter. The starter must be regularly used and fed to develop the best flavor. When new flour is added with water, the water helps the starch hydrolyze and make sugars from some of the starch., The yeast eats the sugars and creates carbon-dioxide and alcohols, Bacteria eats the alcohol to create acetic and lactic acid. Time and evolution brings these living organisms into balance to create a good sourdough starter. So regular use and feeding are a must to get dependable results.
    So, a few weeks ago I tried to make pancakes from the starter, that gave unsatisfactory results. Next I brought out the electric waffle maker to make waffles. That worked well, a charge of water and flour was enough to make 2 waffles in the morning, Recharge the starter by mixing into the remnant in the jar a weak cup of flour and a bit less water, mix well, next morning make 2 waffles and recharge. About 3 hours is required to redevelop the starter.

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