My mother had this crock for as long as I can remember. She kept it in the old, white, kitchen cupboard with a flour sifter on one side and a bread drawer on the other. The crock was used to mix up the dough for her biscuits. It holds eight quarts. Mama was the champion when it came to making those big, fat, buttermilk biscuits and she would make a lot of them at one time. We thought her cold biscuits with blackberry jam and fresh butter were treats to be savored.  We ate them for a snack like kids today eat cookies.. I can remember neighborhood children knocking on our door and asking my mother if she had any cold biscuits.  Mama would always give them a biscuit with jam or jelly.  I can shut my eyes and picture her with her floral apron mixing the dough and adding the buttermilk to this big, old crock. She used her hands to make the dough into a ball. Mama’s green handled biscuit cutter and rolling pin along with the crock are still in use in my  kitchen today. The paint has worn off the handles of the rolling pin from Mama’s hands, along with mine, using it so many times.

I use the crock to mix up cakes from scratch and to mix the dough for my sourdough bread.

When my children were small and we lived on the farm, I used to make my bread all the time. Several months ago, I started making it again. My starter is made with instant mashed potato flakes and I feed it every five days and then make the bread. There is nothing like hot sourdough bread straight from the oven with butter. It is also wonderful toasted for sandwiches.  I have very much enjoyed making bread for my family once again and also give it away as gifts to friends.

I always think of Mama when I get the crock down off the top of my refrigerator every five days.  I have several things that belonged to her but for some reason “the crock” just seems like a part of Mama that remains close to my heart. Hopefully, one day my girls will continue the tradition of bread making in one form or another and the crock will be passed to another generation. I think we all have things that have been passed to us from friends or relatives that mean a great deal to us or bring back memories. I would love to hear about something that is special to you.

This bread makes your kitchen smell great while cooking and makes two great loaves of fresh bread for your family.

Sourdough Bread Recipe:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn oil (can use vegetable or canola)
6 cups all-purpose flour
Mix sugar, oil, salt, water and starter in a large bowl. Add flour. Turn out onto floured surface and knead several times until forms a ball adding flour if needed. Place the dough into a large, oiled bowl, turn once so that dough will be greased, cover with clean dish towel and let rise overnight.
The next day, punch the dough down, turn out onto floured surface, knead for several minutes, divide in half, place in 2 greased bread pans. Cover and let double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out to cool.
Sourdough Starter
3 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or one package
Combine all ingredients in a glass container, stir with wooden spoon. Cover with clean dish cloth or cheese cloth and let sit for 5 days, stirring daily with wooden spoon. Do not refrigerate.
On the morning of the 5th day, feed the starter 3 tablespoons instant potatoes, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 cup warm water. Stir and cover and let stand until evening or at least 6 hours.
Remove one cup of starter and place the bowl in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap leaving a small opening on each side of the wrap. The starter needs to be able to breathe.
Every 5 days repeat feeding instructions and remove 1 cup and discard or make bread.
There are all kinds of rolls, biscuits, cinnamon rolls and muffins you can make with this starter.  Enjoy!

5 Secrets to Old-Fashioned
Southern Cooking

Tips, tricks & recipes to cook Southern food just like Grandma used to!


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  1. Nedra Reed says:

    Since retiring and having time to cook, i introduced my husband to cat’s head biscuits. I have my grandmothers wooden “biscuit” bowl, i remember her putting a bag of flour into the bowl, which she covered with a white linen cloth. When she made biscuits, she would make a “hollow” in the flour, add the shortening (lard in those days) mix up just enough to make a pan of biscuits. i admit i use a clear pyrex bowl these days, keep the wooden bread bowl, rolling pin in a special place in my kitchen, but think of her every time i make a batch of biscuits, and thank her in my heart for teaching me the ways of a Southern Mama, as you cook, season everything you make with “love” thank you !5 stars

  2. Tereasa Saylors Mama T says:

    Love reading these posts. Thanks for all the great posts and people on here and I believe you truly are a Southern Lady!!! Kudos to you all!!!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You’re very welcome. Thank you for the kind comment.

  3. I have my grandmother’s large plastic pyrex batter bowl with handle. She made biscuits and dumplins for her chicken n dumplins in it. Every time I use the bowl, I think of her. My aunt always made the Southern sourdough bread. She would add two eggs to the dough when she’d make rolls out of the dough. I have her recipe, but it isn’t as clear as yours about dealing with the starter. I’m going to make some sourdough bread for my husband this week. He loves toast, and this bread makes the best toast.

  4. Emily Anschultz says:

    What if I forgot to feed it on the 5th day? I’m on day 6.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I would just ahead and feed it today. I think it will be o.k.

  5. Such great memories. I have a few things of my Grandmothers, and I often look at them, and think of her. My grandmother used to have an old dough bowl, it got passed down to my mom, and it cracked in half from old age. I have since looked online for a similar wooden dough bowl just like hers. I do remember her teaching me how to make biscuits. Every time I make my biscuits I think of her always 🙂 This is a very touching post. Thanks for sharing, and making us think about our passed loved ones. Thanks Judy 🙂

  6. I too have my Mama’s crock (her’s was really just a brown stoneware bowl), but she kept it in her flour “drawer” – this was literally a drawer in the kitchen that was divided in half and in one half we kept flour and the other half cornmeal. When she wanted to make biscuits she just put some flour in the bowl and added buttermilk and shortening and “worked” it into dough with her hands and then formed the biscuits with her hands – rolled smooth on top and extra dough tucked under on bottom. This was always for biscuits, she never made bread.

    1. My mother only used hers for biscuits, too, Ann. I don’t remember her ever making bread either. We always had biscuits or cornbread at every meal.

  7. I enjoyed reading that post so much. I could tell how much you loved your mom. How special that you have those things of hers. I have a pez dispenser that my grandfather bought me, it is my most prized possession, he has been gone for 25 years. Just holding it in my hand brings me so much joy. I hope your girls carry on your tradition of making bread in the crock. Lovely story!

  8. What great memories! You are an amazing woman just like your Momma. Love this recipe!

  9. What a touching post. My wife’s mom is Southern and would never use a recipe to make biscuits. Just did it by feel. Ours will never be that good.