HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD AND STARTER

Sourdough starter and bread recipe is an easy way to make your own sourdough to use in many different recipes.  You will love making your own bread, muffins, waffles, pancakes, etc.

 

Sourdough bread is the oldest form of leavened bread. The first recorded civilization we know about to have sourdough bread was the Egyptians around 1500 B.C. Early settlers brought sourdough starters from Europe and it is said that Christopher Columbus had a crock of sourdough aboard ship when he discovered America. I have tried many sourdough starters but find this one to be the easiest to get started and makes the best bread.

 

Sourdough Starter Recipe:

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 rest of the starter in the refrigerator. Make sure there are holes in the top of the container.   The starter needs to be able to breathe.

Every 5 days repeat feeding instructions and remove 1 cup and discard or make bread.

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

Note: If you can find a quart sized or smaller glass jar with a plastic top and punch holes in the top, this makes the perfect container for something to keep your starter in the refrigerator. I found one at the Dollar Store. I am posting a picture of my jar. The starter has to have air thus the holes in the top. Anything like this will work.

Print Recipe
4.91 from 10 votes

Sourdough Starter

Wonderful sourdough starter
Cook Time5 d
Total Time5 d
Course: bread
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Sourdough Bread Starter
Servings: 1 serving
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or one package

Instructions

  • 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 rest of the starter in the refrigerator. Make sure there are holes in the top of the container.   The starter needs to be able to breathe.
  • Every 5 days repeat feeding instructions and remove 1 cup and discard or make bread.

Notes

If you can find a quart sized or smaller glass jar with a plastic top and punch holes in the top, this makes the perfect container for something to keep your starter in the refrigerator. I found one at the Dollar Store. I am posting a picture of my jar. The starter has to have air thus the holes in the top. Anything like this will work.
Print Recipe
4.91 from 10 votes

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough Bread Recipe
Cook Time1 d
Total Time1 d
Course: bread
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Sourdough Bread Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

Check out my recipe for Sourdough Waffles, Sourdough Muffins, Sourdough Biscuits, and Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. You can make all these recipes with the starter above.

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342 Comments

  1. My mother made this recipe for years. We loved it most when toasted. She named the starter “Homer” and would often say, “I need to feed Homer today.” So when my daughter was about 3 yrs old, she heard my mother say that. My daughter asked, “Who is Homer and where is he?” My mother was a funny lady……she said, “Oh, honey, you can help me feed Homer. We’ll have to get him out of the refrigerator first.” My daughter’s eyes became as big as saucers and wouldn’t get near the refrigerator during that visit until we showed her who “Homer” was! She just didn’t understand why a jar of stinky, yucky- looking stuff was named Homer!!! When she got several years older, I began making this bread and for months had to feed Homer regularly. It became a family joke when her friends came over that she would tell them that we kept a little stinky old man in our fridge that had to be fed occasionally. We became known as the strange family that kept a little old man named Homer in our fridge. LOL!!!5 stars

  2. Hi! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. My grandma gave me a starter about a year and a half ago and she has had it for years. She originally got it from my great grandmother. I had never heard of a sourdough starter that didn’t use flour and water and my grandma doesn’t give the best instructions so I started researching. This really helped me get it going! My recipe says to use 1/2 cup of sugar with every feeding (and only 1/4 cup in the bread recipe). It also says to feed every 3-7 days. It does seem to work best when it’s fed twice a week so I try to do that, but it is forgiving when I forget! I use my sourdough every few days so I’ve never put it in the fridge. It has done well. I love this sourdough recipe! I also got the cinnamon roll recipe from this website and my whole family loves it. Thanks so much for sharing!5 stars

  3. I was given some sourdough starter by a ministers wife 37 years ago. I have used and definitely abused this stuff! I can’t kill it!!!! It’s similar to this one but doesn’t call for yeast and has flour added. I’ve never seen a starter without flour? Is this an omission or do you just not put flour in it? Thank you

  4. I just made my first two loaves of bread! Not knowing exactly what I’m doing…lol. How do you get your bread to look so smooth on the top? Mine doesn’t look like your photo? But it taste great!!

  5. I didn’t count the first day when preparing my starter. I actually fed it on the 6th day before letting it sit out before removing a cup and putting it in the refrigerator. Will it be ok?

    I didn’t notice any bubbling/foaming but it did smell like yeast. I also noticed separation on the 3rd day of it sitting in the counter. It’s now the 3rd day in the refrigerator and separating again.

    Will I need to start over?

    1. Debbie, I have made sourdough bread in the past. The starter is very forgiving! If you missed a day, just add it to the next day and continue on. I had a starter for well over 30 years and finally got tired of making it week after week. My hubby said he was gaining weight and wanted me to stop making it. I have made so many rolls from it and would take to people plus make them for snack suppers at church. They were always the first breads to go!! Enjoy!!5 stars

  6. I’m not sure if this question has been answered or not but can this starter be shared? Can I give someone my 1 cup of starter instead of tossing it or using it to make bread? Thanks!

    1. Can you possibbly help. So far this starter recipe has resulted in being way to runny. Not like a sour dough starter I had years ago. What mightt I being doing wrong ?

  7. I hope someone can help with my strange question. My starter has been active about 6 months and the potatoe flakes have settled and are very thick on the bottom of the jar. Is this bad? Do I need to do something different?

  8. I abandoned my starter in 2018 because we traveled in an RV for three months out west and to Canada and Alaska, and bread baking was not going to work for that particular trip. When the Pandemic started here in March, I decided to make a new starter. When I made my starter , we had just gone into quarantine, and I heard grocer’s shelves were half empty and was skittish about going to the store to look for yeast. I was familiar with making starter without commercial yeast from 40+ years ago, so I omitted the yeast, used 1/2 cup sugar (which is more than I use for subsequent feedings), 3 Tbsp. Idahoan potato flakes, and 1 cup warm unchlorinated spring water, stirred and allowed it to sit on the counter and start drawing wild yeast from the air. This natural fermentation takes a bit longer than using purchased yeast, and I stirred with a wooden spoon every time I thought about it, let it sit on the counter for days in a glass bowl with a paper towel placed over it, and waited until the day it became active, fragrant, and bubbly. It took mine about 6 days to show foamy fermentation and this can vary depending on room temperatures. I then put it in the refrigerator for 5 days, removed and fed it overnight. I then discarded a cup and put the rest back in fridge. I repeated the process over the next couple of weeks. I didn’t use it to bake until I think the third feeding. My bread rises amazingly and this is a very vigorous starter. I see comments from people concerned about starter separation. That is normal. Just stir well before separating out a cup to bake with after a feeding. I have been using this one for 9 months now. Keep your current starter going, but meanwhile, If you would like to try creating a new starter without commercial yeast, allowing it to capture wild yeast from the air, I encourage you to experiment, try this, and be patient. It is worth the extra initial time to get it started and it’s healthy and vigorous, and very forgiving on the number of days between feeding..5 stars

    1. Thank you dear for sharing this information, not relying on packaged yeast is important to me and your tips are what I was looking for.

  9. 1st ever attempt at making Sourdough bread…it was so yummy.
    I love all of your recipes…thanks for sharing!!
    I added a picture of my work to the Pinterest page…5 stars

    1. Oh that is just wonderful! I will definitely check it out. So glad you are enjoying the recipes. We love this bread.

      1. I have never tried freezing my starter but if you try it and it works let us know. Thanks.

  10. LOVE this bread recipe! Super easy starter. Based on other reviews and my troubleshooting, here are the changes I’ve made:

    – use 1.5 cups starter (feed with 4.5 tbsp sugar, 4.5 tbsp potato flakes, 1.5 cups warm water to make up for extra starter used)
    – use 1 cup water (when making bread)
    – use 1/4 cup canola oil
    – use 3 cups AP flour and 3 cups white whole wheat flour
    – bake for only 30 mins

    I usually have to let mine rise for 4-5 hours on the second rise, but it’s worth it! YUM!

  11. Thank you! Other recipes I’ve found advised to feed the starter AFTER taking it out of the fridge, pulling out 1C for making bread, and returning 1C to the container.
    I had a starter that I brought back to Kansas with me when I moved home from NC in 1982, but someone put the lid on tight and it exploded in the fridge (what a mess).
    Your procedure is like I remember and it validates what I’ve been suspecting – my bread hasn’t been turning out quite right and I was sure it was because of the sequence.

      1. I am having trouble on second rise? Bread tastes great I can not get it to rise second time HELP PLEASE!!!!

      2. Maybe, you are not giving it enough time to rise the second time. Times can vary depending on dough. Try covering with a dish towel, turning on your stove light over your stove and sitting the dough under the light. It needs to be in a warm place. Hope this helps.

    1. One a week works just fine for me. I have even gone longer and feed it after returning from a trip. If it isn’t bubbly after you feed it, just discard a cup, refrigerate the rest, and feed it again in a few days, and it may be back to normal, fragrant and bubbly after the next feeding. This has worked for me.

  12. I made my starter, made the biscuits (delish!), and put the starter back in the fridge for the 5 day wait time. While I’ve been waiting, I’ve noticed my starter has separated with water at the top and everything else falling to the bottom. Is this normal? I hope I didn’t kill it!

  13. My sourdough starter is doing great so far. Seems my bread gets better with each batch I make. I am feeding it every 5 days but it doesn’t always work out for me to make bread at that time. Can you feed it before the 5th day & make bread? May be a dumb question but I don’t want to do anything that might mess up my starter!

    1. I have not tried feeding it ahead of time, Mary, but it may be ok. I just cannot advise you since I have not tried it.

  14. Hi Carol! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My godmother made this all the time when I was growing up and we loved it. She passed away many years ago and we’ve tried several time over the years to find the recipe. I made your recipe for the first time two weeks ago and that first taste was like being a kid all over again! Delicious! I do have one question – what size loaf pan do you use? I used 9×5 but the dough ended up spilling over the sides a bit. Just curious if I need to use a larger size pan or if the dough rose too much. Thank you!

    1. I use a 9 x 5, too, and never had that problem. You can always use a larger pan if you like. Your starter must really be a good one if it rose that much. Hope you enjoy it.

  15. Tomorrow would be day 5 my baking day, my starter smells yeasty but it’s not bubbly. Should it be bubbling?

  16. I am having so much trouble getting this started! I have tried three times making the starter…the first time it rises and is great, the second time it rises less, but still good, but by the third time ( or 15th day) it will not rise at all. Any insight? I am following the directions…

    1. I have used this starter for years and cannot imagine what you could be doing wrong. Are you starting all over again every time you make something? You only make the starter one time, then you feed it every 5 days and refrigerate until the next time you feed it. I wish I knew what to tell you but if you are following the directions and it is not working I am at a loss. So sorry.

      1. I see troubleshooting the 2nd rise, it’s been suggested to get rid of some of the liquid from the starter. I’m having the same issue, I killed my 100 year old starter a few years ago, my rolls used to rise out of the pan, now they barely make it halfway. Should I try dumping some of the liquid off before feeding? I usually stir, measure out one cup, dump the rest, and feed the one cup.

  17. Hi! I love this recipe and used it for years.
    It’s delicious but my bread always seems to be very spongy and not have enough structure to it. When I try slicing it, it pretty much collapses. It never browns on the sides or the bottom, only the top.
    Any suggestions for giving it more structure?

    1. If you are kneading the dough, try kneading as little as possible. Also, try rubbing a little oil on the dough before you put it in the pans to see if that helps it to brown.

  18. Have you or anyone else on here used a KitchenAid mixer to knead your sourdough bread? If so, how long & what speed?

    1. I do it in a Kitchen Aid mixer every time and it always comes out wonderfully. I knead it for approx 5 minutes.5 stars

  19. I have started this starter twice and after 1 day it smells like stale beer. Is this normal and I threw it out for no good reason?

      1. Is day 1 considered the day you mix all the ingredients together for the first time? Or would day 1 be the next day?

        Ex: Mix starter ingredients together on Wednesday — is this day 1? Then feed on day 5 which would be Sunday? Would this be correct schedule?

        I’m not a very good baker/cook. Thanks for clarifying!!
        ~ dina

      2. Day one is the day you mix the ingredients, Dina. You are correct. Good luck and enjoy.

  20. I got an established starter from a friend who used this recipe. Her bread is beautiful, but mine doesn’t rise very much. It still tastes good, but is lacking that y’all beautiful bread look. Do you have any tips of getting it to ride? I keep my home cool. I also stir my starter before I measure it out to make bread although nothing says to do that. Could that be the problem?

    1. I don’t think stirring will hurt it. I stir mine all the time. I keep my starter in the fridge. Maybe, try letting it rise a bit longer. I hope this helps.

      1. She can also try pulling out the starter a few hours early and give tiny “feed” to get happy

    2. I got starter from a friend also whose bread was beautiful and mine didn’t rise as well. I increased starter to 1-1/2 cups and decreased the water to 1 cup and it works well and tastes great.

      1. If you are taking extra starter out, what ratio are you using to feed? Have had same prob with great first rise and less rise each subsequent time.
        Thanks!

    3. I have a starter I got from a friend 30 years ago. About 10 years ago my starter was not working as well as it should. I began taking it out of the fridge a little sooner and adding about a tablespoon of sugar. After an hour or two it would begin to bubble and I could proceed with regular feeding and baking.

  21. I found your site while searching for sourdough starters. I have read a lot of the replies and wanted to make a comment. Not to offend anyone but I have seen the problems with too much liquid in the starter. On another recipe site I use one of the cooks pointed out that newer cooks may not know there is a difference between measuring dry ingredients and wet ingredients, It solved the problem the person was having because she had been measuring it all in the same cup. I don’t know if it will help or not but it’s a thought.

  22. I lost my starter a year or so ago and have searched for instructions on how to make sourdough bread starter using instant potato flakes and sugar. I was never successful and then I found your recipe and starter instructions. Thank you so much.5 stars

    1. Sorry, Melissa, I have not made this in a bread machine and cannot advise you. Maybe, someone else will see your comment and leave an answer for you.

  23. Do I have to feed this every 5 days or can I feed it once a week? Routine of same day every week would work better for me.

  24. I have Always gotten a starter from a friend. I decided to start my own. It has been sitting for 4 days now and it seems to separate after sitting. Is this normal, it smells like starter but after I stir it and it sits for awhile it then separate with the liquid on the top. Is this the way it is suppose to be looking on the 4th day?

      1. So are you saying your starter doesn’t separate? Like ever? Mine stays separated, in the fridge and after being fed, after sitting on the counter. I stir and stir, sometimes put a lid on and shake it pretty vigorously, however, it will eventually separate with liquid on top, flakes on bottom.4 stars

  25. I love this starter and the bread is delicious. Can whole wheat flour be used in place of some of the white flour? Thanks!

    1. I use 4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour, bread is wonderful. This is what I make all the time now.

    2. I also make this with 4 cups of bread flour, 1 cup of old fashioned oats (quick oats work too), and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. It’s delicious!

  26. I have made the starter and have it in the fridge. Are you saying it needs holes in the container while it is in the fridge? My Mother used to make this with the instant potato flakes and I don’t remember her container holding the starter having holes in it. Thanks for any advice

      1. I cover my starter with a coffee filter (fluted) and rubber band. It allows the starter to breath and works beautifully. I do not refrigerate my starter. I got it from my sister six years ago and she was killed in an accident a short time later. When I use it to make bread or wonderful cinnamon rolls, it is an act of love to her.

      2. What a wonderful tribute to your sister. Thank you so much for sharing this story. So sorry to hear about your sister. Prayers to you and your family.

  27. I am so glad you posted your old recipe. Sounds exactly like what I used to make years ago. The yeast in the other recipes did not sound familiar. Glad to get a confirmation on thinking I had never used yeast.

  28. Hi, Carolyn, this sounds like you might be over-rising the bread. This sometimes happens to me if I forget my bread or the weather warms and it starts rising faster.

  29. I have had the same sourdough starter and kept it going for 33 years. It is like the recipe you posted above. We love the different kinds of breads and rolls you can make with this basic bread recipe.

  30. Pingback: Homemade Sourdough Bread from Scratch | The Homestead Survival
  31. I have been using my starter and have had great results!! Thank you for your help!! I am noticing that I have left over undissolved sugar in the bottom of the jar. Do I just leave it? Do I lower the amount.

    1. Maybe, you are not stirring it enough to incorporate the sugar, Clair. I have not had this happen. Try stirring a little more or just leave it.

  32. I live in WV and make hot rolls all the time and I use the potato flakes in my recipe. The rolls are great and everyone loves them. I have never used the sourdough starter. My question is can I make the starter dough into rolls or does it have to be made into loaves

  33. Great idea. I just started another one that is 3 days behind my first. For the penny pincher who don’t want to spend money on jars…….I use a 1 quart canning jars and the lid off parmesan container. It works great

  34. Brand new to sourdough starters! We have 9 people in our family plus neighbors etc.. I would like to have this starter ready for use pretty much around the clock (pancakes, cinn. rolls, bread, etc) What would the protocol be to leave it out on the counter? Feed it daily? Every other? And how much to feed? Thank you!!

    1. The only thing I can tell you different from what is posted in the recipe for the starter is to start several starters at different times. That way you can feed them at different times and have one ready to use at all times. I never leave mine out on the counter but keep it refrigerated. Maybe, someone else on here will have some more info for you Clair about starters. I only feed the one starter like it says in the recipe.

  35. Does fresh yeast ever need to be added to refresh?
    I’m afraid the original yeast I used for the starter might have been older than I thought. The bread rises some but not as much as I remember from previous starters thru the years. The flavor and texture are still great, just doesn’t have that beautiful risen loaf shape!

  36. I also used this recipe years ago and am happy to find it again. I never put holes in my container. I used a large plastic container with a lid and had no problems. The use or throw out is to keep from getting too large a volume, I think. Once I was making small loaves for an event and did not throw out after feeding because I needed to make so many small loaves. It worked fine.

  37. I used to make sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls in huge bulk to sell. This is the first recipe that’s similar to what I made. I have no more starter and was pleased to find the recipe on building a starter. I was planning on building this starter up, measuring out a cup of it and trying my original recipe. I would feed it 1 cup hot water, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of potato flakes and 1 cup of all purpose flour. My recipe calls for about 1 and 1/2 cups starter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup oil, and about 7 cups bread flour. It’s then a 10 – 12 hour rise, both for the dough and the loaves (I think I remember it making 4 loaves). I’m sure you haven’t made this recipe, but do you have an opinion on how this would work or if you see any “pitfalls” to it?

    Thanks again for the recipe!

  38. Is a way I can make bread one loaf at a time? I wasn’t sure about adding a whole cup of starter or only about 1/3 of a cup. Please let me know. Thanks!

    1. I would just cut everything in half and use a 1/2 cup starter, Cindy, for one loaf. You will have to discard the other half cup.

  39. If you are referring to SAF instant yes you can use it! You can use SAF yeast for all your baking!! I stopped using all the other yeasts! There’s to many variations so I changed to SAF. No more wondering, it takes care of all my baking needs!! It’s much cheaper too!!

  40. Mine worked perfectly. Getting ready to pull it out of the oven now! Can’t wait to taste it! Thank you for posting the recipe for the starter and the bread together!! <3

    1. I have not tried it with instant yeast, Abby, so I can’t advise you. Maybe someone else will see this and comment.

  41. I have been making sourdough bread using potato flakes for years. Not sure why, but I’m having a problem now with my bread rising. It will rise in the pan, but then before time to cook, it goes flat. Any suggestions?

    1. That is strange, Carolyn. I have not had that happen. Make sure your potato flakes are not outdated. Maybe, someone else on here will see this and advise you. Maybe, try using a different kind of flour??

      1. I’m ready to make bread with my starter and realize I don’t have all purpose flour but do have self rising flour, will this work?

  42. If I make the starter today I can bake the bread on saturday or sunday? and repeat this cycle every week? Also is the starter supposed to be sepeated water on top and mix on bottom?

    1. You can mix the bread up on Friday and let sit overnight and then make the bread on Saturday. The starter needs to be stirred to mix it with the water for five days. You will only have to stir before removing the cup from then on.

  43. When I take it out of the frig, how long do I wait to feed it before I pour out what I need to bake with? When do I out it back in the frig?

    1. Remove from fridge every 5 days and feed immediately, let sit for at least 6 hrs., remove a cup to bake with and put back in fridge right after removing your cup of starter you use in your recipe.

  44. I have a question. I am on day two of making the starter. It has the smell but I don’t see it rising yet. It is on glass bowl with a cloth over it in my kitchen. Is this normal?

    1. Unless there was something wrong with your yeast, the starter should be fine Mandie. It is not going to rise in the jar very much at all.

  45. I must be doing something wrong!!! I have tried this recipe twice and each time when I get to the point of mixing everything it is so runny even after adding the flour-If I pour it out on a floured surface it is still no runny it would go directly in the floor. Very frustrated that I have tried this twice following the directions completely. What is wrong?

    1. I have never had this problem, Stephanie. You can either add more flour or try adding less water. Make sure you are adding the right amount of liquid and starter.

      1. Can you make bread after the first five days with the starter that you take out before you put it in the refrigerator? I have followed these directions twice and had the same runny dough. My dough is poured in the oiled bowl. You can’t knead it at all! I am trying it one more time! My mom and I use to make this years ago and I never had this problem. Lost that recipe though!

      2. Yes, Stephanie, that is what you do and it says in the starter recipe to remove 1 cup and discard or make bread. You use the cup you take out to make the bread. Good luck to you. I hope it works for you this time.

    2. The same thing has happened to me!! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong?? Do you have any suggestions?? I’m so disappointed.

      1. Update: instead of using all purpose flour I now use bread flour and I also no longer place my dough in a cold oven to let rise. I now just cover it with a flour sack and place on the kitchen counter. Since I’ve made those changing my dough (and bread) has turned out beautifully!!5 stars

    1. You turn the dough out onto a floured surface and add flour until you can knead the dough. Flour your hands well, too.

    2. Hi Southern Lady Fans!
      I have been using this Sourdough recipe for over two years and love it! If you are looking to use more whole grains, I have great success using 2/3 (4 cups) whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour. I use the same sourdough starter, then I use a scant tsp of dry yeast as whole wheat seems to need it to raise into a nice light loaf and I substitute 1/4 C honey for white sugar. WahLa! I get two loaves of wonderful Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread. As a note of caution, I use only high quality fine ground whole wheat flour, coarse ground will not get you the best results. Good Luck! As for Debbie’s sticky flour I just add a dab of flour as I am kneading until I get the consistency I like.

    3. I followed the directions exactly. My dough did not rise at all. Have I killed it or can it be salvaged? Do I need to feed it more often?

      1. It sounds like your yeast you put in the starter may not have been good, Angie. You probably need to start over. You should not have to feed the starter more often than the recipe says to feed it.

  46. Heidi, this one is not at all tart. That’s what I like about it. It keeps well and makes delicious toast.

  47. hi, there… thank you for this wonderful recipe. it’s the closest thing i can find to the bread my grandmother used to make. such a wonderful memory! i have a quick question. i removed a cup of starter and make bread every 5 days as suggested. that said, my starter has grown so much it almost reaches the top of the jar. should i remove more than one cup? am i doing something wrong? the bread turns out great but i’m not sure what to do moving forward. 🙂
    again, thank you!
    holly

    1. I would just take out more than the cup if you want to have less starter in the jar. It must like something you are doing if it has grown that much. I don’t think it will be a problem to remove more. Happy you are enjoying the bread and happy to have you on the site. Have a great weekend.

      1. Can you feed it more often than five days, to make bread more often?
        Thank you!
        Barbara Seab

      2. I have not tried feeding it more often, Barbara, but I would think you could do that after the initial five days and it should work. I can only tell you to try it. Maybe, someone else will see your comment and reply, too.

    2. I just usually plan to make an additional recipe of bread every few weeks to use up the extra starter that accumulates in my jar. You can also give it to any friends or family who may want to start making their own bread.

  48. Can you revive a dead starter? I have three starters going right now. All from the original. Plus One has alot of hooch in it. Can I remove some?

    1. I have not tried reviving one Christi. Maybe, someone else will see this and answer you. You can always try removing some like you said. It can’t hurt anything.

      1. Southern Lady, I was given a starter in Oct and have stated another one so have two going now. But I have a question. When I feed it and wait the 12-24 hours and pull a cup off to make bread, do I have to make bread with that cup on the same day or can I wait a day or two. And if I can how would I store that cup? On counter or frig.

      2. I usually just make my bread on the day I remove it but you could trying storing it in the fridge for a couple days. I see no reason why you couldn’t do that but I have not tried it.

  49. My starter separates and seems water on top and potatoes flakes/yeast/sugar settles to bottom.
    Smells yeasty but no bubbles or anything. Ready to feed it for first time tomorrow. You think it’s
    o.k. ??

    1. Bread turned out great as far as rising and was fairly dense. Did not have much taste though. A little sweet but not much else. Will it get more of the sourdough taste with time? Had a sourdough starter years ago that used potato flakes, water and sugar.
      Remember it being a lot more flavorful . Any suggestions for a more intense falvor??
      Love the smell of fresh bread and giving a gifts. Looking forward to getting this right again in time for Christmas gifts!!

      1. I have never had a problem with the bread. Hope you can enjoy the recipe, too. Sounds like the same starter to me. We love the bread.

      2. This is basically the exact recipe for both starter and the bread that I have used for several years, EXCEPT my starter recipe calls for 3/4 cups of sugar (rather than 3T). Mine has always been a sweet sourdough with lots of flavor. Try adding more sugar to your starter when you feed it. That may help 🙂

  50. Hi Southern Lady,
    The bread from the picture looks identical to what my Grandpa used to make when he was still alive. I got his recipe and it’s obviously very similar to this, except that in the starter he only says to use sugar, warm water, and “finely chopped potatoes” or potato flakes, but doesn’t mention yeast. I’ve been using potatoes and no yeast, but the water usually turns brown and doesn’t really bubble up like I’ve seen in other pictures. Last year when I made this, I successfully made several loaves of bread using a starter without adding a packet of yeast. However, now the water is turning dark brown, almost black within 24 hours. Is this still ok? And right now, there are bubbles on top but it just looks like a few groups of bubbles. Thanks for any help on this.

    1. I have always used the yeast in mine and never had the water turn brown. The real potatoes could be what is turning the water brown.

    2. Jeremy, are you using cooked potatoes? Fresh ones would turn it brown. Cook, mash, allow to cool, and then add to your starter.

  51. Good morning! I made the started two weeks ago, and it’s time today for me to feed the starter again. I’ve seen a few people say that they take the starter out of the fridge for a day after feeding it… any recommendations? Also, my first batch of bread came out pretty dense. Admittedly, I had a 6-year old mini-chef helping me, so it may have been kneaded too much. Does that sound like the most likely reason, or should I change something I’m doing? Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    1. When I feed the starter I let it stand out of the refrigerator for a day until I make the bread then return to refrigerator. Sounds like you are doing it right Holly and maybe it was too much kneading. Happy you are enjoying the recipe.

  52. I was given this starter in 1986. It still works great. I now have 6 jars of it since I make rolls every week for a restaurant. I have found that it’s best to let it set on counter 24 hours after feeding and then refrigerate until ready to use again. I cover my jars with a folded half of a paper towel secured with a rubber band. I’ve found it’s easy to make and it’s what everyone asks for. Makes wonderful croissants also!

  53. I was given a recipe for the most delicious bread with the starter years ago when I was a military wife living in Alabama. I ended up moving away & lost the recipe. I have tried in vain to find it again. The one thing I remembered about it was feeding the starter with instant potato flakes. Finally I decided to try a Google search last month and found your site. I am delighted to report it’s the same recipe & my family is once again enjoying this one of a kind bread!

    1. So happy you found us, Shelly and the recipe for the starter. Hope you enjoy as much now as you did then and thank you for letting me know. Have a great weekend.

    1. I wouldnt know, I make it the way the recipe is written. Some of the comments below say they have used bread flour.

  54. I used this recipe for years. Getting ready to start again. I was using the recipe when my husband was transferred to Shanghai. I left my starter with a friend. On one of my visits home in Virginia I decided to take it back to Shanghai with me. Yes I did. I taught my maid how to feed and make bread. Was a favorite of our friends. When we returned home I carried my starter in my carry on bag and it got warm, started to bubble and I could smell the mix. I must say, it’s a 24 hour trip but I got it home with only a small amount of mess in my bag. It was worth it. So overall that recipe lasted about 5-6 years. Love it.

  55. I have tried a sourdough starter before. The bread is very good yet because no yeast is added to the starter (after the initial start) it stopped being good bread after several bakings. I thought a starter would last forever or do you have to restart every so often to have the yeast in it to make the bread rise?

    1. I have been using the same starter for almost two years now and have no problem with my bread. In fact we had some visitors come for a while and when I asked them if they wanted toast, their comment was “”only if you have that famous sourdough bread””.

    2. I have been using this starter since Feb. I see no change in it except the dough rose faster when it was new. Great thing about it now is I make it before I go to bed, then bake the next day. The texture seems nicer since it sits for over 12 hours.

      1. Paula dumb question. After my five days already made bread…..so do I feed every five days and make bread feed 5th day make bread? I think feed 5th day make bread thanks

  56. Thank you! I’ve been looing for this starter recipe for ages. I used to make sour dough regularly when I first moved out on my own and this was the starter I used. Unfortunately I screwed up and accidentally killed it.

  57. I have just read your comment in response to “carol/April 22, 2016 at 6:40 PM”. (My name is Carol as well/I am in Canada)… Way back in 1971.. I was introduced to sourdough and was given instruction to feed “after every use”. That feed was 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup white sugar & 1 cup white/all-purpose flour. Never was it told to me to toss out what was left of my sourdough. Is this toss out done for a reason? Also I was never-ever told to use a jar with holes in the lid…My sourdough was very “prolific”.lololol….NOTHING in my refrigerator would of been safe had I used a jar with holes in the lid….lolol. I am NOT trying to be difficult…just trying to understand the practice of “nurturing” sourdough. , Thank you, Another Carol in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

  58. I have enjoyed making so many recipes with your starter. Today I used all but 1/2 cup of my starter for two recipes. My starter is over a month old. How do I feed it and increase the amount of starter to your original amount? I really don’t want to start all over again…

    1. I would start over and maybe make twice the amount of starter to begin with if you use a lot at a time.

  59. I notice that some of the recipes use a lot more sugar for the starter (like 3/4 Cup) this 3 TBSP everyone is having good luck with?

  60. I just made artisan no knead bread in a cast iron oven……….wondering if anyone has ever baked sourdough round loves by this method? You put the cast iron pan in the oven for a certain time to heat, then add the round loaf to the hot cast iron pan. Very happy to find this recipe, used to have starter when I lived in Germany but had to leave it behind when I left. Now, off to store to get potato flakes! thanks again for recipe and hopefully insight on the cast iron dutch oven for baking.

    1. Hi Norma~~ I don’t have the potato flakes, I have what looks to be a powdered form. Would that work, or should I be safe and get the flakes? Thanks so much!

      1. I made one loaf of bread following this recipe for starter and bread dough yesterday. I used the remaining dough for a pan of cinnamon rolls that I topped with cream cheese icing. Both were wonderful. The bread has a slightly sour, yeasty taste and has a soft texture. (made a great peanut butter and jam sandwich!). Cinnamon rolls were light and fluffy and wonderful. The only problem I had, and it was a biggie…………I mixed my dough around 9:30 pm, and left it to rise “overnight” according to recipe. I woke up at about 1:45 am and came out to check dough. It had already doubled and then some. So, there I was at 2 am, getting bread and cinnamon rolls ready for second rise. Had to stay up for that and for the baking & cooling time. Hubby woke up to wonderful baking bread smells along with a strong wiff of cinnamon………..and a cranky, sleepy wife. We do live in AZ and it is warm, but think this might be a issue for some, have seen comment that this happened to another person. Can’t wait until my five days are up to bake again, but will adjust my feeding time of the starter so I am baking in the daylight hours. Thank you for sharing this!

    2. I used to have a starter that I got from my cousin that is like this!! I’ve been looking for a way to make it again since I let it die last time! I am so excited to try it! I was wondering if I can use instant yeast? It is fleischmanns brand and what I have on hand. Thanks so much!

      1. I’ve never tried it, I have always used the fleischmanns yeast, but it may work!

    1. I have never tried using a cookie sheet to make bread, Kim. I would think it would spread out all over the sheet and not rise up like it does in a loaf pan.

      1. I use nothing but bread flour and it works wonderful. I have never used such an easy recipe to make. a never fail.

      2. I have used both bread flour and all purpose flour, I could not see any difference in the outcome. I love this sourdough bread and have been making it on a regular basis. I have not purchased a loaf of “store bread since I got my starter going almost a year ago.

  61. I made my first ever sourdough bread. It turned out beautiful and yes, the kitchen smelled wonderful while it was baking. I do think it could have baked at least 5 minutes longer, a bit moist in the center, but my oven is not perfect. I felt the bread was a bit sweeter than I prefer but hubby thought it was great. I plan to experiment using less sugar or substititing honey. Thank you for getting me started with sourdough!

    1. So happy you are enjoying the bread and hubby likes it, too. Thank you for letting me know. Happy to have you on the site. Have a great weekend, Karen. Happy Valentine’s Day to you both.

    2. I invested in a digital baking thermometer and bake my bread to an internal temp of 200*. It sure has taken the guess work out of baking my bread. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. I just insert the thermometer in the end of the bread making sure it doesn’t touch the pan on the bottom or sides.

      1. Thanks Chalotte, I may have to invest in a baking thermometer. I also did and now always use honey instead of sugar in my bread, now experimenting with adding whole wheat.

  62. I have been looking for a sourdough starter for a long time that was easy and I finally found one and it is your recipe. I made my first batch of bread this morning and both loaves turned out very good. I will be making this often. Thank you for sharing.

  63. I am making your sour dough bread. I made this bread many years ago but life got too busy so I stopped. I chose your recipe because it looked similiar. I have made it twice and it tastes great but my question is: it seems too dense and heavy, not airy. Did I not knead it enough or let it rise longer? I welcome suggestions. You have been making it much longer so I hope you can help. Thanks…

    1. The wetter the dough the less dense it will be, Jean. Don’t over knead it, just enough that you can handle it to get it into the greased bowl. Make sure the temperature while it is rising stays the same, like if you leave it overnight don’t turn the heat down in the room so that the temperature changes while rising. Make sure the bowl is well greased and you can see the oil on the dough once you turn it. I hope this helps.

  64. I’m a bread maker newbie, I made your bread and it turned out great. The bread is crumbly when I sliced it, is this normal or did I possibly do something wrong. Can’t wait to make another batch. Thanks so much for an easy recipe and all the hints that were given in your comment section.

    1. Mine is not crumbly. You may have just cooked it a little long. Try cooking a few minutes less next time and use a serrated knife to slice with if you have one. This bread is wonderful toasted for breakfast, makes wonderful French toast, too. It freezes great. Just be sure to wrap it well if you freeze it. So happy it turned out good for you. Thank you for letting me know.

      1. Thank you, I did use the serrated knife and it doesn’t crumble all to pieces. I’ll take your advice and cook it just a little less, regardless I liked the taste and enjoyed the experience of baking it, and plan on doing a lot more.

  65. This was my first time ever to make bread, it turned out great. I always thought it would be difficult, but with this starter it was so easy. I’m getting ready to make it for the second time. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. So happy to hear that you are enjoying this recipe Dorothy and congratulations on making your first bread! Happy to have you on the site.

  66. The first day I made the starter, it was foamy and smelled yeasty. The second day I went to stir it and the top was all water and not much of a yeast smell. What did I do wrong

  67. Sourdough Coffee Cake
    1 cup starter
    1cup all purpose flour
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 egg
    Mix all ingredients well and pour in a greased and floured bundt pan or 9 inch pan. I always use bundt pan..
    Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted margarine and 1/2 cup nuts.. I use pecans. Pour over batter. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.. Let cool a little and turn out on a plate.

      1. I’ve never made the coffee cake, but I plan to soon. I have used this starter for years, though. I would not think that you let the coffee cake rise. Coffee cakes, muffins, etc are quick breads, so I would think that the starter is used for flavor only…not for it’s bread-rising powers.

  68. I am so happy to see this about sourdough starter and bread. I used to make sourdough loaf bread, rolls and coffee cakes back in the 80’s and actually sold them. I kept 3 starters going most of the time. A lady gave me the starter and of course after about 8 years I got tired of fooling with it and let it go. I just recently tried to start a starter and bread will not rise… I’m going to try this and hope for the best…I have a great coffee cake recipe if anyone would like it. Thank you so much for this post.. It made my day!!!!! The instant potatoes I used to use are no longer made… Do you just use any instant potato flakes?

      1. Thank you so much for your reply…. My son is a picky eater and he asked me a few weeks ago if I would make him a sourdough coffee cake so i tried starting a starter which I’ve never done because of being given the starter before. I made the coffee cake but it didn’t turn out as well as it should because my starter isn’t exactly right.crazy thing it rose and bread wouldn’t. I’m going to start all over tonight or in the morning. I will post the coffee cake recipe shortly for anyone that would like to have it.. I’ve done a lot of searching and can’t find the recipe for it anywhere..

      2. Southern Lady, you make this sound so easy, I had very good luck with this recipe when I first started it several years ago, now for the life of me, the bread doesn’t have the twangy taste and doesn’t rise. I keep reading all the posts and sounds like some have the same problem. Please help me if you can, and I know you can.

      3. I don’t know what to tell you Joy. My bread raises fine and I have not had this problem. I usually make my starter every year though and don’t keep it through the summer just because I get tired of making the bread. Maybe your starter gets old or something if you keep it too long.

      4. thanks, I did see where you use plain flour. I was told years ago to only use bread flour. I’m going to try plain.

    1. I had this recipe and a gift starter 20 years ago and loved it then. I just started this as new starter almost a year ago. I think the starter improves with age. I always use Idahoan potato flakes, haven’t tried others. Years ago I used to make the bread with corn oil but can’t find Non GMO corn oil, so now I use Avocado oil or Olive Oil. I also just use a coffee filter and rubber band on top of the jar when it’s in the fridge, and it does fine. If it’s fermenting on the counter, I just use the loose coffee filter on top without the rubber band. Starter will keep longer than a week. I have left my starter in the fridge 5 weeks while traveling. Upon my return, it looked ok, but I went through the feeding fermenting process, discarded all but a cup; fed and fermented again in three days and discarded again just to be safe. On the third feeding my starter was bubbling so nicely and looked and smelled perfectly normal and yeasty, so I felt comfortable with baking again, and it was delicious. I let dough rise in the oven with the light on if the room is chilly. I’m so happy to see on this site the additional recipes for using the starter because I keep two starters going all the time now and don’t like to waste.

  69. I’ve increased mine up to a half gallon and it still works fine. I just feed it on schedule a time or two and don’t make bread. When I get as much of the starter that I want, I start making the bread again. This past Christmas, I made 22 loaves in four days.

    1. Thanks for the input Charlotte! That is amazing that you made so many loaves. I am happy to know that. Have a great day.

    2. Thank you so much for bring up the fact that you now have a half gallon of starter. My question is how much do you increase the measurements of what you feed it as the amount of starter grows?

      I’ve tried to make starter several times and it seems to get weaker and weaker. I’ve finally figured out (I think) that the amount of food (potato flakes, sugar) must be increased in proportion to the amount of starter I have. Am I thinking correctly or not?

      1. I always use the same amount to feed the starter. I increased the volume of starter by feeding it and not removing a cup of starter until I had the amount of starter I wanted. My house tends to stay on the cool side so, at times I would place the starter in the oven with the oven light on. This provided the right temp for it to aid in the reproduction of yeast. You may need to place something in the door to hold it open just a little. As for the strength of the starter, if I felt it was getting weak, I would add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of yeast when I fed it and let it set an extra day before using it. I just love how versitle it is. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it. Just don’t try to use it in a bread machine. Enjoy.

  70. I am on the 3rd day of the starter and it seems rather thick, do I need to add any water or just leave it like it is? It is bubbling and smells like sour dough. Thanks!

  71. Once it sets up for the first 5 days & I feed it again….the recipe says to take out 1C & put it in the frig…..instead of putting it in the frig can I just go ahead & make bread with it while its room temp?

    Also your recipe says to put 1C in the frig in a glass jar with a plastic lid…..I was wondering if I can use a glass jar with a metal lid (old spag sauce jar)…..not sure the purpose of the plastic lid??
    Thanks,
    Teresa

    1. You can use a metal lid. It will get gunky after a while, but just wash it and keep using it. I’ve had starter in my fridge for 23 years, and it’s never died. I only use bread flour. I tried plain flour once, but the texture was too fine for my liking. 🙂

      1. Hi Charlotte….you have had the sourdough for 23 years and it is the one made with potato flakes?

      2. Yes it was. I have since stopped making the bread and got rid of my starter. Whenever I want to make it again for special occassions or gifts for friends, I just start a new starter.

  72. Just got my first batch rising. Used my Kitchen-Aid mixer because I don’t have the strength to mix by hand. Did have to add almost another cup of flour though to get it thick enough. My starter looked rather flat, had hootch on top, but smelled ok. Seems to be working. Tomorrow will tell the tale I guess! Think I am going to make one loaf to eat and some rolls to freeze.

  73. Hi! Great recipe! Do you ever feed the starter yeast again, or use yeast in the bread? I am feeding for the first time today but I am not sure if I need to use yeast in the dough. Thanks!

    1. No you don’t add more yeast. The starter (the part you keep week to week) has live yeast in it, that’s what’s why you feed it.

    1. This is the absolutely best bread recipe I have ever used! Now what am I gonna do with all the yeast I bought for storage! Someone asked about bread flour, that’s what I used and it was wonderful., thanks for sharing!

      1. I have never made bread before but now have done a few batches with this starter. It turns out great and tastes delicious, but I don’t get the sourdough taste, it resembles the Hawaiian sweet bread in taste. What am I doing wrong?

      2. You aren’t doing anything wrong. Sourdough starters get sourer the older they are. So the more mature your starter gets the stronger the sour taste will be. Thanks!

  74. When you make the starter, you said to feed it on the 5th day does the day you make it count as a day or is it 5 days from the day you make it? I am looking forward to some awesome bread Thank you so much for sharing.

      1. Been feeding my starter for over 2 years….I feed “Herman” every Saturday…he does just fine

      2. Cindy that is every 7 days if you do it every Saturday – not 5 as the recipe states – and it still works fine? I know since I work monday thru fri. that would work better for me!

      3. Cheryl….yes I feed it every Sat…been doing this for over 2 years with this new batch of starter….i did have starter years ago until I got tired of feeding it….even back then I fed it every Sat…..the every 5 days was just too much for me to keep up with:-)

  75. I’m on day 4 now and my starter is separating. Smells very yeasty but isn’t foamy. If I put my ear to the top of the jar I can hear it “sizzling”. But since it’s not foamy, has it gone flat? Foamed the first day but no more. It’s been pretty cold in the kitchen and I can’t find a place where it’s warm. Hope it’s ok.

    1. It doesn’t matter if it separates. It will go back together when you stir it. If you can hear it, I would say it is probably o.k. I usually set mine on top of my stove with the light on or put in oven when the oven is not on.

  76. I just made this bread for the first time. Followed recipe exactly and got a really nice loaf of bread. It has a great texture but doesn’t have that “sourdough” flavor. It tastes kind of like really good white bread. Also after the starter is refridgerated and you feed again on the 5th day, do you leave it in the fridge that day or sit it out for that day?

    1. The sourdough flavor will probably get stronger as the starter gets older. I always feed it again and let it sit all day then take out a cup each time. This bread is wonderful for sandwiches and French toast. I love it that way. Hope you enjoy it.

      1. So the day you feed it after it has been in fridge you leave it sit on counter instead of fridge? Just making sure I’m understanding 🙂

  77. When I put the remaining starter in the refrigerator after I take out my one cup. do you still stir it every day or just feed it on the 5th day.

  78. It has been years since I did this, but was told that you can freeze the Friendship Bread Starter and Sourdough Starter. Thaw and start it back up again. It takes awhile to get the flavor developed in either of these breads. Also, you sometimes get a clear/yellow liquid on top. Just stir it back in. It’s “Hootch” which comes from the bread making ’49s and the Alaskan natives vocabulary.

      1. I’ve always used bread flour, as a matter of fact I didn’t even notice the recipe called for all purpose. My old recipe used bread flour and when I started this new starter I used the bread flour

    1. Yes, I use it just like regular flour. I have bought Bread Flour in 25lb bag at Sam’s for years and keep it in the freezer except for a canister on kitchen counter. Have been using bread machine and just came across this recipe about 3 weeks ago and it reminded me of when I made it many years ago. I am going to have to start cutting recipe in half so we only get 1 loaf every 5 days instead of two. Have been giving away lots of bread!

  79. I just made a new batch, but I used to have this starter and I fed it everyday, mostly around the holidays because I give it to people. is it okay to do that? It seemed to work

  80. Can I make bread any time I want to as long as I feed the starter after taking out the cup? Or can I only bake every 5 days?

      1. I have more than a quart of the starter and recently I baked 22 loaves over a seven day period. My recipe says the starter can be fed every three to five days. I fed the starter, let it set, and didn’t bake until I got over a quart of starter. I have mine in a 64 oz jar because I do 2-3 batches of bread at a time. I still feed it like the recipe instructs.

  81. I used to have an Alaskan Sourdough Starter from back in the Gold Rush Days! (It was actually that old!). We moved and someone dropped the jar! I almost cried! My question is….could I use a plastic jar like an old mayo jar with holes in the lid? Or does it HAVE to be glass?

      1. I have a similiar question. Your recipe says a glass jar with a plastic lid. I thought of using a canning jar with the lid that came with it (metal type lid) instead of a plastic lid just because thats what I have. Will that work?

  82. I’m day 4 on my starter. Every time I go to stir it, it has separated. It smells sourdough-y.but doesn’t look puffy or thick…what is it supposed to look like during the process?

    1. After you have fed your starter and it has set for the allotted time, stir it. Next take out a cup for the person you want to share with and take out a cup for your bread. Just make sure you have at least a cup left to keep your starter going.

  83. If I begin the starter on Tuesday, do I feed it on Saturday or Sunday? Didn’t know whether to count Tuesday as one of the 5 days or not. Thanks.

  84. Ok bread baking newbie here and I have a couple questions… How important is it to wait exactly 5 days? Could I feed and bake once a week instead? Would it create issues to feed half the amount and only take out half a cup? I really want to start baking my own bread but it would just be for me and my boyfriend

      1. It’s also great for church bazaars, too. I took six loaves and they basically made it in the door before they were gone. We even made a list for others to sign up for me to make more loaves.

    1. My recipe says it can be fed every 3-5 days, but, I have gone as long as 14 days without feeding. When I go that long, I take the starter out the night before I plan on feeding it. After feeding it, if it doesn’t look like I think it should, I throw a tablespoon of yeast or a packet of yeast in and let it set a few more hours. I have actually left it out three days to make sure it’s going good. You could cut the recipe in half and use only 1/2 cup of starter for one loaf. If you are going to be gone and can’t feed it, I feed it half the called amount, stir it and leave in fridge. It’s really forgiving. Yes, it freezes great. This makes wonderful gifts and the receiver will love you for sharing.

    1. I have not made cookies with it. If you find a cookie recipe online using sourdough, you could probably use this starter with the recipe.

    1. I have substituted mashed potatoes, about a 1/2 cup, for the flakes and used the potato water for the water. The only thing is it was recommended to keep that starter for two weeks and make a new starter. I use mine so much that I didn’t replace it. My mother used to use potato water for the water for hot rolls. I don’t think I would use mashed potatoes each feeding.

    1. You take it out of the fridge the morning you plan on making bread and feed it. Let it set all day and take out a cup to make the bread that evening. Then, put the starter back in the fridge.

  85. Question: does the jar that you first use when the starter is left on the counter have to have holes in it or does that jar lid need to be completely closed?

  86. I have been searching for a starter that didn’t need a phd in chemistry to get going and i have now found it!! Thank you, I will definitely be giving this a go!

  87. Hi when using Whole Wheat flour you need to increase the leavening or use half white, half wheat….I have made ww bread in the bread machine and it was very heavy. the nex
    t time I added more yeast and it was much lighter…………..

  88. Hi, I want to try this! One question: When you say “Remove 1 cup and put bowl in refrigerator…” is that the one cup or the starter? Do you ever refrigerate it or does the starter stay on counter all the time?

  89. gonna do this one…I have always kept a starter from King Arthur Flour until I was ill and no one fed my baby 🙁 Thanks for sharing. I have a SD Keeper crock with a loose fitting lid (King Arthur) hope it works for me.

      1. Thanks! One more question…if I start my starter today; is Friday or Saturday considered the fifth day? Thank you.

  90. Making a new batch of your starter for the winter. It will be used for Thanksgiving rolls, numerous pizza crusts, numerous pans of cinnamon rolls and Christmas pan rolls. The longest I have kept this starter going is 5 months!! Thank you again, for your wonderful postings and blogs!!

    1. I had my starter for about ten years before I got rid of it. I started another one this past January. Last week, I made 22 loaves of bread from the starter. You can feed the starter and not use it until you get enough to make multiple loaves. My recipe calls for feeding of 3 TBS potato flakes, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup warm water.

      1. I do not use refined processed sugars due to having cancer, and cranked cells live refined sugars and was wondering if I can use honey and how much

      2. Nina, I’m not sure how honey would work. You would have to experiment with it and see. That would mean starting the starter with honey and feeding it with it. Honey would change the taste of the starter, but it might be really good. Surely if you googled “substituting honey for sugar in recipes,” you would find the conversion rate of honey to sugar. If you find out let me know. Good luck.

  91. I love starter I have my grandmas starter , I am 46 and remember making biscuits with her when I was around five and she had it for years before that, my starter has been around for a long time to say the least.

  92. I LOVE sourdough pancakes- Im getting ready to make a new starter and I think I will try this recipe! Thanks!

    I have to mention that most potato flakes contain sodium bisulfite- a preservative that is so dangerous the FDA has banned its use on fresh fruits and vegetables…. I am highly sensitive to it and will have an anaphylactic reaction if I get any. I only bring it up because you never know who you will be serving and there are preservative free potato flakes available 😉

  93. Judy – I’ve been using this recipe for almost a year now. I’ve got 3 diff starters going. I make bread, biscuits, and cakes. My favorite cake is a Sourdough Carrot Cake. WONDERFUL.

  94. I love this recipe!!! It is so easy to make and bake!! Thank you for sharing! I enjoy reading through your blog on here and then facebook! I do have one question.. I tried WHOLE WHEAT flour instead of regular flour and turned out good but it was not as fluffy? I wonder, if I can add something else to make it “fluff” more? Thank you once again, Friend of my Kitchen!! =)

    1. My suggestion (not from experience but from reading other recipes) would be to proportionately use some of each whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Better yet, maybe, research on the internet how whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour could be interchangeable or proportioned in a recipe.

    2. You can use gluten flour to increase the fluffiness of whole wheat bread. I used to make all of our bread when my children were little, and that’s what I did…

    3. I substitute one cup of Hodgens Mill whole wheat flour for one cup of the bread flour for whole wheat bread and it is still fluffy. I wouldn’t suggest using over 2 cups of whole wheat in place of the bread flour.

  95. Hello,
    My first batch of starter is about done and I’m excited to attempt my first loaf or biscuits!
    I’ve seen a few people say their starter goes bad or I effective… Is there anyway to tell if that happens??

  96. I have made the sour dough bread for years but would love to have your recipe for rolls, cinnamon rolls and other things that you make with the starter.

  97. Question, can you pour the starter into the cup or must it be scooped out? Also can you please share a recipe for fried chicken? Thanks

    1. Kristin, I don’t think it matters how you get it out of the jar. When I fry chicken, I just add some salt, pepper, and garlic salt to flour. Roll my chicken pieces in the flour and fry in enough oil to cover the chicken half way up. Fry till browned on one side and turn. Don’t overcrowd your skillet, leave some room between pieces. Some people dip in egg or buttermilk before dipping in the flour.

    1. Hi Carolyn, If you check the internet, I found sites saying they could eat sourdough bread. I have a friend that eats mine all the time and he is diabetic. He says it doesn’t make his sugar spike. I cannot tell you whether or not to eat this bread. You will have to make that decision. I would check out some medical internet sites.

  98. I have been looking for sourdough recipe for over a couple of years and haven’t found one so this is awesome. Thank ou so much!!!!!

  99. So I just made my first loaf of bread ever. I can’t believe making great bread was so easy. Now i’m off to waffles cuse that’s what I was looking for in the first place. I’m so pleased with the recepies THANKS A BUNDLE!!!

  100. Do you have a recipe for a starter for Amish Friendship Bread? I love that bread and make it for everyone, but my starter went bad, and no one has one around here to build off of. Thanks!

    1. Hi Paige, This is the only starter recipe I have for Friendship Bread:
      1 pkg. active dry yeast
      1/4 cup warm water
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      1 cup white sugar
      1 cup warm water
      Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a glass container, combine the flour and sugar. Mix well. Slowly stir in warm milk and yeast. Loosely cover with saran wrap. Mixture will get bubbly. Consider this day one or day you receive the starter.
      I hope this helps. Judy

      1. Hi! Was wondering IF you happen to have a recipe for sourdough chocolate cake. One of the results of a move back in 1987 was the loss of my recipe card box with a mass of my cherished “scratch” recipes in it! Your above recipe for Friendship starter is real close to the one I used for the cake. When I used 1 cup of the sourdough, I would the feed it 1 cup of milk, 1 cup (OR 1/2cup /can’t remember for sure) of sugar and 1 cup of flour. I surely am long overdue for a feast/fix of sourdough chocolate cake with extra thick double butter-buttercream frosting slathered all over it!! Hope you can “whip-up” something to put me out of this withdrawl I’m in.

    2. Paige would you share the recipe for the amish friend ship bread, you xan in box it to me… thanks

  101. I’ve had my starter going for almost a month now, made from Judy’s recipe, and it is working very well. I’ve made several batches of bread, pancakes, and waffles and am about to launch a series of recipe experiments with it. Judy, would it be okay for me to quote your recipe, with links back to your recipe blog, on a new blog that I am setting up? I need it for the foundation of all my future sourdough recipes. Thank you for considering my request.

  102. My sourdough loaves turned out great! You can see a photo on my blog. I found that the dough for the bread didn’t need all night to rise. I got up to check on it halfway through the night and it was ready to go into the loaf pans. My husband remarked in the morning that he thought he smelled something wonderful around 3AM!I have a question–do you find that the starter gets more of the characteristic sourdough “sourness” over time, or does the flavor really depend more on where you live and whatever is floating around in your local air?

      1. The potato flake sourdough starter itself is gluten free so can be used to make gluten free bread, but it does not work with this bread recipe–comes out dense and heavy. Other ingredients are necessary to get a good rise and flavor with gluten free flour blends. However you can make a really nice loaf using the gfjules.com beer bread recipe. https://gfjules.com/recipes/gluten-free-beer-bread-recipe/ For one loaf, I use 1/2 cup of this starter instead of yeast, and as part of the liquid (beer) measurement called for. I use club soda instead of beer, I pour 1/2 cup starter into a 2 cup measuring cup, then add the club soda to that until I have the 10 ounces of liquid called for in the recipe. Mix bread dough and put it directly in a greased bread pan and let rise about 5 hours in my oven with oven light on, or in a warm spot in your kitchen. (I used gfjules gluten free flour for the bread and it looked just like the photo on her recipe page and tastes better than any other gluten free bread I have made.

    1. yes.. I think it gets better w/age. No need to baby it either.. I have broken all the ‘rules’ so far & each time it comes out wonderfully.
      always cover it with a lid while it’s in the frig.. it’s resting SO it doesn’t need to be open & ‘breath” .. 🙂
      even spilled half of it on the stove .. added back in water sugar & p-flakes, let it sit out over night & it’s wonderful .. rising in the bowl as we speak..
      I never make it every 5 days , sometimes 7 or even 10.. brought it out, let it sit.. changed my mind & put it back in the frig.. It’s only food… not life or death 🙂

      once it has some age on it, it’s a wonder tonic. Love the smell too. Yum

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