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How to Make Bread With Sourdough Starter

Updated on June 19, 2013

How to Make Sourdough Starter Bread

In my previous article, The Health Benefits of Eating Sourdough Bread, we looked at the health benefits of sourdough bread.

In THIS article, I’m going to teach you how to make a sourdough starter pot and how to care for him. For those of you who haven’t had the chance yet to read my previous article, a sourdough starter pot is very much alive and needs to be cared for and fed. Often owners of these pots feel like parents and even name their pots as they DO have a personality to them that is different per pot. Mines name is Mr. Blob and I have my co-mother-in-law to thank for giving him to me to adopt not all that long ago.

I had never heard of sourdough starter, but with a few quick directions on how to take care of him I was out the door and on my way to laughable results... Mr. Blob has a PERSONALITY that at first was very funny. He doesn’t like to be closed up where he can’t breathe or ignored or underfed, and if this happens he lets you know about it in NO uncertain terms.

For example, Mr. Blob sits proudly on my countertop in my kitchen and the first night I had him home, he found it extremely hilarious to play a couple of practical jokes on me and my hubby, David.

First, we were watching a scary movie and right in the scariest part, Mr. Blob decided it would be hilarious to explode his top off right there beside us. I say EXPLODE instead of pop because he didn’t just burp or something like that – he EXPLODED his lid off and it went flying across the counter.

Next, when we went to sleep and deep into the middle of the night he wanted some attention so he did it AGAIN!! Not being used to having him yet, David and I sat bolt upright in bed when we heard it. Mr. Blob was laughing at us....

Since then I have learned to better take care of him, which he appreciates by not playing jokes on me and David.

So how do you MAKE it?

The best way to start using sourdough starter is to find a parent and ask for a start off of theirs. I say this because theirs will already be established and have a healthy growth going for you. If however, you do not know anyone to give you some – here is a recipe I found you can use:

Ingredients and Preparation:

Starter Ingredients (first time):

· 1 cup warm water

· 1/2 cup sugar

· 1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast

· 3 level Tablespoons instant potato flakes

Starter Feeder Ingredients (subsequent times):

· 1 cup warm water

· 1/2 cup sugar

· 3 Tablespoons potato flakes


First Time Starter Directions:

Mix water, sugar, yeast, and potato flakes. Let ferment on counter for two days. Then feed with starter feeder (below). If you get starter from someone else, you can omit this step.

Starter Feeder:

Combine water, sugar, and potato flakes. Add to starter. Let stand on countertop eight hours. Refrigerate 3 to 5 days, then make bread.

After using 1 cup of the starter for dough, pour one cup back into container and refrigerate. Discard any other starter. Store starter in refrigerator.

When you are ready to make more bread or every 3 to 5 days add starter feeder mix again. Stir well and leave on the counter overnight or all day (about 12 hours).

To Make Bread:


1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°-115°)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 cup starter
6 cups flour

To make bread:

Stir together all the ingredients except flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add flour a little at a time to the other ingredients, mixing well. Knead 5 minutes.

Put dough into a large, greased bowl. Turn dough to grease the top. Cover bowl with a towel and let rise at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a floured board and knead. Divide into 3 parts and shape into loaves.

Put into 3 greased loaf pans - Brush tops with melted butter.

Cover with a cloth towel again and let rise overnight or for at least 4-5 hours longer until doubled in size.

Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

Brush with butter and remove from pan. Cool and keep covered.

Makes 3 loaves.


Makes wonderful cinnamon rolls or pizza dough as well.

This sourdough starter is very time consuming to use to make bread or cinnamon rolls with. Currently I have noticed that Mr. Blob does NOT play well together with one of his kitchen big brothers, my bread machine (also known here as The Hulk). I’m working on tweaking a few recipes I have that will hopefully allow these two syblings to work together to make wonderful creations so check back often for updates.

If you liked this article, please feel free to visit my website for more information about sourdough bread:

Enjoy And... HAPPY EATING!!!

© 2013 Laura Rash


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    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Laura. Yes, to freeze the starter, I put 1 cup in a Ziploc cause that is the amount I use to make my Amish Friendship Bread. The freezing does not have any bad effect on the yeast at all. You would think it would, but I've been very successful doing it that way, and I always have starter available to bake with.

      I bought a bread maker and I just could never make good bread with it. Maybe I didn't give it enough effort!

    • Laura Rash profile image

      Laura Rash 4 years ago from Missouri, USA

      Hi Mary,

      I've been making cinnamon rolls and freezing them without any issues so now I don't have to throw out my extra starter when feeding Mr. Blob - I just throw it into my bread machine (The Hulk) and use the dough setting and then I can either make the rolls or freeze the dough in loaf sizes. Works GREAT!!

    • Laura Rash profile image

      Laura Rash 4 years ago from Missouri, USA

      Sarah - it's SO easy, cheaper, and WAY more healthy for you that it'll make you wonder why you ever bothered with store bought breads... But hit your husband up with the CHEAPER part - that usually gets a guys attention pretty fast! lol

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Laura Rash. I experimented with freezing the starter. I was first afraid to do it for fear it would kill the yeast, but it didn't. You just thaw it out and use it!

      Bye for now, Mary

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      I've always been curious about sourdough starters. It looks so easy to make! I might convince my husband to embark on this culinary experiment :)

    • Laura Rash profile image

      Laura Rash 4 years ago from Missouri, USA

      Mary - I haven't, but have been wondering if it would work or if it would kill the yeast. Did you just put the starter in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze it from there?

      I HAVE made cinnamon rolls using it and froze them prior to the final rise time... we'll see how it works out.

      Thanks for the comment and the ideas

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I see my Amish friendship Bread is a related Hub to this one! I like your recipe for Sourbough Starter. I've never heard of using instant potato flakes; interesting. You know, I have some of the starter for Amish friendship bread in my freezer right now. Have you tried freezing your starter????

      I voted this Hub UP, etc.

    • Laura Rash profile image

      Laura Rash 4 years ago from Missouri, USA

      Thanks Leslie - glad you liked it... The first time my hubby tried this bread, he said it tasted like the Hawaiian breads that he loves so much and it is WAY more healthy for you than those store bought ones.

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious and easy to make, I will definitely try it. Voted up and useful my friend.