Delicious sourdough bread

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Maranda went into the kitchen of Rockford mom, Sheri Harper, to learn how to make her family recipe for sourdough bread.


Keep starter refrigerated until ready to feed. When ready to feed remove from refrigerator and add the following to the 1 ¼ cups of starter:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 TBLS Hungry Jack Potato Flakes (Heaping tablespoons and the flakes are important do not use buds)
  • 1 cup very warm water (as hot as you can stand it and still keep your hand under the water)

Stir well. I usually stir about 50 times to make sure sugar is dissolved. Cover loosely with foil and leave at room temperature 8 to 10

hours. (I leave out all day). Stir really well, again, then remove 1¼ cups of starter for bread, or throw away if you do not want to make bread at this time.

If the holidays are coming up I will keep the 1 ¼ cups of starter and put back in the refrigerator so later so I can make several batches at the same time. If you do this then you will need to feed both portions of starter the next time you feed.

Put remaining starter in refrigerator and feed every 4 to 7 days. I usually feed once a week. I have gone as long at 3 weeks. What works best for me is that I feed the starter on Friday night, make dough on Saturday morning, and then bread loaves on Saturday night, I then can bake the loaves on Sunday morning. Sometimes during the really cold weather it may take longer to rise or in the summer it may not take as long. 8 hours is probably a really good rule of thumb for each process.


Sift together in large bowl set aside:

  • 6 cups of bread flour
  • 1 TBLS salt
  • ½ cup sugar

In another Large bowl or mixing bowl from a stand up mixer:

  • ½ cup corn oil (I use canola oil)
  • 1 ¼ cups starter
  • 1 ¼ cups of very warm water (rule of thumb – hot enough to be able to keep your hand under the water but will make your hand red)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix slightly to incorporate a bit. If using a stand mixer with dough hook start out slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Then put on medium high and mix until all of the dough/flour is gone from the sides of the bowl or about 3 to 5 minutes. If using your hands mix well together and then knead for about 5 minutes. Once done place dough in oiled round bowl and cover lightly with a towel. Let set overnight or until doubled in size or about 8 hours.

Once risen remove dough punch down the dough and place on a floured surface. Knead just a couple of times trying to keep all of the crustier portions of the dough (from the top once risen) on the inside and not to the top. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces (I make 3 large white loaves in 2 qt. pans and 4 smaller cinnamon loaves in 1 ½ qt. pans). Roll dough into long rectangular strips to get all of the bubbles out. This will be approximately 11” long by about 6 to 8” wide and really just about an 1/8” to ¼” thick. For white bread tap lightly with a damp paper towel and then roll up jelly roll style, tuck in ends, and place in oiled bread pans, turning to oil all sides. Let rise (usually takes all day but a minimum of 8 hours). TIP: Dark Bakers Secret Pans work very well and brown bread on bottom nicely.

Bake loaves in oven on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until well browned. I typically rotate bread midway through the process. I can put all 4 of the loaves in at one time just remember to keep spaces between them for even baking. Remove bread from the oven, butter tops well and wipe off with paper towel, and then remove from pan to a bread rack to cool. Once bread has cooled place in a large food storage or zippy bag. You can store on the counter or in freezer until ready to use. Do not refrigerate baked bread it will dry it out. The bread does however freeze very well.


Same as above except when rolled out in rectangle, take a damp paper towel and dampen top of dough really well, sprinkle heavily with

cinnamon and sugar mixture, keeping about ½” clear of mixture around the edge. Roll as above, tucking sides and let rise. Sugar mixture

should have a lot of cinnamon in it….much more than if you were going to sprinkle on toast or donuts. Should be much too cinnamony to

eat. I don’t have exact portions. I just judge by color. The bread will bake the same time as above. It makes amazing French toast but

the white bread really does as well.


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