Q: Melissa, What is Sweet Sourdough? I have been trying a starter, but it has already failed once. I began again this week, but saw this and wanted to inquire!
A: Last week, on my menu I mentioned my Sweet Sourdough Bread. This is really good bread. I love sourdough breads. If you have the starter, you don’t need to buy yeast or cook with yeast in order to have good bread. And it isn’t hard at all! Sourdough starters are very forgiving. I have two different starters going right now: Sweet Sourdough and Amish Friendship Bread Starter. I make all sorts of breads with these two starters.
– Sourdough Blueberry Muffins (the best Blueberry Muffins you’ve ever eaten!)
– English Muffins
– Cinnamon Rolls
– Cranberry Nut Bread
– Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
– Pizza Crust
– Sweet Sourdough Sandwich Bread (good for croutons, bread crumbs, and more!)
– Potato Sandwich Bread
I am experimenting with more recipes as the days go by. The Blueberry Muffin recipe (I used the Amish Starter for those) are such a favorite with my children I have gotten to where I make those every 10 days. Yum!
Sweet Sourdough Starter
To make the starter mix together:
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. instant potato flakes
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp. active yeast (this is optional)
Let the mixture sit on your counter or in a warm area of your home for about 3 days. Every 3 – 5 days you need to feed your starter. This means that every 3 – 5 days you can make your bread. Or, you can feed it once or twice before baking your bread. If you feed it more than once, you will have extra starter to either give away to a friend or bake extra batches of bread.
The day (8 – 12 hours) before you want to bake your bread, you need to feed the starter. You will feed the starter the above mixture except you do not add the yeast. Keep your starter in a warm place to allow it to “grow” and sour. On the days you are not baking bread, you can leave it in the refrigerator or on your counter. Putting it in fridge slows the sourdough down.
I like to keep my starter in a quart size canning jar, wide mouth is my favorite, but any will work.
The day you want to bake your bread (at least 8 hours after feeding the starter) you want to pour 1 cup of the starter into another jar. This is your starter for next time. You will begin the process over again.
To make the bread:
1/3 cup sugar (this optional, but I like to add it)
1 1/2 cup warm water
6 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup starter
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. yeast (optional – the bread will rise higher)
Mix everything together. You should have a nice soft dough. A good bread dough will feel similiar to a baby’s bottom. I love the feel of good dough! Grease a large bowl and place dough in and turn to coat with oil.
Cover lightly and let stand 8 – 12 hours in a warm place. I like to place mine in the oven with the light on. After it has risen, punch dough down. Place on a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 or three times, just enough to get the air bubble out. This is so simple!
After rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake loaves for 30 – 45 minutes. Remove from pans and brush with butter. Allow bread to cool. I store my bread in large plastic baggies. This bread does well frozen.