Years ago, I had a friend who had a “bread ministry”. Several times each week, Pat baked at least six to nine loaves of bread at one time. A few of the loaves she kept for her family. The rest of the loaves went to friends and strangers…who soon became friends as we did. After our move to Kentucky, she and her husband were among our first friends there. We first met on a Wednesday night at the church supper where Pat presented my husband and me with a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. She gladly shared the recipe with me, and it was not until I actually made the bread that I realized what a gift of time she gave.
We moved away several years after that and, over the coarse of time, lost touch. The recipe was also lost over the years. In the course of moving into my condo in the Midwest, I found Pat’s recipe! I’m looking forward to making fresh loaves of bread again – that look just like the ones I made a few years ago below.
When you begin this journey to bread, keep in mind that it will be several days before you’re enjoying that first slice of delicious sourdough bread with butter…and maybe some delicious homemade jam. It will take patience to wait long enough for the starter to have developed enough to bake your first loaf of bread. In the meantime, you’ll faithfully feed your new starter and take care of it. It will be worth it.
When “baking day” finally arrives, your home will be filled with the inviting aroma of freshly baked bread. Golden loaves of wonderful sourdough bread will reward you for waiting…patiently or not.
Sourdough Bread Starter
3 packages yeast
1 cup warm water
Combine the above ingredients and refrigerate, covered, for 3 – 5 days.
Remove starter from the refrigerator and feed with the following starter feed:
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes
1 cup warm water
Mix well and add to starter.
Let stand out of refrigerator all day (5 to 12 hours).
Mixture will be very bubbly.
Take out 1 cup to make bread and return starter to refrigerator.
Keep in refrigerator 3 – 5 days and feed again.
If not making bread after feeding starter,
throw away (or share with a friend) 1 cup to avoid depleting starter.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco vegetable oil
2 level teaspoons salt
1 cup starter (potato flakes fed)
1 & 1/2 cups warm water
6 cups all-purpose bread flour
In a large bowl, make a stiff batter of the above ingredients.
Grease another large bowl and put dough in and turn over (oily side up).
Cover with foil and let stand over night. Do not refrigerate.
Next morning, punch the dough down and knead a little.
Divide into 3 equal parts and knead each part on floured surface 8 – 10 times.
Put into greased pans and brush with oil. Cover and let rise 4 – 5 hours. All day is okay.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes (depending on your oven).
Remove and brush with butter. Cool on rack. Wrap well and store.
Bread may be frozen
Makes three loaves.
Parts of this post were originally published in My Southern Heart…but this post contains Pat’s original recipe.