from Richard Packham

Last revised: 5/13/2012

To learn about sourdough and how to make a starter, click here.

        In all sourdough recipes, the term "fresh starter" means starter that has been "fed" within the past eight to twelve hours and allowed to freshen at room temperature. For fresh starter, take a cup of your stored starter one day ahead of time, add an amount of warm water and an equal (or slightly greater) amount of flour to it. The amount of water should be what is called for as "fresh starter" in the recipe. Allow it to sit over night at room temperature, covered loosely. The next day, stir it down, measure out the amount of fresh starter needed for your recipe, and return the remainder to the storage container, stirring it in well (this "feeds" your stored starter). Then proceed with the recipe.

                       EVERYDAY SOURDOUGH BREAD (for five loaves)

The night before baking, mix in a very large bowl a batter made of:

       2 cups sourdough starter
       4 cups lukewarm water
       5 cups flour

Mix well, although there may still be small lumps.  Cover lightly
and leave overnight at room temperature.  The next morning, stir
down the batter and return 2 cups to your permanent sourdough
container.  Add:
       3 cups lukewarm water
       1/4 cup sugar
       1 tablespoon salt
       1 cup powdered milk
       1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted and cooled (1/2 stick)
                 or vegetable oil
        flour (white, whole wheat, or a combination 
               thereof; up to 10% other flours may be used)

Stir in about 5 cups of flour and beat well.  Add about 5 or 6 more
cups gradually, until too stiff to stir, then turn out and knead
well, adding flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and
stands about 1/3 as high as it is wide when resting, or more. 
Place in a greased bowl, let rise until double.  Punch down, let
rest 15 minutes.  Shape into 5 loaves, place in greased bread pans
(9 x 5 x 3).  Brush tops with 1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter.  
Let rise until tops are almost even with top edge of pan.  Bake 45 
minutes at 375.  Turn out immediately onto racks.  For a soft crust, 
rub with hard butter or margarine while still hot.  Freeze in plastic
bags when cool.  

For one or two loaves, you may use the following amounts, per loaf:

	1 cup fresh starter
	1/2 cup warm water
	1 tablespoon sugar
	1/2 teaspoon salt
	2 tablespoons dry milk powder
	1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted shortening
	flour to make a stiff dough (2 - 3 cups)

I always weigh my dough before shaping, to make sure the loaves
are equal.  The dough for one loaf should weigh 28 ounces (1 pound 
12 ounces) for a perfect-sized loaf.

SOURDOUGH FRENCH BREAD (I won a blue ribbon with this recipe at the 1995 Douglas County Fair) Combine 1 1/2 cups fresh starter, 1 cup lukewarm water, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 4 to 5 cups flour (preferably "bread" flour or hard wheat flour), kneading well until dough is smooth and very stiff. Let stand, covered, until double. Shape into two round or oblong loaves. Place on greased cookie sheets. Let rise until double in size. Slash the tops with a very sharp knife. Bake 35 minutes or until done at 425 F. During the first half of the baking time, spray the oven every ten minutes with water (or leave a pan of water in the oven while baking).
HAMBURGER BUNS 2 cups fresh sourdough starter, room temperature 1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 egg yolk (or 1 egg) 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 to 6 cups flour Mix all ingredients except flour together. Add half the flour, beat well. Gradually add remaining flour until too stiff to stir, then knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth and about 1/3 as tall as wide when allowed to rest. Place in greased bowl, turn, cover lightly to rise until doubled. Punch down, let rest 15 minutes. Pinch off balls about the size of a medium lemon (or divide dough into 20 equal pieces), shape each piece into a smooth ball, and flatten until about 3/4 inches thick. Place two inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Let rise until almost the desired size. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 375 F. Makes about 20 buns. For hot-dog buns, pinch off pieces the size of a medium egg or lime. Shape to the length of a hot-dog, and about 3/4 inch thick. (Use a wooden cutting board with a handle as a roller, rolling the dough between the board and the table top, holding the board perfectly parallel to the table.) Place 1 inch apart on the greased cookie sheets. Makes about 24.
SOURDOUGH MUFFINS (I won a blue ribbon with this recipe at the 1995 Douglas County Fair) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tin or line with paper cups for 12 muffins. Combine in a large bowl: 1 cup white all-purpose flour 1 cup of any combination of flour, oatmeal and/or bran 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup dry milk powder 1 teaspoon baking soda (1/2 cup chopped, pitted dried prunes, blueberries or raisins) (1/2 cup chopped walnuts) (1/4 teaspoon powdered coriander, cardamom or cinnamon) Combine in another bowl until well blended: 1/2 cup warm water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1 cup fresh sourdough starter Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients gradually, stirring only enough to moisten and bring to an even consistency. Spoon evenly into the muffin tins. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until done. Remove immediately from the tin. For cranberry muffins, omit the dry milk, use orange juice instead of water, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup, and use 1 cup raw cranberries instead of the fruit and nuts.
SOURDOUGH BISCUITS This recipe makes eight very flaky biscuits. Sift twice to combine well: 1 cup flour 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons dry milk powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda With a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in 1/3 cup shortening. Add: 1 cup fresh starter 1/2 cup flour, or more to make the dough kneadable When blended, knead two or three times. Roll out or pat until 1/2 inch thick. Cut in half, place one half over the other and roll out again. Repeat this about eight times. Cut out biscuits, place on ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, brush tops with oil or melted butter. Let stand 30 minutes. Bake 30 minutes at 375 F or 10-12 minutes at 450 F. For dessert shortcakes, increase the sugar to 3 tablespoons and add one egg.
SOURDOUGH BAGELS 1 cup fresh sourdough starter 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup warm water 2 teaspoons salt 2 1/2 cups flour Combine all ingredients and knead until smooth. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Divide into eight portions, and form each into a smooth ball. Punch a hole in the center of each and stretch evenly until about 3 or 4 inches across. Place on a floured surface and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the bagels (four at a time if the pot is large enough) 3 minutes on each side. Drain and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes at 450.
SOURDOUGH PIZZA Combine 1 cup fresh starter, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup (olive) oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 2 to 3 cups flour, or enough to form a stiff dough. Knead until smooth. Let rise until doubled. Roll out or gently shape with hands until about 14" across and about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a greased and floured 14" pizza pan (or you can shape it to fit a rectangular jelly-roll pan). Let stand about 1 hour. Prepare the sauce by combining one 7 or 8 oz. can tomato sauce, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves, 1 teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves, (1/4 teaspoon ground fennel). Preheat oven to 425. Just before baking, spread sauce on dough, cover with desired toppings (1/4 lb. sliced mushrooms, 1/4 lb. cooked sausage, sliced salami, etc., 1/4 to 1/2 lb. grated mozzarella, sliced olives, sliced peppers, etc.). Sprinkle top with grated parmesan and/or romano cheese and a few dried parsley flakes. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until done.
SOURDOUGH CINNAMON ROLLS Combine 3/4 cup fresh sourdough starter, 1/4 cup warm water, two eggs, 3/4 cup sugar (granulated or brown), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted and slightly cooled. Stir in gradually 2 to 3 cups flour, or enough to form a slightly stiff dough. Knead until smooth. Let stand, covered, until double. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 18" by 15". Melt 2 to 4 tablespoons butter, spread over the dough. Combine 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar, 1 table- spoon ground cinnamon (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or other spice). Sprinkle evenly over the dough. (Sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped nuts and/or raisins over the dough). Roll up tightly, starting at a long side. Seal the edge. Slice evenly into twelve slices. Place, cut side down, in a large greased baking pan. Let rise. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 400. Cool on a rack. Drizzle with icing made from 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or lemon juice), 1 tablespoon milk, enough additional confectioner's sugar to make the right consistency.
SOURDOUGH DEEP-FRY BATTER This batter can be used to deep-fry fish, prawns, vegetables or any other food which requires a batter for deep-frying. Combine 1 cup fresh sourdough starter, 1 egg yolk, 1 T oil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in enough flour to make the batter the right consistency (when poured from a spoon, it should form a triangle off the edge of the spoon before dropping rather than forming a steady stream). Beat well for one or two minutes. Let stand an hour or so.
SOURDOUGH PANCAKES Any pancake batter is simply a flour batter with milk, eggs, sugar, salt and liquid fat, with some kind of leavening. Use your favorite recipe, but substitute starter for most of the flour and liquid, and omit baking powder (or use a small amount of soda instead). Allowing the batter to stand for half an hour may make it lighter. If you don't have a pancake recipe, try the following: For about a dozen 4" pancakes, combine: 1 cup starter, preferably freshened the day before 2 - 3 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup powdered milk dissolved in 1/8 cup warm water 1/2 teaspoon soda 2 egg yolks (dash of ground cinnamon or ground cardamon) Let stand half an hour or more, if convenient. Just before baking, fold in gently 2 egg whites, beaten until peaks form. Bake on a lightly greased griddle or large frying pan, heated until a few drops of water immediately form balls and dance around. Turn once, when the bottoms are golden brown. Another recipe for pancakes, given to me by Mrs. Edith Saxton of Glide, Oregon. Her sourdough starter came across the Oregon Trail and went to Alaska during the Alaskan gold rush. Makes a dozen pancakes. 1 1/2 cups fresh starter, fairly thick 1 egg 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons dry milk powder Combine all ingredients. Just before baking, stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water.
SOURDOUGH BELGIAN WAFFLES Combine and let stand overnight: 1 cup starter 1 cup water 1/2 cup powdered milk 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup oil or melted butter or margarine 4 egg yolks (reserve whites) 1 1/4 cup flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Just before baking in a Belgian waffle iron, beat 4 egg whites almost stiff and gently fold in. Makes 8 or 9 7" waffles, using 7/8 cups batter each.
MIKE'S QUICK BLENDER WAFFLES (added 10/8/05) This recipe is an adaptation from my brother Michael, who has become an enthusiastic sourdough baker. The comments are his. Makes 2 large servings or 3 medium servings. These are especially tender waffles because of the sourdough, but the soda removes the sour taste. I make mine with whole wheat flour and Splenda for a healthier breakfast. I will sometimes use oat flour to reach the desired consistency. The recipe could be made in a bowl with a whisk. In the blender, process: 2 whole eggs 1/3 cup powdered skim milk 1/4 tsp salt 2 packets Splenda (use 2 tsp sugar if you're not watching carbs) 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional) Add, but blend only until mixed: 2 cups sour dough starter extra flour to achieve desired consistency Add, but only bend a second 1/2 tsp soda Pour directly into hot well-seasoned griddle (if not certain about how well-seasoned it is, spray lightly with no-stick spray such as Pam)
SOURDOUGH CARROT CAKE Grate two medium carrots, or enough for 1 cup. In a small saucepan, add just enough water to cover, and simmer about 20 minutes. Cream 1/4 cup shortening, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add 1 egg and beat until smooth. Mix in a dash of salt, 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup starter, 1/4 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups flour and the cooked carrots with their cooking water (to make 1 cup). Add 1/2 cup raisins and/or chopped nuts, if you wish. Combine all ingredients well. Grease the bottom of a 13" x 9" pan, line its bottom with wax paper and grease the paper. Pour the batter into the pan and bake about 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until it tests done. For Applesauce Cake, substitute 1 cup applesauce for the carrots.
SOURDOUGH GINGERBREAD CAKE Mix and let stand overnight: 3/4 cups starter 1 cup milk 1 cup flour Next day, cream together 3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks, 6 oz.) 1 cup sugar Add 1 cup dark molasses 2 eggs the starter mixture Combine and add: 3 cups flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake one hour at 325 degrees F.
SOURDOUGH CROISSANTS (makes one dozen) (Although the time for preparation from start to finish is quite long, the actual working time required is short, and these croissants are as flaky and tender as any you can buy at the pastry shop. And they cost only a fraction as much!) Combine well: 1/2 cup starter 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup warm water 3/4 cup flour (preferably bread flour) Let stand three hours or overnight, until expanded to about 2 cups. Slice 2 sticks of cold butter (no substitutes!) into quarter-inch slices. Place side-by-side on a sheet of waxed paper, forming a square. Dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper and roll or press the butter between the papers until the slices are combined into a single slab of butter about 9" x 9". Chill the butter about 1 hour in the refrigerator. Mix into the starter to form a soft dough: 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cold milk 1 cup flour (preferably bread flour) Knead a few times on a well-floured surface, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour as necessary. Cover and chill about 1/2 hour in the refrigerator. On a well-floured surface, quickly roll out the cold dough into a rectangle about 15" x 10". Cut the cold butter in half and place one slab of butter across the center one-third of the dough. Fold one end of the dough over the butter, and then place the other half- slab of butter on it. Then fold the last third of the dough over the butter, forming a package of dough-butter-dough-butter-dough, about 10" x 5". Pinch the edges together so that there is no butter showing. Quickly roll out this package of dough and butter into a rectangle about 10" x 15". Fold it again into thirds, forming a package about 10" x 5"; roll it out one more time, fold into thirds, and chill in the refrigerator at least an hour. Repeat the previous step once more (roll out to 10" x 15", fold in thirds, roll out and fold again, roll out, fold, chill). Prepare a large jelly-roll pan by greasing lightly. (Do not use rimless cookie sheets.) Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 10" x 15". Cut the dough into six 5" x 5" squares, then cut each square diagonally forming twelve triangles, 5" x 5" x 7". Flatten each triangle to about 1/8 thick- ness, by rolling from the longest side to the point, stretching it until the point is about 8" from the longest side. Starting at the longest side, roll it up tightly. Turn so that the point is underneath the roll, then bend the two ends so that they curl around toward the point. Place each croissant on the pans. Let rise in a warm place about one hour. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Bake the croissants 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and let them sit in the warm oven an additional 10 minutes. (If you wish, you may glaze the croissants, just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk.)
SOURDOUGH PUMPERNICKEL BREAD (This recipe is the result of numerous unsuccessful experiments to try to get a firm, dark pumpernickel that slices very thin. I finally found that this combination works very well.) Combine: 1 cup fresh starter 1/4 cup warm water 1 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp dark molasses Add: 2 tbsp gluten flour 1 tbsp baking cocoa 1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp dry milk powder 1 tbsp ground caraway 1 cup rye flour 1 cup whole wheat flour Knead well (at least ten minutes!), shape into a loaf, place in a greased loaf pan 7.5 x 3.5 x 2.25 inches. Grease the top lightly. Let rise until almost doubled, four to six hours. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 375 F. For one large loaf, double the recipe, use a regular size loaf pan, and increase the baking time by ten to fifteen minutes.
SOURDOUGH PASTRY (PIE CRUST) For a 9" double-crust pie: Sift together: 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda Cut in 2/3 cup shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup fresh starter, just until all ingredients are moistened. Add a few drops water if too dry, a spoonful more flour if too moist. Cover or wrap and let stand 30 minutes. Roll out, use and bake as for any pie crust.
SOURDOUGH CRACKERS Oven at 350 F Let 1 C starter come to room temperature. Sift and add: 3/4 C flour (all-purpose, whole wheat or bread flour) 2 t sugar 1 t baking soda (1 t gluten) 1/4 t salt 1 t celery salt (or other seasonings or herbs, such as garlic powder, ground basil, ground thyme) Add 1 T vegetable oil or melted shortening Knead about a dozen times, adding flour as necessary. Divide into two portions. Grease the underside (bottom) of two jelly-roll pans and the inside of two more pans (10" x 15" or larger). On a well-floured board, roll out each piece of dough into a 10" x 12" rectangle of even thickness. Place onto the greased underside of one of the pans. Using a table fork, prick the entire piece at 1/4" intervals. Score the dough at 2" intervals into 30 squares, trying not to cut all the way through. (I use a pattern tracing wheel with serrated teeth, which you can get at a sewing shop.) Place another pan (greased on the inside) over the dough. Bake for 8 minutes, turn both pans over and bake another 6 minutes until areas of golden brown appear. While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch. If the crackers are still moist, turn off the oven and let them dry for another 15 or 10 minutes. Break apart and cool on racks. Makes 60 2" thin, crisp crackers For thicker crackers, double the amount of soda and do not divide the dough - roll out the entire dough to 10" x 12" and cut into 30 squares. Double the baking time.
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©  1998, 1999, 2001 and 2003, 2005 Richard Packham    Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included.


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