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Any recipe for dough that doesn't take modern store bought yeast is here.  Also here is a recipe or two for starting a sourdough.  I think everyone should start with the Amish Starter because it's easy to keep.  After baking with that for a month or so, try taking on a regular starter.  Before attempting to start a starter, I would read up just a bit on it so you understand the in's and out's of sourdough.  Here's a good place.

Amish Friendship Starter
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups white sugar, divided
  • 3 cups milk 
 In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
  1. On days 2 through 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 through 9; stir only.
  2. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).
Friendship Bread Recipe

After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves.
 Potato Starter #1

1 medium potato
2 cups +2 tablespoons flour
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups water

Peel potato, cut into cubes, and boil in about 3 cups of water.  Let stand until cool.  Drain, reserving water.  Mash potato and set aside 1/4 cup.  In a large glass or plastic bowl mix flour, sugar, and yeast.  In saucepan combine 1 cup potato water and 1 cup water that you've let sit out for a couple of hours.  Warm to about 100°.  Pour over flour mixture and add the 1/4 cup mashed potato, mixing well.  Cover with waxed paper then foil crimping the foil loosely around the edges.  Set aside in a warm place for 2 days.  Uncover and let sit 1 day before using.  To Feed:  Every 2 to 3 days, stir in 2 tablespoon to 1/2 cup flour, depending on how often you use it.  When adding flour also add a scant pinch of sugar and just enough water (let that water sit out for 2 hours beforehand) to keep it like a thick batter like pancake batter.  So use it every 2-3 days and replace what you take out.

 Potato Starter #2

3 medium potatoes
4 cups water - for boiling
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar

Peel and cube potatoes.  Boil potatoes til soft.  Drain and reserve liquid.  Mash potatoes and add to reserved liquid in large plastic bowl.  Always use plastic or glass in dealing with your sourdough...never metal.  Stir and set aside until lukewarm.  Stir in yeast and warm water.  Mix in remaining ingredients.  Cover bowl with a cloth and let sit 24 hours.  Put in jar and rubber band a coffee filter to the opening up top.  To feed, make new starter as above replacing yeast with starter every 2 weeks. 

Basic Sourdough Starter

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water (let water sit out 2 hours before using)
1/2 teaspoon honey

Day One:  Combine flour and water and put in a jar.  Rubber band a coffee filter over the top.  (This is how I cover mine though you can just cover it with a cloth.)  Always use glass to grow and keep your sourdough.  Never use metal anything, even utensils. 

Day Two:  Feed with a combination of 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour and 1/2 cup water (don't forget to always let the water sit for 2 hours before using it.)  Stir it up good each time you feed it.

Day Three:  Feed again

Day Four:  Feed again

Day Five:  Your sourdough is ready to use, though it will be some time before it is established.  Keep using it a couple of times a week, beginning with something like pancakes or biscuits.  Then try it out in a bread recipe.  If you take out a cup, feed it 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water (always letting the water sit out beforehand), and so forth.  If you use it a couple of times a week it can live on your kitchen counter.  Otherwise refrigerate it.

Store Bought Yeast to Sourdough Conversion

Place one cup of your starter per package of yeast the recipe calls for in a large non-reactive bowl with about 2/3 of the total flour called for.  Add all the milk or water to make a stirable thick batter.  You don't want a dough, but a batter.  Cover the bowl and set aside the mixture in a warm place for 14-16 hours.  The longer it stands the more sour it will be.  This sponge mixture will get bubbly and light.  Now add the additional ingredients such as salt, sugar, oil, eggs, etc called for in your recipe except the remaining flour.  Omit any yeast or baking soda or baking powder called for.  Add in the remaining flour and knead well by hand, adding additional flour only if needed to make a soft pliable non-sticky dough.  The dough will be smooth and elastic but just a bit softer than your typical yeast dough recipes.  Let dough rest 10 minutes, covered.  Form your dough into a loaf (or loaves) and place dough in the pan or make loaves the way your recipe instructs.  Let the dough rise, to the tops of the pans or until light and puffy in a warm place.  You must have patience.  It will take much longer than standard yeast dough to rise.  Bake and cool as recipe instructs.

Basic Sourdough Bread

2 cups proofed starter
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups flour

Before measuring out your 2 cups of starter culture, it must be proofed.  To proof start with 1 cup of starter and stir into it equal parts of flour and warm water, about 1 1/2 cups.  Let mixture sit, covered loosely overnight - the longer it sits the more sour the flavor will be.  At this point measure out the 2 cups required for the recipe, and return the leftover for the next time.  Pour starter in mixing bowl.  Melt butter.  Add milk to butter and warm briefly (to about 85°).  Add the salt and sugar and stir til dissolved.  Add this mixture to the culture and mix well.  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time stirring until the dough is too stiff to stir by hand.  Turn onto floured board and knead til it is smooth and shiny.  Pat dough into a 1" thick oval and form loaf by rolling oval up from the long side, pinching the seam together as you roll the dough tucking the ends under to form a loaf.  Place in a lightly greased pan and let rise, covered, for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.  When dough rises 1" to 2" above the pan, it is ready to bake.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake an additional 30-40 minutes.  Remove loaf from oven and brush lightly with melted butter.  Turn out of pan and cool on wire rack.  Note: This can also be shaped into a round or oval loaf and baked on a baking sheet or baking stone.

Sourdough Fry Bread

1/2 cup sourdough
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour

Mix all til combined.  Cover with a cloth and let sit 7-24 hours.  when ready to fry, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Don't overwork.  Heat an inch of oil in pan.  Shape dough into patties and put into oil.  Gently flip them over when they are brown (about 2 minutes or so).  Fry another 2 minutes and drain.  Fill with chili or taco meat and toppings, or have them for breakfast rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

Pre-baking the dough makes the pizza more fluffy.  They can be frozen til ready to use.  Partially bake, top, then bake again.

1 1/2 cups starter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 550°.  Mix ingredients working in flour until you have a soft dough.  If it gets too dry add more starter.  Knead dough, cover, let rest for 1/2 hour.  Once rested, roll out, and use.  For baking try and upside down preheated cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal.  Rub a bit of olive oil on the crust before baking, bake for 5 minutes, then apply toppings, then bake again.

San Francisco Sourdough

3 cups flour
1/2 cup proofed starter
Up to 1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter (optional)  It makes the crust less crispy but the interior soft and chewy.

Combine the flour, starter, butter, and 3/4 cup of water.  Mix and knead about 4 minutes or so.  If it's so dry it won't even form a small ball, then add another 1/4 cup of water and knead another 3-4 minutes or so.  Add the salt and knead another 5 minutes.  The dough at this point should barely stick to your fingers.  Wipe the inside of a bowl with a little oil, turn dough to coat in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise overnight.  Turn it out on a lightly floured board, sprinkle some on top of the dough and knead it gently spreading it out with your knuckles.  Flip the flat dough over and do the same to the backside.  Knead it into a small round circle.  You may choose to do a second rise if you don't have a really active sourdough.  Coat a Dutch oven with oil, sprinkle some cornmeal in bottom and place dough.  Make 3 or 4 criss-cross slashes with a sharp knife, then cover.  Set oven to 425° and bake for 30 minutes.  Check loaf.  It should be uniform brown.  If not, put the lid back on and bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove the lid, reduce the heat to 375° and bake an additional 5-10 minutes til the loaf turns a dark, golden brown.  Move loaf to a cooling rack and let it cool at least 30 minutes.

Sourdough French Bread
1 cup proofed sourdough
4 cups flour
2 cups flour for kneading
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix starter, water, and 4 cups flour in a bowl.  Put in a warm place for the rest of the day.  By evening it should be doubled.  (If using a weaker starter let it sit overnight and through the following day.)  Mix sugar, salt, baking soda and 1 cup flour together.  Sprinkle over dough.  Mix well.  turn out and knead using 2 cups flour.  Shape loaves and place on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Let rise til doubled.  Slash tops with a very sharp knife, brush with water or a well-beaten egg and place in a 400° oven.  A pan of water in the oven helps to make a crispy crust.  Bake until bread is a medium-dark brown.

Spinster's Bread

2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup proofed sourdough starter
1 cup milk

Mix into a soft dough, let rise, mold into loaves, let rise again, and bake.

Sourdough Stuffing

2-3 tablespoons butter
9 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (1 lb.) loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1" chunks
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon thyme, sage, and rosemary

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter.  Add celery and onions, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.  Transfer to a buttered 3-quart casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 20 minutes longer.

Sourdough Cornbread #1

1 cup starter
1/3 cup oil or butter
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal

Mix starter, egg, and oil.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Add to sourdough mixture.  Mix until well blended.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes in an 8" square pan.

Sourdough Cornbread #2

1 cup starter
Enough cornmeal to make a beatable batter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup warm, melted butter or shortening or bacon drippings
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix starter, cornmeal, milk, and eggs.  Stir thoroughly in a large bowl.  Stir in melted butter, salt, and baking soda.  Pour into a 10" greased cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sourdough Biscuits

1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional:  Melted butter, dill, or other dried herbs

Combine starter and cooking oil.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently for 10-12 strokes.  Pat dough to a 1/2" thickness.  Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or upside down glass.  Transfer to baking sheet.  Bake in a 425° oven for 8-10 minutes or til golden brown.  If you like, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with dill.

Salt Rising Bread

The night before you wish to do your baking:  Use a pint jar in which you will put 8 tablespoons cornmeal.  Add a pinch of salt and baking soda, along with a teaspoon of sugar.  Then fill the jar with scalding water.  Stir well.  Cover with a lid and let stand in a warm place overnight.  The next morning, take 1 quart of milk (or you can use half milk and half water), combine with starter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and add enough flour to make a stiff batter.  So far it's at about 4 cups.  Stir well.  Cover the batter and place the entire bowl in a container of warm water (just warm enough to put your hand in) and keep it warm by setting it in a warm place.  Try continually draining off and adding more warm water if needed fairly often.  Takes 3-4 hours to rise.  If it is very slow in rising you can stir it again, then place back in warm water.  When the dough rises, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 3-4 tablespoons shortening, butter, and flour enough to make a stiff dough.  Knead for about 10 minutes.  Shape into 3 loaves.  Grease the sides of the loaf pans and let rise til doubled.  This usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.  Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes.  When the bread has finished baking, grease the crust heavily with butter as soon as you remove it from the oven.

Salt Rising Bread With Potato

1 potato sliced and placed in a hot jar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water

Cover and let rise in a warm place until morning.  If mixture is foamie and smelly, pour off the liquid and throw away the potatoes.  Mix 2 cups very warm water with 1/2 cup shortening.  Then add 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons sugar, and 5 cups flour.  Combine with rising mixture to make a stiff batter.  Let rise til doubled in bulk.  Work in 6 cups flour to make a soft dough.  Divide into 3 portions.  Place in greased pans.  Let rise until mixture comes to top of pan.  Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, then at 400° for 25 minutes.

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