Posts Tagged 'Sourdough'

Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat

Based on a recipe from Jeffery Hamelman’s book Bread.

Yield: 2 Loaves

Awhile back I posted a way of making sourdough starter from the Oregon Trail which you can find here. And, I posted a way of feeding sourdough starter which you can find here.
I also promised to post my favorite sourdough bread recipe. Here it is. Jeffery Hamelman’s book Bread is amazing. Lots and lots of great bread recipes as well as more than most of us ever want to know about bread baking.
This is one of his most famous recipes for sourdough bread and it is great.
The simple change I made to the recipe is to feed my starter a couple days ahead of time and then make the final feed the night before I am going to bake the bread. Just take 10-3/4 ounces (304 gr) of starter out of the main feed, cover it with plastic wrap,  and allow it to sit on the counter over night. Then use the whole amount the next morning to make the bread.
This is delicious sourdough bread. It keeps well. It’s chewy and has just a slight tang of sourdough. It is absolutely great toasted.
And, like most bread baking, there is a lot of time involved, but not a great deal of work.

Recipe follows.

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Sourdough Pizza Crusts for Barbequed Chicken Pizza

Adpated from an Internet recipe.

Makes two pizza crusts

Recently I posted an English Muffin recipe here that uses up excess sourdough starter (the sourdough starter recipe is here). Well, here is another recipe that does the same thing only this time you end up with pizza crusts. They are easy to make and they freeze wonderfully; you just have to pre-bake them first.
Assuming you have excess sourdough starter, one of the nice things about this recipe is that you can have pizza in about 45 minutes from the time you start.
You can make just about any kind of pizza using theses crusts, but we really like barbecued chicken pizzas.
To speed things up, we just buy a rotisserie chicken and cut it into chunks. Then once the pizza crust is pre-baked, rub some olive oil on the hot crust, spread your favorite barbecue sauce on the crust, toss the chicken with some additional barbecue sauce, add some chopped onions and/or green pepper, and top with mozzarella cheese. Then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns a little on the top.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Sourdough Pizza Crusts for Barbequed Chicken Pizza’

Sourdough English Muffins

Adapted from a recipe posted on The Fresh Loaf by kjknits
Makes about 12

Previously on this blog, I wrote a post about making a starter (Sourdough Starter) and another post on how to feed your new starter (Care and Feeding of Sourdough Starter).  We will eventually get to a sourdough bread recipe (I promise), but first, what do we do with left over sourdough starter (and you will have left over starter)?
One answer is to make some Sourdough English muffins.  They taste great and are easy to make.
I’ve made these several time and they always come out great.
My family loves these and they eat them toasted for breakfast and use them straight to make sandwiches for lunch.
Give them a try.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Sourdough English Muffins’

Care and Feeding of Sourdough Starter

There is lots of information about sourdough starters in books and on the Internet.  And they are all correct.  Some tend to make it more difficult that it really is.  The following is a simplified approach to the care and feeding of a sourdough starter.  This guide assumes you already have made some starter from scratch (lots of books or the Internet will tell you how or go here Sourdough Starter, obtained one from a friend or obtained some from a local bread bakery.

First, this is not hard.  Relax.  This is supposed to be fun.

Equipment needed:

  1. A small amount of sourdough starter from the last time you fed it.
  2. Bread flour
  3. Cool water
  4. A digital scale to weigh the water and flour (ounces only is okay, having ounces and grams is better, and a tare function is a nice feature to have. too).  I use grams to measure weight because it is more accurate.

Note: if you do not have a baking scale, you should think about getting one.  It will make you a better bread baker.

The sourdough starter I use is 100% hydration.  That means I use equal parts of flour and water by weight.


  1. Place a small jar (I use an empty, plastic peanut butter jar) on the scale and weigh it (as I said, I use grams for this).  Using a permanent magic market, mark the reading on the bottom of the jar.  We will need this number later.
  2. Place this small jar back on the scale and hit the tare function (the scale now reads zero).
  3. Take your jar of starter out of the refrigerator and weigh out about an ounce or 30 grams into the jar on the scale.
  4. Using a separate jar, place it on the scale and hit the tare function (the scale now reads zero again).  Weight out 1 ounce or 30 grams of water.  Put the water in the jar with the starter.
  5. Stir the water and the starter until the starter dissolves into the water. (I use a pair of chopsticks for this. Works great).
  6. Put the water/starter jar on the scale (you can leave the chopsticks in the jar at this point) and hit the tare button.  .
  7. Add one ounce or 30 grams of bread flour to the jar and stir vigorously to mix well with the water/starter.
  8. Leave the jar on the counter over night (eight to 12 hours).
  9. In the morning, weigh the jar (here again you can use ounces by I prefer grams).  Subtract the weight of the jar (written on the bottom of the jar).  This gives you the weight of the starter in the jar.
  10. Divide weight of the weight of the starter only by two and add that weight of water and flour to the jar (add water first like before and stir well).
  11. Let the starter in the jar sit out on the counter for eight hours or more.
  12. Repeat two more times.  That is, the initial feeding out of the refrigerator and three more feedings.
  13. I bake on the weekend, so I start this process on Wednesday evening by feeding it right out of the refrigerator, then twice on Thursday morning, and again on Friday morning.  By that time, you will have plenty of starter to do whatever you want on Friday night for baking Saturday morning.

IMPORTANT: After the last feeding Friday morning, take about four ounces or 120 grams of starter from the jar and put it in a clean peanut jar (or any small jar) and put it in the refrigerator for next time.
Note 1:  By Thursday morning, you most likely will need a bigger jar!
Note 2:  You can start with a larger amount of sourdough starter, but if you do, using this method you’ill end up with a lot of starter very quickly.

I will cover what to do with left over starter in posts to come.

Sourdough Starter


This is going to be the first of many posts on sourdough bread. I bake a lot of bread and some of it is sourdough.  Besides sourdough bread, I also use the sourdough starter to make sourdough pizzas and sourdough English muffins (recipes to follow).  But if you want to make sourdough bread, you need a starter.

Over the years, I have tried to make a sourdough starter from scratch at least five or six times. I failed every time.

Then I found Carl Griffith’s website and that all changed.  Carl’s family brought the starter to California over the Oregon Trail in 1847 and Carl’s family and his friends have kept it alive ever since.

Carl’s website is called Celebrating Carl Griffith’s 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter and can be found here: Carl’s Website.

By sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the address on the site, Carl’s friends will send you a small amount of dried, sourdough starter for free.  So order up some of Carl’s dried started and get ready to enter the world of sourdough bread making.  Here are the directions to get your free starter:

USA Residents
Send a self-addressed, stamped (42¢) #10 envelope [SASE42] to:

Oregon Trail Sourdough
P. O. Box 321
Jefferson, MD 21755 USA

After you get the dried starter, regenerating the starter is easy.  Just follow the instructions below which come from Carl’s website:

Continue reading ‘Sourdough Starter’