Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

homemade sourdough bread & starter

(7 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Bea L.
Emerald Isle, NC

I love making this bread. I even make cinnamon rolls with it, too. You can also freeze the loaves of bread once they're cooked, for it freezes very well. I also love to wrap each loaf with plastic, then aluminum foil, tie a festive ribbon around it, and give it to someone special. They really make a nice gift because they are definitely made with love!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

There's nothing better than the aroma of sourdough bread baking. Fresh out of the oven slathered with butter, it's heavenly. Bea's sourdough starter and bread are very easy to prepare so you can make bread at home whenever you want. It does take time for the rising, but the soft and fluffy bread is worth the wait. We made cinnamon rolls with half the dough and bread with the other half. Both tasted heavenly. You'll have plenty of the starter left to share with friends.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(7 ratings)
yield 4 loaves
method Bake

Ingredients For homemade sourdough bread & starter

  • 1 1/2 c
    granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp
    instant potato flakes, dry
  • 4 c
    warm water
  • 1 pkg
    active dry yeast (check expiration date)
  • BREAD:
  • 1 c
    active sourdough starter
  • 6 c
    bread flour (I use Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 c
    granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c
  • 1 1/2 c
    warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt (optional)

How To Make homemade sourdough bread & starter

  • Starter ingredients in a bowl covered with a towel.
    STARTER: Combine well then store at room temperature for 24 hours in a glass jar or plastic bowl (do not use metal). Cover top with a dish towel to allow it to breathe. After 24 hours you can start bread. If you're not ready to start bread, refrigerate the starter. Cover jar or bowl with its lid. Feed starter every 5 days.
  • Feeding starter with instant potato flakes, granulated sugar, and warm water.
    TO FEED STARTER: Mix 3 Tbsp instant potato flakes, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup warm water. Mix starter into this and let stand 24 hours at room temperature in glass or plastic (do not use metal). Cover jar or bowl with a dish towel to allow it to breathe.
  • Bread ingredients and starter added to a bowl to mix.
    BREAD: Take out 1 cup of starter and refrigerate the rest or give a friend 1 cup. In a large bowl mix 1 cup of starter along with 6 cups of bread flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oil, and 1 1/2 cups warm water, and salt if using.
  • Dough in a greased bowl.
    Grease another large bowl and put in the dough, turning once to grease all sides. Cover lightly with foil and let stand for 8 to 10 hours at room temperature to allow it to rise. Make sure it's in a warm room and out of a draft.
  • Punching down the risen dough.
    After 8 to 10 hours punch down and knead a little then divide the dough into 4 parts. Knead each part on a floured surface 8 to 10 times.
  • Pieces of dough placed in loaf pans.
    Shape into loaves by hand & place into 4 well-greased loaf pans and brush lightly with oil. Cover with foil. Let rise 8 to 12 hours at room temperature (in a warm room) out of draft. Note: One of my friends uses her oven (with the light on & keeps the door closed until time to take out) while the bread is rising.
  • Loaves of bread baking in the oven.
    Preheat oven to 350. Remove foil and bake at 350 for approximately 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter (optional) and serve warm or cold.
  • Dough rolled out into a rectangle with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
    ***CINNAMON ROLLS: Rather than making it into 4 loaves you can make 2 loaves and gently roll the other half out (I use my hands for this along with a rolling pin). Spread a thin layer of very soft butter onto the dough, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, and raisins if you like. Use your judgment on the amounts.
  • Dough rolled, sliced, and placed in baking dish.
    Now roll up, jelly-roll style, and cut into an inch in thickness. Place these rolls onto a buttered cookie sheet and cover with foil and let rise at room temperature in a warm room out of a draft.
  • Cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.
    Remove foil and bake at 350 until golden brown. Make your glaze by using powdered sugar and either milk, orange juice (with zest), or lemon juice (with zest) and glaze each cinnamon roll while still warm.
  • 11
    My sister just makes balls rather than 4 loaves at this point (using the same concept) for dinner rolls. Or make 1 loaf, cinnamon rolls, and dinner rolls. Or you can make half dinner & half cinnamon rolls. Just have fun and get creative with this bread.