Living Like By the Shores of Silver Lake ~ Sourdough Part 2

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Last week we talked about a sourdough starter and how to get it going. Today we will talk about how to keep it going and how to bake with it.If you missed last week you can check it out here, how to start sourdough.

“But how do you make the sour dough?” Mrs. Boast asked. “You start it,” said Ma, “by putting some flour and warm water in a jar and letting it stand till it sours.” “Then when you use it, always leave a little,” said Laura. “And put in the scraps of biscuit dough, like this, and more warm water.” Laura put in the warm water, “and cover it,” she put a clean cloth and the plate on the jar, “and just set it in a warm place,” she set it in its place on the shelf by the stove. “And it’s always ready to use whenever you want it.” ~ By the Shores of Silver Lake

Some general tips about keeping your starter going…

  • After the first couple days when you are getting good bubbling going, make sure you are removing 1/2 of the starter each time you feed it(toss this for the first couple days, after that it should be good enough to use in recipes).
  • After you have a strong starter going, if you don’t plan on using it right away you can store it in the fridge to slow it down. You will still need to feed it when you get a buildup of hooch(that yucky looking stuff) on top. Do not store it in the fridge until after you’ve had it going for at least 2-3 weeks.

When you are ready to use the starter in a recipe, each recipe should tell you how much starter you will need and how much more flour you will have to add to it to use it in the recipe.

Sourdough Pancakes

  • 1/2 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk or water

Let this soak together overnight in a covered bowl. In the morning add:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. oil
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda

Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before baking on a griddle or a waffle iron.

Sourdough Bread

  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 2 1/2 c. flour

Combine in a large glass bowl so it has room to rise. Let it sit for 14 to 36 hours, it will be somewhat lumpy but don’t worry about that. Remove 1 c. mix to get a new starter going. Add enough flour into the mixture so you can knead it, you want it softer rather than stiffer so don’t add too much flour. Knead for 10 -15 minutes and let rest for 10. Form into loaves, cover and let rise until doubled in size. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F.

Sourdough Biscuits

  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 2 1/2 c. flour

Mix together and leave in a warm place for 12 hours. Remove 1 c. of mix out of the batch to let your starter continue. Then add:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder

Mix together and roll out the dough to 1 inch thick, then cut with a biscuit cutter. Brush with melted butter and place on a cookie sheet, sides touching. Let rise for 30 minutes then bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

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  1. Excellent! Thanks for the posts on sourdough starter and recipes. I want to be able to make bread without yeast if times get hard so I’m going to have to try this real soon. Oh, and I really like the Little House on the Praire shows, I’m going to have to go to the library and get the books. I bet they are better than the shows.

  2. Question about the starter – what if I have enough starter already? Do I need to take out 1 cup of batter to make the recipe work?

    1. I’m not sure, you’d just have to try it, you probably could leave it in and just add a little more flour to the recipe and it will work.

  3. Great! I’ve been looking for simple sourdough recipes that don’t include adding yeast. This is going to be a great project for my son and me. Thank you.

  4. Hi Merissa, I really enjoy your website and recipes for old fashioned living, you do a wonderful job. I have a question about the sourdough recipe. Does this sourdough starter eliminate the gluten in the flour? I try to avoid gluten in my diet and I’ve read books that say that the natural fermentation process eliminates the gluten in the flour for easier digestion.

    Thank you and God Bless!

    1. I don’t think it eliminates the gluten but I’ve heard of some with gluten sensitives have been able to eat sourdough. I haven’t personally tried it though.

  5. Hey thanks! We are reading through these books and I thought I’d give it a try. I have sour dough starter, mostly for bread, already.

    I noticed the biscuit recipe doesn’t have any kind of fat. How does this affect the texture/flavor?

  6. When you leave one cup of mix to continue the starter, do you feed it, or wait until you are ready to use it and feed it? I am just getting started, and don’t know what I am doing, but I do have a good active starter going.