Friday, November 6, 2009

Update on Making Bread from Grape Sourdough Starter And an Easy BreadMaking Formula

We are loving this bread!  I've discovered a  much easier than the original version which I wrote about in a previous post.  I make this bread about two or three times a week.  No we are not gaining weight. Actually we have been losing a little weight. A natural sourdough bread is low on the glycemic index, helping to keep your sugar levels from spiking.  Here's how it works:  I use a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook.  I don't like getting my hands goey, especially since I make this bread so frequently. Since I have a larger Kitchen Aid, the Professional 6,  I can and  like to make 2 or 3 small loaves and give the extras as gifts to friends and neighbors.   But, lets start with the usual size recipe for making bread.  Here is why it it easy:

I mix up this bread at night and let it rise in a cold oven. Then bake it in the morning. You do not need a double rise like traditional bread.  The natural sourdough will raise the bread slowly in a cold, unheated oven.  Here is my recipe:

1. Early in the day, I take the Sourdough Starter out of the refrigerator which I keep it in a Corning Ware Ceramic bowl with a tight cover.

2. First I refresh the starter. I'll have about 2 cups of starter in the Corning Ware  bowl, so I add about 2 cups of filtered water and 2 cups of whole wheat flour.  I put it back into the refrigerator until evening when I am ready to make the bread.

3. In the evening:  Take 2 cups of the starter add 1 cup of water. Mix well.  Add  2 scant teaspoons of salt, 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of  sugar. Add as needed whole wheat flour and unbleached flour, one cup at a time alternating between the whole wheat and unbleached white flour.   I like to make it heavier towards the whole wheat flour. You can also make it lighter.  Let the machine knead it  until the bread has absorbed the flour and the dough is elastic.   Empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into round loaves.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put into cold oven and go to bed.

In the morning  take the bread out of the cold oven. The bread will have spread and not look very tall. That's ok.  Preheat the oven 375 degrees.  Score the bread deeply, about 1/4" , so that it is free to rise and bake it for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature  checked by inserting an instant read thermometer is  195 degrees.  Let it cool. Yumm!


You don't need a  precise recipe with this bread but I have devised a formula.  For each cup of total  liquid including the starter and water as a liquid I add a very scant teaspoon of salt or less.  For each cup of liquid I add 1 tablespoon each of oil and sugar.  I do this when making any kind of bread.   So if I was using 4 cups of liquid, I would use 3 scant teaspoons of salt, 4 T of oil and 4 T of sugar.

If you were making a traditional bread  and started out with 2 cups of liquid, you can choose, water, potato water, or milk, I would add 2 very scant teaspoons of salt.  2 tablespoons of  fat could be oil or butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar could be sugar,  honey or molasses.  Then I would choose the mixture of flours.   If I want a "richer bread" I double the butter and honey or sugar.  It all works!  With a traditional bread you would use 2 scant tablespoons of yeast or 2 packages of yeast.


  1. I have killed every sourdough starter that my Mom has given me (for the last 25 years)-- so I am in awe that you capture wild yeast, make starter, and actually nurture and keep it alive. Congratulations!!! :D

  2. Vicci - Thank you for such a nice comment!

  3. Lovely looking bread! Home baked bread is far better than the store bought bread - I must get back into making my own - problem is, I cant stop eating it ! Michelle

  4. Hi;
    Found you on blotanical. I was born/raised in Huron, SD - was looking for gardeners from my home state. This bread looks fantastic. Am excited to give it a try. Any tips on how to futz with this recipe for 7,500 feet high altitude?

    PS: Apologies in advance if you receive 2 comments from me. My computer is giving me fits. :)

  5. thank for such a nice article and nice blog