Starter to Finish

January 2017

Starter to Finish (Sourdough Sharing Bread) 

When I was in my early 30s, Friendship Bread was all the rage. I’m thrilled to find out that it’s back…the making of a bread starter that can be shared with friends and friends-yet-to-be! 

Just as it’s not easy to build a great community, but worth the effort; this is not a quick and easy recipe, but, oh so worth the effort! 

Rather than a sweet bread, this is a classic sourdough that can be used to make mouth-watering cinnamon rolls and cheese bread. 
After starter has been refrigerated for 3-5 days…

Morning 1:
Remove starter from refrigerator and add:
¾ cup sugar
1 cup warm water (tap water not microwave)
¼ cup instant potato flakes
Stir well and leave starter uncovered and unrefrigerated for about 12 hours in a warm place. 

Night 1:
In large (non-metal) bowl mix:

  • 6 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 Cup Starter
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • ½ Cup Oil

(For wheat bread, use 4 cups bread flour and 2 cups wheat flour)

Dough will be somewhat stiff.  Return unused starter jar to refrigerator.  Grease another large bowl (non-metal) and turn dough into this bowl, turning several times to thoroughly coat dough in oil.  Cover bowl lightly with plastic wrap (can spray wrap with non-stick spray to ensure it doesn’t stick).  Put bowl in warm place to rise during the night as dough will rise slowly.

Morning 2:
Dough should be doubled in size.  Punch down, kneading a little.  Divide dough into thirds, kneading each portion on a floured board 8-10 times.  Place in lightly greased loaf pans.  Brush lightly with oil.  Cover 3 loaf plans (can use 4 small loafs) with plastic wrap.  Place in a warm place and let rise for about 12 hours.

Night 2:
Brush loaf again lightly with melted butter or margarine.  Place in 350 degree oven, baking 20-30 minutes, depending on pan size and ovens.  Bread should be lightly golden brown.  Remove each loaf immediately onto wire rack.  Wrap and store in refrigerator.  (Contains no preservatives so does not have long shelf life, but freezes well.)

Feed Starter every 3-5 days:
If not baking bread, feed starter anyway and remove a cup the next night (or 12 hours later) and share with a friend. 


For Cinnamon bread, roll each third into a rectangular shape and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the dough and roll up starting from the narrow edge.  Place in loaf pan and follow instructions as with regular bread.

For Cheese Bread or Bacon/Cheese Bread, as you mix batter, add 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese and/or 12 oz. crumbled cooked bacon.


Recipe Credits:
Marie Scott provided this recipe to Sue Graves of Clinton, Mississippi, who has been baking and sharing bread since 1985

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