Amish Sourdough Bread/Starter

"Found this recipe in my mother's recipe box. I don't remember her ever making it, but I have and it makes gorgeous bread! Starter takes 10 days to ferment, but after this you can make bread anytime you want! Traditionally, starter is given to friends and family in 1 cup increments, after the 10 days. You can also freeze 1 cup in zip lock bags for future use. I know it sounds like a lot of sweetener, but the yeast needs this sugar to feed itself, bread will not be sweet. Starter can be used for many other breads, such as doughnuts, cinnamon buns, etc. Follow recipe using 1 pkg yeast and 1 cup of starter. Prep time doesn't count 10 days to prepare starter. Nutrition Information is for total ingredients so won't be accurate."
photo by manushag photo by manushag
photo by manushag
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
2 loaves




  • For starter, dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar or honey and 1 cup milk (lowfat or 2% milk is OK). This is day 1 of 10 day prep. Use a plastic or glass container.
  • Leave starter on the counter covered, and stir daily.
  • On the 5th day, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar or honey (or combination) and 1 cup milk. This is called 'feeding' the starter.
  • Continue to stir daily. On the 10th day, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar or honey and 1 cup milk. Starter can now be divided and given away or frozen. I usually wait a day to bake after feeding starter.
  • If you are not baking the next day, you can refrigerate starter, but bring to room temperature on baking day, or the night before, if frozen.
  • If you receive a cup of starter as a gift, feed immediately and wait a day before baking, to give starter a chance to ferment, at room temperature.
  • To bake: Place 1 cup of starter in bowl of mixer. Put mixer on slow speed using a dough hook, and add all ingredients. All ingredients should be room temperature.
  • Add 2-1/4 tsps. yeast, 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 2 tbls honey, 1/4 cup oil, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 eggs, 2 tsps. salt, approximately 6-7 cups white flour. You can add more whole wheat and less white, as preferred.
  • Knead dough for 10 minute in mixer. Dough should be slightly sticky, but smooth and shiny and should mostly all be on the dough hook when done.
  • Remove dough from mixer bowl to a floured board and knead by hand two minutes, shaping into a large ball. Oil inside of mixer bowl.
  • Place dough back into bowl, swirl around in oil, and turn over so all sides are oiled. Press down, cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled.
  • Punch down and divide into two loaves. At this point, 1 ball can be made into 12-14 rolls. Divide into even balls, (if you have a scale, about 2-1/2 oz. each) place on greased cookie sheet, pressing down to a flat disc. Brush tops with beaten egg white mixed with 1 tbl water and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.
  • Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour, or until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375° and bake rolls for 15-20 minutes, until browned.
  • For loaf of bread flatten 1/2 of dough into a rectangle, to remove bubbles and roll up to a log. Roll two sides under and place log seam side down in greased loaf pan. Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with seeds. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and thump bottom of loaf. It should sound hollow when done.
  • You can bake 1/2 of dough and shape other half into a loaf, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. When you are ready to bake, remove from wrap and place in greased loaf pan. Cover and allow to defrost and rise in a warm spot. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with seeds. Bake as usual.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Carolyn P.
    I read the question val248 wrote but no one answered. If I have the starter ready, and I take some out to make a recipe. How often do I feed the left over starter to keep it going? I realize you add the same amount of flour, honey and milk but how often if I want to bake maybe every week end. Most starter recipes I've seen are just flour and water but I think yours sounded better. I just don't want to lose it by not feeding it right.
  2. val248
    After the initial startup how often do you feed? Also my mom used to keep sour dough and had many recipes, one was an amazing coffee cake! Got any recipes to share? Thanks, Val from Ohio
  3. pinniey2003_10240069
    You don't explain what you need to do to feed starter and to keep it going.
  4. Chef Rober
    Does it matter if my yeast is a quick rise or not?
  5. pennycrg33
    Is there to save this as a starter for other recipes


  1. Jackie D.
    When my granddaughter visits we bake bread together, and we tried this recipe. We all decided that this is the most delicious bread we have ever made . No more store bought bread....I will continue using this recipe and baking my own .
  2. logcabinparker53
    What a great starter and the bread turned out so very good! It has a fine crumb and excellent taste. We will be making grilled cheese sandwiches this weekend and are sure that it will taste wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this starter and bread recipe!


  1. manushag
    Continue to feed whenever you remove starter for baking. Wait a day after feeding to bake. Whenever starter is low, feed for next time so you never run out! This makes wonderful cinnamon buns too!



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