The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sweet sourdough treats?

G-man's picture

Sweet sourdough treats?

Hello everyone,


So perhaps this is a long shot. I am working with the panettone recipes that I've found here and elsewhere to figure out how to make a naturally leavened panettone here in the PNW, where the rising times suggested elsewhere are nowhere near accurate during these cold months. My wife, my parents, and my co-workers have suffered dutifully through my experiments, commenting on various things that could be changed in the bread and letting me return to the pantry and to the internet to figure out how I can improve my creations. And I progress about as I expected, so that's about it for my story about how I came to be writing this post. On to the question.


Panettone simply can't be the only thing out there. Does anyone have any suggestions for sweet breads that are either traditionally made from sourdough starters, or are easily converted to natural leavening? Recipes would be excellent, but anything at all, even a recollection of something somebody's grandparents or parents used to make, would be awesome.

silkenpaw's picture

... before there was commercial yeast. Converting a recipe is just a matter of figuring out how to adjust the amount of flour and water in the mix to account for what is coming from your starter. And expect slower rising time because of the sugar in the dough.

Sorry I can't help you with any recipes, though I have made sweet doughs with my starter in an emergency (when it was the only living yeast in the house).

dzolotas's picture

Here in Greece we have a sweet type of bread called "Tsoureki". It has lots of sugar, butter, milk and every recipe I've found for the moment uses yeast. My last serious attempt to make it sourdough, was partially successful. The taste was great, but the time needed to rise very long. Eight hours, and more, and finally I can't wait any longer and I bake after midnight. Finally, it was not so big compared to yeast type. Next time I'll be prepared better, for looooong fermentation overnight. 

My recipe is :

750 gr. Bread Flour (Robin Hood 14% protein)

500 gr. starter (100% hydration)

120 gr. milk evaporated 2% fat

100 gr. butter pure (no water)

250 gr. whole eggs (4-5 eggs) 

220 gr. fructose (sugar)

14 gr. salt

10 gr. mahlepi

2 gr. vanilla

2 gr. mastic

In some recipes the sugar was even more (30%). The butter is trimmed down a little, most recipes called for a 20% - 25%.

Of course the starter must be very active, I've prepared mine 3 days before, by feeding it every 12 hours, doubling it each time.

The last 3 ingredients used to give aroma, and you can change them as you like. Tell me if want the full procedure.

LeadDog's picture

Here is a recipe for sourdough Stollen.

Alison135's picture

My mom used Sourdough starter for EVERYTHING she baked, even playing with cookie recipes.  My favorites were 1)waffles and 2)SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!  Seriously, I have dreams about that cake.  It was wonderful, the sourdough gave a rich chocolate cake a completely new texture - firm but spongy and absolutely yum.   I'm pretty sure this is the recipe she started with, though I'm sure she modified over time to her own taste:

Oh, Cinnamon rolls too!  She made some with dried cranberries and a bit of orange juice in the sauce, they were wonderful.  I love the heartiness of the Sourdough compared with the sad pastry of chains that most people expect for a cinnamon roll. 


Good luck with your sweet treats :)

G-man's picture

Thanks everyone for these suggestions. I need to get to work baking again, it's been a pretty interesting holiday season. Hopefully my family and friends will appreciate these too!