The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Will this recipe work with sourdough starter?

banananutmuffin's picture

Will this recipe work with sourdough starter?

My starter is coming along nicely. I keep it a room temp and feed twice per day. I've made 3 loaves so far. One failure. One semi-success. One not-that-great (should've risen longer, but I was impatient).

Anyway, I confess, I am not in the sourdough game to make bakery-worthy, beautiful, artisan loaves. I have three small children, I homeschool them, and I work part-time. I don't have time to devote to long periods of kneading, etc. I got interested in sourdough bread because of the health benefits, and because I prefer to feed my kids nourishing foods instead of chemical-laden processed stuff.

So, before I discovered sourdough, I used this recipe. It's known as a "make ahead" dough. You put it together (I just threw everything into my KitchenAid), then toss the ball of dough into a greased container, cover, store in fridge for up to a week. Anytime you wanted fresh bread, simply pull of a hunk, shape, and put in pan. Cover and let rise (typically 3 hours in my kitchen), then bake. So all I had to do is make the dough once a week and I could have fresh bread most days with little effort. Note: this is a white sandwich loaf, NOT an artisan loaf. My kids only like the white stuff.

Here's the recipe:

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 c warm water

3 T sugar

1 1/2 t salt

2/3 c butter, soft

2 eggs

1 c lukewarm mashed potatoes (they say this helps keep dough moist in fridge)

7 - 7 1/2 c flour


I was thinking about trying this by replacing the yeast with my starter and adjusting the water/flour quantities accordingly. Now, I know this is measured by volume not weight, but I am willing to tweak and experiment to get that part right. I also realize that a longer rise time is going to be necessary. I figured 2 hours at room temp immediately after making dough, then stored in fridge for up to 5 days. After I pull off a hunk and shape and put in pan, I thought an overnight rise at room temp might work.

Thoughts? Am I crazy to even try this? Is there something like this already out there?

The reason I want something like this is that it's easy, I only have to make dough once a week, and it will (hopefully) make a whiter (i.e. less artisan) bread for my kids. But I'm new to this and would love to get your thoughts before I get elbow deep in flour.

Thanks so much!!!

golgi70's picture

The dough will continue to sour further each day in the fridge and eventually start to smell not so great.  

A better way may be to make dough on day one.  Let sit room temp for 2 hours (fold after one hour) and then refridge 24 hours.  Remove all of dough and divide into portions and freeze in bags individually.  Night before you want bread pop the bag in fridge and in the morning shape and proof.  I'd think 4 oz or a scant half cup of starter would be good.  And I'd forgo the sugar entirely and give the dough a short autolyse and let the natural sugars do their thing.  



banananutmuffin's picture

Thanks!! You know, I had no idea that sourdough could be frozen. I'm definitely going to try it.