Get those starters going for baked goods

November 20, 2013 

Time's a-wastin' for those planning to make sourdough or Amish sweet dough baked goods for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas.

Sourdough starters take about seven days to be ready for the first round of baking. Instant rise yeast does quicken the process. Amish friendship or sweet dough starters take 10 days. A brandied fruit starter for cake or as a sauce for ice cream takes three weeks, so that one is out for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, but not Christmas.

Two readers Pat Kerstetter of Gautier, Miss., and Lavonne Bain of Palmetto, sent in sourdough, sweet dough and brandied fruit starters. The recipes range from pancakes to rolls to a variety of cakes and, of course, breads.

Kerstetter prefers the Herman or potato-flakes starter for her sourdough and in most of her sourdough baked goods. She says the Amish starter is just too sweet.

Bain's recipe for whole wheat sourdough pancakes has been tested over and over.

"I developed the recipe when we were planning to make a trip to Alaska in the summer of 1980," she said. "We were gone the month of July from our home in New York State. It served us well every morning as we camped the whole trip. Omitting the wheat germ greatly affects the taste of the pancakes and is disappointing."

Due to the wealth of recipes, I will share more sourdough and Amish sweet dough recipes Nov. 27.


2 cups flour

1/2 cup instant potatoes

2 cups water

1/3 cup sugar

1 package yeast (not instant rise)

1 teaspoon salt

Let sit at room temperature, uncovered for 3 days in a large glass jar that has a lid. Stir 2-3 times a day. Feed on fourth day.

To feed:

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons instant potatoes

1 cup very warm (not hot) water

3/4 cup sugar

Stir. Leave lid off and at room temperature at least 8 hours. Refrigerate 3-14 days. Use or feed. Always leave at least 1 cup of starter.


1 cup starter

1 cup flour

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon each baking soda and salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (depending on thickness desired)

2 tablespoons oil

Mix well all ingredients. Using scant1/4 cup batter per pancake. Bake on well-greased, preheated griddle or skillet about 3 minutes or until tops are bubbly and edges brown. Turn and bake other side about 3 minutes or until golden. Makes 10 large pancakes.

-- Submitted by Pat Kerstetter


1/2 cup starter

1 egg or1/4 cup egg substitute

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine first five ingredients and then add whole wheat flour. When about to cook on hot griddle or skillet, add soda and baking powder. Use about1/4 cup of mixture per pancake. Cook on both sides.

For a larger batch of pancakes for more people, double everything except the egg and soda.

-- Submitted by Lavonne Bain


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup "starter" (room temperature)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine dry ingredients in a non-metal bowl, mix well. Stir in starter and oil. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 to 10 minutes). Shape dough into 2-inch balls. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes. or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. Yield: 1-3/4 dozen.

-- Submitted by Pat Kerstetter

Andrea's note: Place a pot of boiling water on bottom shelf of the oven. Put rolls, bread or whatever needs to rise on the shelf above. Do not turn oven on. The rising bread or rolls are in a draft-free place and the boiling water warms the oven just right. When items are risen, remove the pot of water and set oven to baking temperature.


2 cups sourdough starter

2 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup raisins

Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add sourdough starter. Beat in sifted dry ingredients and then raisins. Pour in greased 15-by-9-inch pan and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. May bake in 2 (9-inch) cake pans or in muffin tins using cupcake papers. For cupcake size, fill 1/2 full and bake 17 minutes.

Note: Before baking, sprinkle the following topping mixture:

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup margarine

1 tablespoon cinnamon (I use 1/2 teaspoon)

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup brown sugar


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

Variation: Use blueberries instead of raisins.

-- Submitted by Pat Kerstetter


1 can pineapple chunks, drained (15-1/4 ounces)

1 can sliced peaches, drained (16 ounces)

1 can apricot halves, drained (17 ounces)

1 jar maraschino cherries, drained (10 ounces)

1-1/4 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups brandy

Combine all ingredients in a clean non-metal bowl; stir gently. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 weeks, stirring fruit twice a week.

Serve fruit over ice cream or pound cake, reserving at least 1 cup of starter at all times.

To replenish starter: Add 1 cup sugar and one of the first 4 ingredients every 1 to 3 weeks, alternating fruit each time; stir gently. Cover and let stand at room temperature 3 days before using.

Yield: 6 cups

Note: Apricot or peach brandy may be substituted for plain brandy, if desired. Fruit starter can also be used to bake the Friendship Cake. The starter should last indefinitely if handled properly; use clean equipment and keep it covered.

-- Submitted by Pat Kerstetter from Southern Living Magazine November 1982

Coming next week

Nelda Baldwin of Biloxi shares recipes for a crowd of up to 100.

Maureen Broussard, also of Biloxi, has some ideas for gluten-free stuffing and desserts that are tried and true.

Wanted: Satsuma cake

Terrie Martin Walker wants a recipe for Satsuma cake. She said that it is an old recipe, but would love it if readers shared some recipes with her.

Jelly filling for cream puff cookies

"I am writing to you and your readers as a last resort. In 2004, we move from Pennsylvania to Florida and in doing so some things were lost, of course," said Joyce Bofinger of Palmetto, FL. "I lost a cookie recipe that I really liked. It was a petite cream puff cookie with a jelly filling. I have the cream puff part, but cannot find the filling recipe.

"I know it contained peach jelly or preserves and peach schnapps, but I can't remember what the other ingredients were or how to prepare it," she said. "I'm hoping you or your readers can help me."

Readers, do you have this recipe? If so, please send it to me. The holidays are only two weeks away.

Farro recipes, please

Don't forget to send in farro recipes. Farro is an Italian grain. Whole Foods Market in New Orleans and other cities have a good variety. Farro can be used in salads, side dishes or a main dish.

Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service