Dr. Orgo's Sourdough Bread

Here is a picture of the freshly baked bread that you can make with this recipe.

just baked bread

Click for the smell of fresh baked bread

smell of fresh baked bread

Procedure: In the large bowl of your Kitchenaid mixer stir together 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of wheat gluten (Note 1), 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of dried milk powder (Note 2). Add 3 cups of warm water, and stir the mixture until it is an even paste. Add 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, stir the mixture thoroughly, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap held in place by a large rubber band, and allow the mixture to stand in a slightly warm place overnight (Note 3). The mixture should be full of bubbles and twice the initial bulk.

Before continuing, reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for the starter for next time. Keep the starter in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator (Note 4).

Add the yeast to about 1/2 cup of warm water in which 1/2 tsp of sugar has been dissolved. In about 15 minutes the yeast and sugar mixture will be filled with bubbles.

Now add the yeast mixture to the sourdough in the big bowl. Then add 2 cups of rolled oats and 3 tablespoons of oil. Fit the mixer with the doughhook, and put the bowl in place. While mixing at the lowest speed, slowly add flour until the dough is on the doughhook and "cleans the bowl". Knead the dough in this manner for 7 minutes, adding just a little flour once in a while so that the dough will "keep the bowl clean".

At this time, turn out the dough onto a floured board, and knead the dough by hand for about a minute. The dough should be stiff and fairly elastic. Divide the dough into two equal parts (done best by using a kitchen scale), knead each half briefly so that you end up with a loaf-shaped portion, and place each piece in a "non-stick" bread pan (Note 5).

Set the pans aside in a warmish place for the dough to rise. (Note 6).

After the dough has risen so that the top of the dough is an inch or so above the top of the side of the pan, bake the bread at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes and then at 375 degrees F for another 15 or 20 minutes.

Remove the pans from the over and let them cool for a few minutes before attempting to remove the bread from the pans. You should try eating some while it is still hot to see how good it can be. It keeps for quite a long time in the refrigerator, and it can be frozen without much loss of quality.


  1. I found that I could get wheat gluten at the New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City. If wheat gluten is not available, use another 1/2 cup of flour instead. In the absence of extra gluten, the dough is sometimes not sufficiently elastic, and the bread does not rise as well.

  2. If you do not have dried milk powder in the house, use a cup of milk in place of 1 cup of water. The idea is to provide trace nutrients for the sourdough and yeast.

  3. I usually make up the sourdough mixture in the evening before I go to bed, and make the bread the next afternoon.

  4. The starter keeps a long time. You can pour off any liquid that separates. If it looks really bad, pull out a bit that looks OK and use it to inoculate a flour-water-sugar-milk mixture to make more starter.

  5. An old-fashioned bread pan that has been greased and floured will do as well.

  6. I just put the pans in the oven.

    Here is a picture of a couple of loaves of bread in the oven just ready to be baked.

    bread in oven

    Please send comments or suggestions to: Ault@cornellcollege.edu

    Last Modified: February 19, 1996