Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely

Tiaras are optional, kittycats.

I’ll introduce you to my Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe and share sweet glimpses of a pre-Hello Lovely blog baking lesson from almost a decade ago with lovely adopted nieces who are now all grown up!

Hello Lovely Studio sourdough old fashioned bread recipe. #hellolovelystudio #sourdough #bread #recipe
Pin me! Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely. Do yourself and your friends a favor by PINNING THIS POST for easy reference later!

About the Bread

A friend in St. Louis shared the starter and recipe 26 years ago. We were neighbors and both work at home moms at the time, and this was the most delicious bread I had ever made so I kept making it! I have Crohn’s disease which flared often back then, and there were seasons I lived on this bread, yogurt, and Diet Coke. Even though it’s called sourdough, it is not sour tasting and actually is mildly sweet and perfect for making cinnamon bread. What IS sour is the fermented starter.

A Tradition

This bread has become a family thing – my grown up sons, nieces, and nephews have known it their entire lives and baked with me through the years. But here’s the thing. You can always start a new tradition! It’s never too late.

Maybe Not a Beginner Recipe

I have shared starter with friends and acquaintances, taught many folks to make the bread, and then watched them never keep the starter alive or continue to bake. I think it’s because you need a little experience baking–especially baking bread–before maybe tackling all of the steps. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong such as: the starter could die so it may not rise, the bread is too dense due to not kneading long enough, the bread could collapse from over-rising, the bread could be doughy from underbaking or too dry from overbaking. I could go on. But if you keep at it, you can actually make this recipe your own according to your specific oven, particular tastes, and unique needs.

What you will glean from this post is a loose recipe with the proportions and old school method I use. But my hope is you will play with it, adapt it to your own liking, and come up with a version all your own.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely


There are 4 terms to know: starter, potato water, sponge, and dough.

Making sourdough starter – this requires some time and patience. Mine has been going for many years, and I have shared it with many people, but no one has kept it going as far as I know! Starter is basically a culture made from flour and water. The bread you make with it will not require yeast. Find instructions for creating your own starter HERE. Alternatively, you could buy a starter…here’s one possibility.

This post contains affiliate links which won’t cost you extra if you use them yet may earn this blog a small commission.


The sourdough starter is stored in the refrigerator. Each week, it must be fed (half goes back in frig, half gets used to make bread or is discarded). Every other week, this starter is fed with room temperature potato water (starchy water in which potatoes were cooked) rather than just plain tap water. It’s okay to feed it after just 4 or 5 days if you’re ready to make bread – you don’t have to have exactly 7 days in between – that’s what I mean about this being a very loose recipe. But don’t go more than 2 weeks without feeding it.

Here’s my bubbly starter in a container in the frig.

Blondes in tiaras making sourdough bread in my kitchen! Hello Lovely Studio

Potato Water

Every other week, I cook potatoes since I need the potato water.

You’ll want to peel and dice at least two white potatoes (cook as many as you like), add water to cover, and cook until fork tender (just like making mashed potatoes). When draining, save about 1 cup of the water, allow it to cool, then proceed to feed starter or refrigerate up to a day until ready to use.

So in addition to sourdough starter, you’ll need potato water every other week to feed the starter.

Click the arrow to see my potato water in a measuring cup next to my cooked potatoes which don’t go into the bread (I sometimes make an egg casserole with them).

The Night Before You Make the Dough

Making the sponge & Feeding the Starter – do this the evening before you intend to make bread.

Feeding the Starter

In a non-metal mixing bowl, add to the sourdough starter:

3/4 cup potato water/plain water (alternate every other week)

1 cup flour

1/4 c. sugar

Mix just until combined, cover bowl with a dishtowel, and allow to sit overnight on counter.

Click the arrow to see my own fed starter.


The sponge is the half of the fed starter that is used to make the bread dough. The next morning, divide the fed starter in half. Half goes in a covered container back into the refrigerator, and half is used to make the dough, discarded, or shared with a friend.


Making the sourdough bread dough – you don’t have to do this immediately in the morning, but since the rising times are long, you probably don’t want to wait until the afternoon.

I often leave the sponge in the big bowl in which I fed the starter and add ingredients to make dough.

To the sponge in the bowl, add:

3/4 cup water (sometimes I will use potato water – experiment!)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sugar

Begin to add unbleached, all purpose or bread flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate. After adding about 3 cups of flour, the dough will look something like this, and it will be time to ditch the spoon, sprinkle in smaller quantities of flour, and knead by hand:

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

You’ll now be adding a little flour at a time when it becomes to sticky to handle and kneading the dough for approximately 8 minutes. I have an unorthodox kneading method where I knead the dough right in the big bowl. This habit developed when ours was a tiny kitchen with limited counter space! Since it worked just fine, I have continued that method. No need to keep it in the bowl – knead it on a hard surface as you would any dough. Alternatively, you may use a stand mixer or bread machine.

The First Rise

The dough requires two rising times, first in the bowl, and then in the pans.

Cover the dough with a dishtowel, and let rise in the bowl at room temperature for approximately 5 hours.

The dough rises preeeeeetttttty dang slowly.

After the first rise, grease two loaf pans. Divide the dough as you wish – it can be formed into two medium loaves or one large and one small or even four small.. You can make plain sourdough or cinnamon bread. You can double this recipe (which is actually the original recipe shared with me) which is how I made it before we became emptynesters.

For plain sourdough, I simply gently form the dough into a rounded loaf with my hands and place in greased loaf pan.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

Making Cinnamon Bread

For cinnamon bread, you can use a rolling pin if you like to flatten the dough, but my lazy method involves flattening, lightly pressing, and easing it into a rectangle gently with my hands.

The dough can now be spread with a few tablespoons of butter if desired and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Since I bake like a granny and eyeball measurements, play around – you can’t mess up since you can simply tweak what you do the next time around.

Here’s my wonky rectangle spread with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. It’s clearly not perfectly rolled out dough – rustic granny style just agrees with me maybe since so much else in life is complicated, overwrought, and formulaic.

Starting at a short end, roll the dough jelly roll style, seal seams shut with your fingers, tuck under short ends, and gently place in greased pan.

Here is how mine look when they are ready to be snuggly blanketed with a towel to hang out for their 2nd rise.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

The Second Rise

Cover with a dishtowel and let rise in a non-drafty space about 2 hours.

The dough should rise approximately to the top of the loaf pans. No big deal if you chose too small a pan like I did below, and it rises way above…go with it. You’ll get into trouble though if this second rise time is too lengthy and the dough is puffy as it may collapse. Will it still be edible? Probably. But it won’t be the pretty loaf you’ll care to share with a neighbor.

This bread is so forgiving! It’ll be good even if it doesn’t look perfect in the end.

You’ll also notice I used a fluted brioche type pan (below) which works just fine also.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

Baking the Bread: Here’s where things get crazy weird.

When the loaves are ready to be baked, you DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN.

Place the pans on the center rack of the oven, and THEN heat the oven to 300 degrees.

YES. The pans go into a cold oven.

Bake at least 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Your oven is your oven so you may require a few minutes more.

Remove immediately from pans, brush with melted butter if you like, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

Sometimes my bread will have a golden brown crust, and other times it will be pale – you can’t go wrong so don’t worry as you figure out what you like.

Cinnamon Bread Goodness

Pastel and white fall decor in my kitchen which has a relaxed, European country and shabby chic vibe. See more of it on my blog Hello Lovely where you'll see my style is serene and peaceful. #hellolovelystudio #falldecor #pastels #serenedecor #whitedecor #europeancountry #farmhousestyle #frenchfarmhouse #pumpkins
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely

Yay! Eat that bread!

Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely
Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely

OMG I love it, when can I make bread again?

You should  wait at least 4-5 days before making bread again, and it’s okay to stretch the time between feedings to up to 2 weeks. To share it with a friend, follow the steps for feeding/making the sponge and then give away the half you planned to use for bread (or planned to discard).

Your lame recipe isn’t specific enough…

I know this is a rather loose recipe where exact measurements aren’t given, but there are plenty of baking sites and books to which you can refer for bread making basics. This post is mainly to introduce you to my old fashioned method and to demystify the process a bit. Mix it up! Want less sugar? Try it. Need lower fat? Give it a whirl. You are more likely to have success with the recipe if you have a little experience under your belt baking bread.

B a k i n g   S u p p l i e s

Channing 3 Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set
Pink Glass Mixing Bowl Set: FIND HERE.
Rhinestone tiara
Rhinestone Tiaras: FIND HERE.
Front Pocket Striped Linen Apron
Linen aprons: FIND HERE.
Anchor 4 Piece Glass Measuring Set
Measuring Set: FIND HERE.
Chrisley Marble Pastry Board
Marble Pastry Board: FIND HERE.
Gile Turkish Cotton Hand Towel
Turkish Cotton Hand Towels: FIND HERE.
Easy Grab 1.5 Qt. Loaf Dish

Glass loaf pans

Cooling Rack
Cooling Racks: FIND HERE.

I stamped this slice with a silicone cookie stamp I picked up at the boutique Merci in Paris. Find an assortment RIGHT HERE.

Hello Lovely Studio. Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely
Hello Lovely Studio. Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely.

Do yourself and your friends a favor by PINNING THIS POST for easy reference later!

Hello Lovely Studio sourdough old fashioned bread recipe. #hellolovelystudio #sourdough #bread #recipe
Pin me! Sourdough Old Fashioned Bread Recipe: Hello Lovely. Do yourself and your friends a favor by PINNING THIS POST for easy reference later!



Do visit my PINTEREST BOARDS and PIN pretty things to spread the magic – I am saving Christmas decorating ideas at the moment!

Swedish Wood Electric Candelabra
Evergreen Bucket
Courtney Lamp Base
Winter Jewels Crown Decor
Dried Hydrangea Wreath
Blue Juliska Platter
Flameless Candles & Remote
Antiqued Brass Candlesticks
Natural Linen Napkins
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Faux Bois Candleholders
Grainstripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
Belgian Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool


Sometimes with cinnamon bread, that yummy butter-sugar will bubble over and make a big ol’ mess so you may want to place a cookie sheet or something on the lower rack of the oven to catch the lava flow which is not fun to remove after it hardens.

Peace to you right where you are.


This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.

Support Hello Lovely by shopping Amazon RIGHT HERE for anything (not just products mentioned here) to keep the inspiration flowing!

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Click HERE to find cost conscious furniture and decor for your home too!



  1. November 14, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Your bread looks so professional! Bravo! I intend to try this out asap. We have excellent bread everywhere you turn here, but there’s something about bread baking, especially in winter if that ever shows up, that is so cozy. What a heavenly smell. Plus, homemade bread contains what you put in it, and not a bunch of unpronounceable chemicals.
    LOVE the tiaras!

    • michele
      November 14, 2018 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks, friend. I hope you try it – you’ll have to create a starter or get cozy with a baker there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Joanna
    November 15, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    I love that you and your granddaughter bake together. Itโ€™s a beautiful picture of your blonde heads together. Sheโ€™s as beautiful as you!
    If I buy a tiara will I become a princess, too?

    • michele
      November 15, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      Ha! It’s my sort-of-niece, but I would love to be compared to her and her sister in these photos taken years ago. You definitely should give the tiara thing a whirl, it improves baking skills at the very least. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. February 17, 2019 / 4:47 pm

    Love it! Looks so easy and delicious! Can’t wait to try this one! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • michele
      February 17, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the bread!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *