time to feed the (sourdough) starter

It’s been more than the recommended six weeks since I last fed my starter. (Remember Sourdough English Muffins?) Looking for some sourdough fun, I found a recipe for Sourdough Sticky Buns in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook.

It took very little time to bring the dough together. The process started with a “sponge” of starter, milk, oil, flour, and sugar. This mixture fermented overnight, rising only a little. Next step was stirring in more flour and a bit each of salt and baking soda. That’s it! The dough was soft and tender after only a few minutes of kneading.

The cookbook referred me to another page for filling recipes, but that would have been too much work for me. (I can be a very lazy cook.) I knew I wanted sticky buns full of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. A touch of sea salt sounded nice, too. Why go searching for another recipe? After mounding a few handfuls of brown sugar in a bowl and stirring in a teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon, I cut in 3ish tablespoons of softened butter. The filling mixture was a glossy and glorious mahogany brown.

An aside, but did you know you don’t have to pay $2 (and that’s on sale) for a 2-pound bag of brown sugar? If you mix 2 tablespoons molasses into 1 cup white granulated sugar, you have 1 cup brown sugar. I make this in large batches and store–it has a richer flavor than purchased brown sugar and is also more moist.

Back to the sticky buns: I rolled the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. The marvelous brown sugar-cinnamon filling was smeared over the dough, which was then rolled up from the long end. I sealed the bottom seam, then cut the roll into 3/4-inch-thick (or so) slices.

brown sugar-cinnamon filling spread on sourdough sticky bun dough

all rolled up

To prepare the pan, I sprinkled the bottom with clumps of brown sugar, then followed with a dusting of sea salt. The dough slices went into the pan, not crowded but sides touching.

prepped pan

ready to rise

They rose for a while (all afternoon in the refrigerator while my kids and I escaped to the zoo, then about 30 minutes at room temperature when we returned home. Have said it before: You be the boss of your bread.) The recipe had the rolls baking at 400°F for 15 minutes, then 350°F for 20 minutes. I should have pulled them earlier as they were starting to dry out. Because I had my young-ens help me slice the dough, some slices were thinner than they should have been. No matter. The brown sugar melted into yummy caramel with a hit of sea salt and when the rolls were flipped onto a plate the bottom became the top. Because the rolls baked a touch too long, this “topping” was a slightly crusty and brittle. Not a bad thing when you’re talking brown sugar.

finished product

finished product with milk

After mixing up the dough last night, I dutifully fed my starter and dated the top of the jar so I know to feed it again in six weeks. Even if I stretch that six weeks into seven, I look forward to continuing with my adventures in sourdough.

Sourdough Sticky Buns

Directions for rising, shaping, and baking are found above. Fill as desired!


  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar

In large bowl, mix all sponge ingredients to stiff dough. Cover; let stand overnight.

Stir 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and baking soda into sponge. Mix until blended, stirring in up to 1/2 cup additional flour to form smooth dough. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 2 to 3 minutes. Roll dough into approximately 18×12-inch rectangle. Proceed with filling, shaping, and baking as directed above. Makes about 18 buns.

3 thoughts on “time to feed the (sourdough) starter

    • The combination IS amazing, for sure. Though I wish I’d done better quality-control and had all slices AT LEAST 3/4 inch thick. Next time:-) Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Pingback: making-do-with-what-I-have pumpkin bread pudding | food for fun


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s