Potato Flake Sourdough Bread

This is a secret family bread recipe. My potato flake sourdough bread is unique. Its soft texture and sweet taste will have you hooked in no time.

The Story Behind Potato Flake Sourdough Bread

This is a post I have put off for such a long time. Mainly, because I knew it would be a doozy to write up. Also, I’m afraid you’re going to say, “too many steps,” and write off this recipe. DON’T DO THAT. This is seriously the most incredible bread you will EVER make.

This sourdough bread is not your traditional sourdough bread. A typical sourdough bread starter that you are probably thinking over is made of flour and water. This starter is made with potato flakes, yeast, sugar, and water.

This bread is so different from a traditional sourdough that my husband says it shouldn’t even be called sourdough because it doesn’t even taste anything like what you would expect. Instead of being tangy and crusty, this bread is soft and sweet. It will be the perfect addition to any family dinner, made into cinnamon pull apart loaves, rolls, and even paninis.

three whole sourdough bread loaves with golden brown crust

In order to make this bread you have to have a starter. If you live close to me, I’ll gladly give you some! My mom was given her starter by a lady in our church congregation back in the 80’s. Guys, that’s over 30 years ago!! I grew up having this bread for Sunday dinner. My mom would bake it on Saturday nights, and my brothers and I would beg her to cut into a loaf. There is nothing better than bread right out of the oven. When any of my siblings or I go back to my mom’s for a visit, our one request is to always have homemade bread and these Easy Chocolate Eclairs.

More on Potato Flake Sourdough Bread

When I was a freshman at BYU, I swiped some starter from my sister-in-law who had some of my mom’s 80’s starter. I learned quickly that 18-19 year-old boys love fresh baked bread. One time, I was letting my bread rise in the oven, and one of my roommate’s boyfriends preheated the oven to bake cookies. The bowl melted and the dough was ruined. We were all devastated that we wouldn’t have fresh bread that evening.

sourdough bread slices laying on top of each other on a table

When I met my husband, I started making this bread again. Seriously, the way to a guy’s heart is through his stomach. We would meet in the library for lunch each day and eat peanut butter sandwiches on it. Then we got married, had kids, went to grad school two times, and I totally forgot about making sourdough bread.

Last year when the pandemic hit, and everyone got on the sourdough bandwagon, I decided it was time to get it going again. I don’t know why I ever stopped. It’s not hard to keep alive, and it takes maybe 10 minutes total of work to get 4 loaves made. I’ll gladly trade 10 minutes time for fresh homemade bread. Lately, I’ve been experimented with different ways of using the dough. Honey butter dinner rolls. Cinnamon swirl bread. Cinnamon pull-apart loaves. I’m just getting started!

F.A.Q.S for Potato Flake Sourdough Bread

sourdough bread loaves from the side

Additional Bread Recipes You’ll Love

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of sourdough bread, maybe start with a few of these other bread recipes.

sourdough bread slices laying on top of each other on a table

Sourdough Bread

This is a secret family bread recipe. My potato flake sourdough bread is unique. Its soft texture and sweet taste will have you hooked in no time.
4.79 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course bread, Breakfast, dinner, Side Dish
Servings 4 loaves

Ingredients
  

To Make Starter

  • 2 cups warm water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 4 TBS instant potato flakes

To Feed Starter

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 TBS instant potato flakes

To Make Bread

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup potato flake sourdough starter
  • 1 TBS instant yeast
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 6 cups bread flour, plus additional flour (use only bread flour or your bread will not rise)

Instructions
 

Making and Feeding Starter

  • Mix ingredients together and let it sit out all day until the potato flakes rise.
  • Place the starter uncovered in the refrigerator and feed it every 5-7 days.
  • Typically, you want to feed the bread the night before you plan on having fresh bread. 
  • After feeding the starter, let it sit out on counter all day or overnight before you make your bread (about 8 hours). It should bubble and foam. 

Making Bread

  • Give your sourdough starter a good stir before adding it to the bowl. Separation is natural and common.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, sourdough starter, oil, and 1 TBS instant yeast. Leave it for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is active and foamy.
  • Once the yeast is active, add in the salt, and about 5 cups of bread flour. Mix together well. Slowly add in the last cup of flour.
  • The dough will be slightly sticky, but should pull away from the bowl and hold a soft round shape.
  • Quickly remove the dough from the bowl and spray it with cooking spray. Place the dough back in the bowl to rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that has also been sprayed with cooking spray. This prevents any air draft drying out your dough. The spray wrap will prevent the dough from sticking once it has risen.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. I will usually preheat my oven to about 120, turn it off, and stick it in there.
  • Once the dough has risen, it’s time to shape your loaves. I prefer to use medium sized aluminum loaf pans. You can buy a 3 pack for .98. It’s the perfect size. Divide the loaves into 4 equal sizes. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased pan.
  • Cover again with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm space for another 1-2 hours, or until it just at the top of the pans.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Immediately remove from pans onto a cooling rack, and brush the tops with melted butter.

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • At one time a make sourdough English muffins. I do not have any more. Would this starter work with my recipe for them.

    1. That sounds yummy! I have never made sourdough English muffins, but they sounds heavenly. I’m going to put that on my list of things to make. You could definitely try it!

      1. Hey Mary,

        Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I had this exact same recipe when I was 14 that my teacher at the time gave me. I love this bread. Unfortunately I lost the recipe for the starter. I can’t remember though I thought you had to use a cup or give a cup away if you fed it and didn’t make bread. Also is the feeding recipe always the same is been so long since I have had a starter. Thank you again

        Brooke

        1. You may be thinking of Amish friendship bread. I know that is one that you give some away. You could definitely do that with this though too!

          The feeding recipe is always the same 😊

  • At one time I made sourdough English muffins. I do not have a starter now. Would this starter work with my recipe for them.

  • What if you don’t make bread each week? Does the starter just continue to multiply? What do you do with the extra?

    1. Great question! Yes, it will multiply if you don’t make bread every week. If you start to get too much, you can just dump some out, or double the bread recipe when you make it. Once you eat it, though, you’re going to want to make it each week ☺️.

  • 5 stars
    I used by Bosch mixer. For a couple of minutes of effort, I got 4 loaves of bread that were so soft and sweet. They didn’t last long! The starter isn’t hard at all. This recipe is a keeper!

      1. I have yet to try this recipe but I’m quite interested. Do you still live in Utah, maybe I could get some starter from you?

  • I am back on this website again! Looking for the perfect recipe! I’m so excited to try this sourdough. I love everything you post!

  • Hi there, should the starter be runny? I’m on my second feeding at it’s very watery. I panicked and added a few extra tablespoons of potato flakes.

    1. Yay! You’re going to love it! If you look at the recipe you’ll that it says 1 cup warm water, 3/4 cup sugar, and 3 tbs potato flakes to feed it. Let me know if you have other questions.

        1. I have never used butter ones. I’d suggest using plain because I’m not sure how that would turn out.

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for your recipe! I had been making a version of this without the addition of the yeast. But as you said, that version is often inconsistent in rising, so I’ve switched to yours and don’t plan to go back! It’s a “No Worries” recipe now! You still get that wonderful Potato Flake Sourdough Starter flavor and can have your bread made in half the time of the more traditional recipe.

  • 5 stars
    I tried your recipe last week and gave the bread to neighbors–it was a huge hit!
    My question is–since it takes so long to make the starter then the dough, can I save any of the dough in the refrigerator until the next day to make a fresh loaf?

    1. I’m so glad it was a hit. You don’t need to make the starter each time. Keep the starter in the fridge and feed it before you want to make bread. I haven’t tried making it by keeping the dough in the fridge. If I did try, I’d do it during the second rise and make sure it is really well covered.

    2. Instead of using any commercial yeast I just add a little more potato flake starter and have never had any problem with it not rising.

  • This is the very best bread recipe I have ever used!!!! I’ve been making bread for 50 years and experimented with tons of recipes. So perfect for sandwiches, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls.
    Just perfect*****

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve only made the bread in the recipe. How do you use it for dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls? Thank you!

      1. This is the best comment! I’m so glad you love this bread as much as I do. Check out my post on Sourdough variations for help with other recipes.

  • Hi. I made my starter on Monday of this week. I let it sit for about 8 hours. The potato mix separated, with the liquid on the top. It has stayed that way since being in the fridge.
    Should it look like that? I know the yeast is good. My water temp. was good.I mixed it before it’s 8 hour rest. The I did not notice a rising of the potato part.
    Do you think it will work? Should I start over?
    Thank you for your help. I’m so looking forward to this recipe.
    Your website is very pretty.

    1. I’m so glad you’re taking the leap to make the bread. The separation is completely normal. When you feed it again, it will mix together and separate again. Just make sure to give it a good stir before measuring it when making your dough. Think of it like an oil/vinegar mixture. Let me know if you have other questions!

  • I’m so glad I found your website–this sounds like the sourdough starter recipe my grandmother used in the 80s that I have been trying to track down ever since. I have a possibly dumb question. I made the starter with the two cups of water/potato flakes/yeast/sugar, then on day four fed it with the cup of water, sugar, and more potato flakes, then put the whole quart jar in the fridge because I couldn’t bake right away. When I’m getting ready to bake bread do I feed the whole jar another cup of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and 3 T of potato flakes, or do I take out some of it and feed that in a different container? I have never watched the whole process from start to finish. Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad you found my site as well! It’s such delicious bread and everyone deserves to have it in their life!

      I always feed it the night before making it. I never pull some out, I just feed the whole container. If you wind up with too much starter, you can always dump some out. I prefer to keep at least 1 cups worth. I’ve been working on some recipe other than bread with the starter and they are good 😊

      You can also look at my Instagram highlights @bakingitbeautiful. I have quite a few videos on there for the sourdough bread.

  • This is delicious! And your ideas are wonderful! I’m new to baking bread, so forgive me if this question is silly. I have potato flake starter gifted to me by a friend. I made my first batch of rolls the same weekend. Now, I’m a little over zealous and want to try making cinnamon rolls, but the week isn’t over yet until I’m supposed to feed. Do I have to wait the 5 to 7 days? Or can I use the starter as often as I like but go through the feeding process each time I want to take a cup?

    1. I’m so glad you love this bread!! The cinnamon pull apart loaf is a favorite. You can feed it as often as you’d like. Enjoy ❤️

  • 5 stars
    Was wondering if anyone has subbed the water for buttermilk to make more of a dinner roll style? I’ve played around with this recipe quite a bit and will definitely try the addition of yeast to help the rise since it’s cooled off so much

    1. I love the idea of the buttermilk. I think buttermilk makes everything better and I definitely think it will work.