How to make Sourdough bread from start to finish, Sloppy Joes and Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream

bakery background
bakery background

A bright young college student, observant and full of questions, begins today's column. Stella Curry wrote, "I am a vegan and do not like the vegan cheese sold in stores, so I would like a source for real and really good vegan cheese. I guess I should also ask whether I could learn to make it."

Consider another request, anonymously, for a soup like the chicken and pasta version served at J. Alexander's.

And here is a final query for the day, one we merely overheard. "How do you make an old-fashioned milkshake?"


Oh, how the ice cream churns these hot July days. Thank you to Bobbie Jones of Soddy-Daisy for this unique recipe, prepared in her White Mountain freezer.

Bobbie's Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream

2 cups sugar

1 large can Pet evaporated milk

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

3 eggs

3 to 4 bananas, mashed

1 large can crushed pineapples, drained

1 small jar cherries, cut small

1 (10-ounce) bag strawberries, mashed

1 small bag pecans, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (almond preferred by the sender)

Skim milk to fill - almost

Mix together all ingredients except skim milk. Pour into ice cream canister. Add skim milk almost to fill line. Place the can into outer freezer container, and add ice and ice cream salt. This mixture takes a little longer to freeze because of the heavy ingredients.


Dorma Pomeroy had another nomination for a go-to cookbook: "Fix, Freeze, Take and Bake." She explained, "This little cookbook is a boon for busy moms on a daily basis or when holidays bring extra family or friends to our table." She shared several recipes from that favorite book, and we'll print them as we go, starting with Sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 medium onion, diced

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 beef bouillon cubes

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

In a large saucepan brown beef and pork. Drain fat. Add onion and sauté. Add tomato sauce, mustard, garlic, beef bouillon cubes and oregano. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Freeze in freezer bags or in an airtight container.

To prepare, thaw mixture in refrigerator or microwave. Warm on stovetop, adding a touch more water for a thinner consistency and to avoid scorching. Serve on buns (the sender toasts hers).


Thanks to you, Renate Stone, for this introduction to the making of sourdough bread. "Over 40 years ago, I was given a cup of sourdough starter (the one with the potato flakes) and instructions for how to make the bread. I made the bread for years and years for my family and friends. I even sold some at a farmers market here in Tullahoma. Before I traveled overseas, I would put a cup of starter in the freezer to use after my return. But I never knew how to actually make the starter.

"Later I got tired of making the bread. Then a few years ago you published your article with instructions how to make the sourdough starter, but no instructions on how to make the bread." So Ms. Stone made the starter, and stirred it into several batches of her well-tested bread. Rebooting her bread-baking reminded her that "yes, the whole process is time-consuming."

And as these discussions always confirm, it just may be worth it.

Nancy of Live Oak got her sourdough bread starter from her mother in long ago 1985.

"I had it for years. I also shared the starter with friends over the years. At some point my original starter died due to not being fed in my absence and I was able to get some of the 'original' from one of those friends.

"Here is the recipe. It is important to use nonmetallic bowls and utensils when mixing and storing starter. It is also necessary for the starter to be able to 'breathe,' so make sure the lid is ajar."

Sourdough Starter and Bread

To make the starter:

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes (I use Hungry Jack)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package) - not instant yeast

In a tall plastic or glass container, combine instant potato flakes, sugar, warm water and yeast. Cover loosely, and let sit on the counter for 3 to 5 days, stirring daily with wooden spoon.

(If you receive starter from someone else, you may omit this step.)

To feed the starter:

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup warm water

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

At the end of 3 to 5 days, feed the starter with starter feeder mix, stirring well with nonmetallic utensil. Cover loosely, and leave on the counter for 8 to 12 hours or overnight.

Then take out 1 cup of the starter to use to make bread dough. Refrigerate the remaining starter.

To keep the starter in the refrigerator alive for future bread:

Feed it with the above ingredients every 3 to 5 days. Each time you feed the starter, you need to either use 1 cup to make bread, share with a friend or discard a cup. If you do not do this, it will deplete your starter.

To make bread:

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup corn oil (see note)

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups warm water

6 cups bread flour

1 cup fed starter

In a very large glass or plastic bowl, combine sugar, corn oil, salt, water, bread flour and one cup of fed starter.

Once the dough has come together into a stiff batter, spray another large bowl with cooking spray or grease with oil.

Place dough into prepared bowl, and turn dough over so that all sides of dough are covered with spray or oil.

Cover bowl with a kitchen towel, and let sit for 8 to 12 hours, away from drafts. Overnight is perfect.

(If kitchen is cold: Heat cup of water in the microwave, then with the microwave off, put the dough in there with the steamy water. This works especially well in winter when it might be hard to find a warm place for the dough to rise.)

After 8 to 12 hours, punch down the dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times to remove any air bubbles.

Divide dough into thirds, and place into prepared loaf pans (greased or sprayed), shaping into loaf form. Cover loosely, and let rise roughly 8 to 12 hours. Can be overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. If desired, you can brush tops with melted butter.

Basically the rotation works out to be morning and evening. You can feed in the evening, make dough in the morning, divide into pans next evening and bake in the morning. Just play with the time and have fun and enjoy the wonderful aroma of fresh bread, whenever you choose to begin.

Note: I have only used corn oil. Other options were not available in 1985 like today. Please feel free to experiment with newer options.


Here's a cool tip from Gigi of East Brainerd. To ensure crisp salad greens, after washing the greens, roll them up in an absorbent kitchen towel and refrigerate until mealtime for a fresh-tasting salad.

Thank you for your good company this day.


* Vegan cheese source (retail or recipe)

* Chicken pasta soup, as served at J. Alexander's

* Old-fashioned milkshake


Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750


photo Jane Henegar

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