Sourdough Bread

I am sure many of you have noticed that the grocery stores have been sold out of yeast for weeks, maybe longer, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had only one small package of yeast left in my fridge and decided this was a great time to produce my own sourdough starter that ‘made’ its own yeast. Well, that didn’t work so well for a first try, but that’s ok because our local Rosauser’s grocery began packaging their commercial yeast into 4 oz. packages. I was quick enough to snag one and decided to try this yeast laden starter instead and it worked beautifully! It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the other starter options, but I’ll have to save that recommended recipe for another day.

Sourdough Starter

Keyword: bread, sourdough, starter
Author: *unknown source


  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110-115°)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey


  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water until frothy. Stir in remaining 2 cups water, the flour, and sugar or honey. Beat until smooth. Cover with cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 days or until bubbly; stir 2-3 times each day.
  • To store, transfer starter to a jar and cover with cheesecloth; refrigerate. DO NOT cover jar tightly with a metal lid.
  • To use starter, bring desierd amount to room temperature.
  • To replenish starter after using, stir 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup water, and 1 tsp sugar or honey into remaining amount. Cover; let stand at room temperature at least 1 day or until bubbly. Refrigerate for later use.
  • If starter isn't used within 10 days, stir in 1 teaspoon sugar or honey. Repeat every 10 days until used.

Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread


  • 1 cup Sourdough starter
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110-120°)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups ground whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 cups bread flour


  • Dissolve yeast in warm water; add 1 tsp sugar until frothy.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hooks, combine starter, yeast mixture, oil, honey, eggs and 2 cups wheat flour. Mix well.
  • Add baking soda mixed with flour and salt. Mix well.
  • Add bread flour, one cup at a time.
  • Using the stand mixer, knead with dough hooks for 10 minutes.
  • Grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm place to rise until double in size, about an hour.
  • Shape dough into two loaves and place them in two greased bread pans. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for another 20-30 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes.
  • For a soft crust, brush the top of the loaves with butter while they are still warm. Allow the bread to cool and slice to serve.
  • Store any remaining bread in an airtight container.

Copyright © 2020 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

Autumn Apple Harvest

For over two weeks I have been slicing and peeling apples by the dozens thanks to some very generous colleagues with a bounty to share. I’ve already made 5 pies, 3 dozen apple cinnamon muffins, apple cake, apple onion & yellow squash gratin, AND two dozen caramel apple cinnamon rolls. What’s next on the menu?

You’ll be the first to know when I finally decide… and hopefully I’ll get them finished before the pears and plums show up.

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Apple Cake

Apple Cake

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
5 cups thinly sliced, peeled, diced apples
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350º. Spray a 13×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or cool with shipped cream, ice bream or caramel sauce, if desired.

*Recipe taken from The Pillsbury Cookbook

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday Babe!

My husband is an identical twin born in 1969. If I’m counting right, that means he is 50 years old now. While I have no problem whatsoever with his age, the passage of time does have me thinking about the fact I’m not too far behind him and that does bother me. I know that 50 is the new 40, or is it 40 is the new 50? Well, whatever the phrase is supposed to be, I am pretty sure someone is trying to convince us it is not really a whole half a century OLD. Since I don’t ‘feel’ nearly 50, I am not even sure how we got this old. Regardless of how we feel, look and behave, it sounded like a good reason to host a party and even though he would have been content with a quick trip to the brick oven pizzeria, I had to have a little fun.

Theme is always my first step to planning a party. He’s a guy, a 50 year old guy at that and what is his greatest vice? BEER. I don’t remember beer being such a significant staple in our home until we lived in Europe for 7 years. All of a sudden, he was a self proclaimed expert on craft beer, Belgian beer, US beef, pale ales, stouts, lager, pils, you name it, there was beer involved. So, the theme was pretty darn easy.

Cheers & Beers, Here’s to Brett’s 50 Years….

Theme in hand, I could also quickly decide on decorations. Since beer cans stack pretty easily, I scoured Google and Pinterest for quick ideas for creating a beer can tower. Easy, peasy, 50 cans of three different beers (one per level), I was on a roll.

I thought about how I have cooked with beer sufficiently before, so what if I build a menu around beer as the ingredient? Now, if you know me, you know I don’t drink beer. Not a drop! I never have and I seriously doubt I ever will. So, some will think this was quite a stretch for a non-drinker, but it’s really not much different than cooking with wine. I can’t taste it, and the best part is you definitely cannot smell it, and that is usually what sends me to the hills. Keep in mind, my father has grown malt barley for Budweiser for over 30 years and my husband and son drink probably more beer than water but I don’t even like the smell of it. Just like you, the internet and my collection of cookbooks served me well as I set out to select my menu. I can’t take credit for any of the creative genius, merely the pairing and delivery.

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Kicking up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?chocolate chip cookies

I do! And it’s the infamous Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

However, I don’t use Toll House chocolate chips anymore… not since I discovered Guittard chocolate chips! They are big chips of heaven and the chocolate is soooo much better than Hershey’s, Nestle or Toll House. The 11.5 oz. bag is perfect for a single batch, unless you’ve stumbled onto the 2 lb. bag at World Market and you opt to make two batches with a single bag. That works out to 16 oz. of chips per batch, but who am I to say too many chips in a batch of cookies is a bad thing?! My grandmother, however, would have gotten out her kitchen scale and measured out the appropriate 11.5 oz. because she knew how to ration food (and tin-foil) like the best Irish/German farm woman raised in the depression. Either quantity will still be heavenly. Read More