A post from Chloe.

I have the girls here staying and we are having a wonderful time but oh boy it is hectic!   Chloe is filling in as we have had requests for information on how she has adapted her sour dough to the bread maker.  We both mastered sour dough and I strongly encourage it as you are then never going to need to buy yeast again!

So over to Chloe!

Hello Lovely Ladies. I’m flattered to think I might have something helpful to share with you all. Sometimes it’s the simple little things that free you up and help you out… like Mum says, set your hand maids to work! 

With my husband and two sons to feed, I am going through more and more bread, and as they all like to start their day with toast I felt I should try to come up with a healthier (and heartier) choice than the store bought white options. 

Sourdough has a much lower GI than white and contains healthy prebiotics, is easier to digest, is more filling and a homemade loaf contains 6 ingredients compared to the 22 in a loaf of Wonderwhite! 

I’ve always enjoyed sourdough but it can be rather time consuming and messy so I researched the best bread makers for my needs and took the plunge and made the investment (a Panasonic SD-YR2550SST). 

Here in SA I can get a 5kg bag of bread flour for between $10-$14. A bag will give me 13 loaves, so that works out to be no more than $1 a loaf (compared to $7+ per loaf at Woolies, and theirs are full of hidden ingredients and are around half the size). Whilst the machine was not cheap I figure it will have paid for itself in under 6 weeks.

Although my new machine has an impressive 31 settings and a delay timer, none of them allowed for the necessary combination of vigorous dough formation, extended rise time and delayed bake that sourdough needs so I persisted till I came up with a fool proof method. Now we wake to the glorious smell of hot bread wafting down the hall from the kitchen and I can just slice it up, slather it in butter and homemade jam and the boys devour it! 

As there are no preservatives I do find it dries out quickly so I just chuck whatever is left in a freezer bag (they don’t tend to leave much behind) till I have enough scraps to make one of Mums divine bread and butter cakes…. You can bake it on a Saturday afternoon and then gently reheat it for a truly decadent Sunday brunch. Or even simple French toast can revamp stale bread into something yummy (and the extra eggs are good for the kids especially if you keep your own chickens). 

So… I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge in the morning and give it a generous feed. Later I come back,  scoop out a full cup and return the rest to its jar in the fridge. 

To that cup of starter I add 1 cup of bread flour and 1 cup of water and leave it to bubble. Then I add a pinch of pink salt, a tablespoon of good olive oil, a tablespoon of good honey and 3 cups of bread flour. I give it a quick stir then dump it into the bread machine. 

You want to pick whichever setting has the longest dough and rise times (ignore the bake time). For my machine that’s “11-French” which runs for around 5 hours. I let it work away and then turn it off before the actual baking begins as this is simply not enough time for sourdough to rise properly. 

At this stage a true artisan might choose to allow a first true rise before continuing but I find it’s not necessary so I skip that. 

I take the dough out, remove the dough arm and pop the dough back in. I dust the top with flour and score it with a lame (even a simple straight cut down the length will add to the look and allow for an easier rise). 

Sourdough needs a long bake time so I use the longest baking setting (ignore the dough and rise times and just look for the longest bake time) which on my machine is “1-Basic”, then set the delay timer to end just before you will want to serve breakfast. As the dough arm is removed, the pin can spin all it likes and the loaf won’t be effected by the preset dough and rise times of your chosen bake setting. It will just happily rise away overnight till the bake portion of your setting kicks in. Haha it is a brilliant trick and works every time! Even on the coldest, darkest winter morning the smell is enticing enough to help you out of bed. 

If only I’d known sooner that it could be this easy! I hope this works for you if you decide to give it a go… enjoy! 

x Chloe.

Thank you so much Chloe and also for the beautiful photos!    It is a bit exciting for Chloe to write her first post!   I am very thrilled with how she has worked on her home making and homesteading skills!    

I will see you Friday, hopefully with a lot of good things to report! xxx

PS.... The bread and butter pudding/cake recipe is here Never waste one slice of bread.


  1. Thank you so much Chloe! You’ve done an amazing job of figuring that out. I have a Panasonic bread maker that I bought 13 years ago. It has been used so much but is still going strong. From your description above it sounds like many of the settings are still the same so I’ll be giving this a go. How lucky are your family to wake up to fresh bread every morning?! Also, can I just say that your cakes are just gorgeous. You are so talented. I love when Annabel posts pictures of them!
    Jen (NZ)

  2. Chloe thank you for this. I have been looking at a new bread machine for a couple of months. I have been trying to research one that would work with sourdough. Now I have a plan to follow and a machine to have a look at.
    I have followed Mum's blog for such a long time and had never seen the the bread and butter cake before. I can see that one will feature here in the near future.
    I cant wait to have the smell of fresh bread filling the house first thing in the morning. Thank you Chloe

    1. Jane, My Zojirushi machine has a cycle for sourdough so you may want to have a look at that one as well.

    2. Lana thank you. That's a brand name I don't know. Time for more research

  3. That was such a concise and useful description for making sourdough in the bread machine. The notion of the pin spinning through the cycles without damaging the rise is brilliant. I've been removing the paddle but then setting for rise and then bake separately, requiring me to be present as each cycle ended.
    You are your mother's daughter and your cakes are exquisite. Best wishes to you!

  4. Debby in Kansas USA17 April 2023 at 05:48

    Ooh, you have mastered the mystery! I absolutely want to try it as our sourdough loaves run $3 and up. That $3 is in a store we only visit once per month and we have to freeze them.

    Would you share the recipe and starter since machines tend to be similar enough in size?

    Thanks ever so much! And also, that bunny cake is so sweet looking! Just beautiful!! All your cakes are gorgeous!

  5. Sourdough bread also reduces the glycaemic load of a meal.
    Pity I didn't know this years ago when I wanted to make sourdough in the bread maker, these days I am trying to eat grain free, and it's very trying!

  6. Chloe, thank you so much for this info. I hope very much we will see more posts from you in the future.

  7. Great work arounds Chloe - if you add some milk powder or increase the olive oil your bread will have more keepability - milk powder will also add some protein - as you are using a strong bread flour additions should not impact the rise - if you have lots of fresh milk you can replace any water you may add

  8. Dear Chloe,

    What a great idea...I never thought about removing the paddle! Brilliantly simple. And of course we all want to compliment you on your beautiful cakes! xx from NS, Canada.


  9. Chloe, you are resourceful and talented like your Mum. I don't have a bread machine, but you have figured out how to do the sour dough in yours and that is wonderful.
    Your cakes are so beautiful. You have a true talent for making things look lovely.
    Blessings to you,

  10. Thank you, Chloe, for the extremely brilliant tutorial. Absolutely love all your cakes. You are so talented. Cookie

  11. Thank you, Chloe for your time and talent! It will certainly help many .
    And I must say, your cakes are so gorgeous! When ever your mom shares them, we are so delighted. I always share the photos with my daughters. They are inspired.
    Blessings, Leslie

  12. Dear Chloe, you are so talented! The bread is wonderful and all your cakes are absolutely beautiful - but your pictures presented here and the written lines are, too, so well done that I could literally smell the bread while reading. Thank you

    I don*t have a bread machine, I usually knead by hand and am using aproximatelly the same recipe - I just add for 2 kg of flour 3 table spoons of sour cream or butter milk or plain yoghurt (whatever I have) and it gives a fluffy texture to the bread.

    Sending much love from far away Laura_s_world from Romania

  13. Thank you Chloe for your informative post. I am going to look into the machine you have. I like the idea of waking up to a house smelling of bread baking. Mmmmmm

  14. This brilliant Chloe. It’s also unbelievable as I came online to see if Annabel had info on sourdough and saw she had just posted info. While I loved the content I was really wishing to find a way to use my bread machine . I came back from feeding my starter to find your post with the icing on the cake being I have the same machine ( I’m pretty sure) Thank you , I can’t wait to try it out


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