Sourdough Biscuits {Cooking Through Little House}

Last fall I started a series called “Cooking Through Little House” where I decided to cook a dish mentioned in each of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House Books”.  I was planning to make sourdough biscuits but I took a long break because my starter my sadly killed. I beat around the bush for a long time before I finally bought a new starter from Cultures for Health. After some feedings I finally have a happy new starter who has yet to be named (any suggestions?).
In “By the Shores of Silver Lake” Laura makes sourdough biscuits. Out on the frontier baking powder wasn’t readily available so many women depended on their sourdough starters to leaven their bread and biscuits.

“When you haven’t milk enough to have sour milk, however do you make such delicious biscuits, Laura?” she asked.

“Why, you just use sour dough,” Laura said.

Mrs. Boast had never made sour dough biscuits! It was fun to show her. 

By the Shores of Silver Lake

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Sourdough Biscuits {Cooking Through Little House}
Serves: 15
  • 2 cups sour dough starter (about 8 hours after it’s last feeding, it should be bubbly)
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour (or you can use part unbleached white flour if you want)
  • 6 TBS butter, chilled
  • ¼ cup of raw milk or water if necessary
  • 1 tsp salt (Real or Celtic is best)
  • 1 ½ tsp of baking soda
  1. In a glass bowl pour in the wheat flour. Cut the butter into the flour in small flakes. Add the sour dough starter and stir until the flour is mixed in. If the mixture is too dry add the ¼ cup of milk or water. Cover and let set over night,
  2. In the morning sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the dough. You will see that the dough has risen significantly (thanks to the starter). Gently fold in.
  3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Need a few times, you don’t want the dough to be too stiff. Roll it lightly to a ½ inch thick. Cut out the biscuits with a biscuit cutter or a glass. How big or cutter r glass is will depend on how many biscuits you make. My cutter was about and inch in circumference, so I made about 15 biscuits. Place the biscuit on an ungreased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes. This isn’t necessary but make for lighter biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. When they are lightly golden brown they will be done.
  4. These are delicious by themselves, with butter or jam, served with eggs and bacon or better yet topped with gravy (I see another blog post that needs to be written).


More Cooking Through “Little House” recipes:

Hasty Pudding
Fried Apples and Onions
Ginger “Thirst Quencher”

About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. I used your recipe as the basis for my first ever sourdough biscuits and am very pleased with the result. Light and fluffy biscuits.
    I have 3 staters in the fridge and the spelt starter is the one that requires the most frequent feeding, so I used that one. I added organic sprouted whole spelt flour, milk and yogurt, salt and a small amount of baking soda.
    The only thing I would change next time is to refrigerate the biscuits for at least 1/2 hour before baking as they went sideways instead of up. But they were still delicious!

  2. Sourdough biscuits are a favorite here in our house. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try! 🙂

  3. HI Katie! You know, I love this part of the book where she explains how she “feeds” the sourdough starter because it makes it seem so alive! I loved that these girls and their mom were so in tune and knowledge was handed down. My gran and mom were that way as well and I learned a lot sitting in their kitchens! I also love sourdough bread but never thought to make biscuits that way! Will have to feed up my starter which I put away for the summer (too much work here in the heat!) and make up a batch! Thanks so much for sharing with us on the hearth and soul hop! Big hugs! Alex

  4. Great sourdough recipe. Thanks for sharing this with hearth and soul hop


  1. […] the years, I have created many recipes inspired by Laura’s famous classics such as lemonade, sourdough biscuits, and corn meal mush. One I recently added to my repertoire is buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat […]

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