How To Make Sourdough Starter…The Nancy Silverton Way

Bread | February 9, 2009 | By

banana cakeBy Danny

For those of you who don’t know Nancy Silverton—google her name, get a hold of one of her cookbooks, and learn! She used to run La Brea Bakery here in Los Angeles, and is now one of the chefs at one of L.A’s most celebrated restaurants, Mozza.

She is a bread genius, and I recently found this neat little video of some cool lady making a sourdough starter the Nancy Silverton way! You see, my dough baby Tiffany totally died and I need to make a new one. Even my TRICKS TO REVIVE SOURDOUGH STARTER didn’t work. Thank god for Nancy! Check it out the video!

Best Trader Joes Products

Bread | November 29, 2008 | By

banana cakeBy Danny

brioche bread

Favorite Trader Joes Product

If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you than this series of posts is for you! Trader Joe’s is fantastic because they have great quality products at very cheap prices. The problem however, is that there are so many to choose from that I easily get overwhelmed (like I do with cookbooks, which is why I compiled the Ultimate Cookbook List!). So I got to thinking that other people might also be wondering which products are great, and which are so so, which is where this series of posts come in!

Best Trader Joes Products after the jump…

In the next coming weeks I’ll be posting some of my favorite products, like the Brioche loaf pictured above! This brioche loaf is fantastic. It is fluffy and full of flavor, and perfect for french toast or bread pudding!

Do you have any favorite TJ’s products? If so leave me a comment and let me know!

Best Banana Bread Recipe

Baking, Bread | July 26, 2008 | By

Best Banana Bread Recipe

Best Banana Bread Recipe

This is the best banana bread recipe I’ve found on the internets. The key to this recipe is that the flour must be sifted PRIOR to measuring, and the bananas MUST be really, really, really brown and syrupy. If you’re looking for a banana bread with a twist, try this recipe for classic banana bread with walnut coffee crumble!




  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour



Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve. I sometimes add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips! yum!

3 Ways To Revive A Sourdough Starter

Baking, Bread | June 27, 2008 | By

sourdough starter
I’m a bad dad. I totally let my dough baby Tiffany, die. I know, I know. Bad Dad! The good news however is that there are three things you can do to revive a dead starter.

Reviving Sourdough Starter

1. Feed The Sourdough Starter Every 24 hrs

Add the same amount of bread flour as there is dough starter with a tiny bit of water. Mix until the flour and the starter come together to form a stiff dough that holds together. Let it rest at room temperature inside of a covered jar that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil. Allow it to rest 24 hours, then repeat the first step only this time throw half of the starter out, otherwise you will have WAY too much starter. Do this until the dough doubles within 6 hours of resting. The baby is alive again!

2. Add Organic Rye Flour

If the first step doesn’t work after a week, try adding organic rye flour instead of bread flour. Only do this once, then continue using bread flour as instructed in the first step. Rye flour has wild yeast in it (well, technically all flour does, but rye flour has WAY more!) and this sometimes helps revive the yeast in the starter.

3. Place Sourdough Starter In Warm Place

Try step #1 & #2 but instead of letting it sit at room temperature, turn the oven on and place the jar on TOP of the oven. Leave the jar there for a few hours, but not longer than six. Yeast tends to activate faster in warm temperatures, so the heat from the oven gives the starter a jump-start.

If these three steps don’t work then I’m afraid your dough baby is totally dead. Sorry. Let the resuscitation begin!

All tips and instructions taken from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s fantastic book,The Bread Bible