This sourdough bread uses a potato starter or 'bug', which takes three days to mature. A brush with butter partway through cooking creates a lovely coloured top. 






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (1263 votes)



  • 400 g floury potatoes
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 55 g caster sugar


  • 260 g (1 cup) starter
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, for sprinkling

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Proving time 2 hours

Fermenting time 3 days

1. To make starter, peel and slice the potatoes, then cook in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash until smooth. Cool, then place in a large container – it will need room to ferment.

2. Add the plain flour and sugar, mixing to form a dough-like consistency. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave in a warm place to ferment for up to 3 days in cold weather or 1 day in warm weather. Starter is ready when it begins to rise and bubble.

3. To make bread, place the starter in a bowl with the plain flour, caster sugar and hot water. Stir to form a soft dough, then knead for 3 minutes or until smooth.

4. Liberally grease a 1 litre loaf pan with butter and place the dough inside. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place pan in oven and bake for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Return to oven for a further 15 minutes or until golden and just caramelised on top.

6. Cut into slices and serve hot with butter, manuka honey or golden syrup.


Photography by Julian Kingma.