The next time you make yeast dough bread, just cut you out a hunk.
'Tis good for making sourdough cakes, a good sized little chunk.
'Tis also good for biscuits, place it in a bowl or pot,
And cover it with water, keep it cool and not too hot.
It will keep fermenting if you let it stand all night
Behind the stove; and in the morning it will be just right.
If you keep it warm at night, the morn will find it sour;
Add some salt and water, then a pound or two of flour.
Mix it good and knead it down, for biscuits, cakes, or dough;
And let it work until it bubbles for a day or so.
Now it’s ready once again for adding in some flour;
Work and knead it till it’s smooth, for maybe half an hour.
Thin it out for flapjacks, or flour, to make it thick;
For better bread, the more you knead will kind of turn the trick.
Place it where the sun will strike it, say an hour or two,
And when it rises once again, your trouble will be through.
Don’t forget the soda now, a half spoon or so
To counteract the acid, now you're ready for the dough.
Get your oven good and hot, and bake it in a pan.
But, 'fore you do so, save a piece to start your dough again.
Watch your fire and oven, for they mustn’t be too hot.
If it cooks too fast you’re almost bound to spoil the lot.
Let it bake till turning brown, and then a trifle more;
But watch it close, if baking fast, and open up the door.
The time you take is not so bad, when all is done and said;
For there is nothing tastes as good as home made sourdough bread.
From The Stampede and Tales of the Far West: Told in Narrative Verse (Standardized Press, 1938)
This poem is in the public domain.