Momma Told Me: Fuss Free Homemade Garlic Sourdough Bread Thanks To @Shirley_J Mixes

Blog Archive

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fuss Free Homemade Garlic Sourdough Bread Thanks To @Shirley_J Mixes

*** I was provided product samples to experiment with in my kitchen, for the purpose of this series. No further compensation was received. All photos below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
Garlic Sourdough Bread
Momma Told Me: Making bread's not like baking cupcakes!
I've mentioned before, growing up, my household had nearly every latest kitchen appliance and gadget. Few families could say they had an ice cream maker, dehydrator, and bread maker in the early 90s; but Momma was a wizard in the kitchen, and Pop was happy to indulge her taste in expensive equipment so long as she indulged his with the results. Next to the DAK ice cream maker, our household's bread machine was my favorite. It had a state of the art timing system that would start the yeast introduction and rising process 4 hours prior to your 'wake up' time, so the very first thing you smelled the following day was freshly baked bread. The scent was almost as intoxicating as a just brewed pot of coffee, and I always got the first slice.

Today, modern bread makers are much more affordable and mainstream, with even more, simplistic, operations and functions. I bought one when we moved in here over a year and a half ago- it hadn't been out of the box yet. I'll admit, I'm terrible when it comes to reading instructions and learning new appliances; I'm sure it's easy enough to master, but I've simply put it off. So, naturally, when Shirley J offered to send me some box mixes with simple 'hand' instructions, I jumped at the chance.
As an avid foodie and Food Network/Gordon Ramsay addict, I'm familiar with the name, Shirley J, for their patented Whisk Bliss product- which we'll delve into a little further into this review series. At it's core, Shirley J is a slightly whimsical line of cooking aids that are often featured everywhere from schools to Master Chef kitchens. What began as a humble innovation to revolutionize simple sauces and mixes through a universal base,Whisk Bliss, has blossomed into a product collection with over 20 products for master and budding chefs. One of their collections consists of baking mixes from sweet to savory, including a Sourdough Bread mix. Available in a single loaf 12oz box, or 4lb mix, the Sourdough Bread offers a simple approach to traditionally drawn out fresh bread at home; just add yeast and water.

I'll admit, I first brought a box over to my father's, out of nostalgia- He was tempted to throw the mix in the old bread maker, and I agreed in the spirit of experimentation. Well, these Shirley J boxed mixes are made for convenience- while we did end up with a delicious, fluffy, Sourdough Bread, the process took over 4 hours in the machine, and is not recommended via the package instructions. Regardless, I brought half the loaf home (which was a generous 6" at that), and Jay proceeded to consume the entire portion in the wee hours of the night. Knowing the bread, itself, was a hit, I set out to follow the instructions to the 'T' the following attempt.

I'd never made bread by hand before, with the exception of crust/pizza dough  (believe it or not), so I was initially intimidated. It turns out the Shirley J baking instructions are very easy to follow; the most important part is patience between kneading and rising. I don't have a 'stand' mixer, just a handheld, so the initial introduction of the dough, warm water, and yeast was a bit drawn out. With a suggested 15 minutes of initial kneading, I ended up doing the last 5 by hand. I then placed the dough in a warm place, where I removed it and spend more time kneading it on a floured surface, before allowing it to rise one final time. The preparation process, including rise time, allotted near an hour, though the bake time was about 12 minutes.
Garlic Sourdough Bread
During the last 5 minutes of bake time I brushed some garlic butter over the top of the loaf, and sprinkled some chopped, pickled garlic, over the top. The garlic curled and browned beautiful along the butter rub, and ended up giving the crust a wonderful flavor and texture (much like the onion bagels of my childhood). There is no doubt this Shirley J mix is a time-saver, and a new favorite in our home. I only wish I had the 4lb mix, because we are going through the boxes fast! I can't wait to see what other kitchen magic Shirley J had in store for us, stay tuned, and keep an eye out for Shirley J products at a store near you, or online through their retail website and Amazon.

What Daughter Says: You don't have to own a professional bakery to enjoy fresh baked bread in your home, thanks to Shirley J.


  1. Your bread is a thing of beauty. You might want to start looking into that stand mixer......

  2. I've been making bread by hand for years. I love the smell of home baked bread & this one looks tasty!

  3. It is way too hard to stop by your blog without drooling over the amazing food. This bread looks fantastic! I have always wanted to try making my own.

  4. Now that looks delicious! I've been wanting to try out homemade bread!

  5. That is so cool! I have tried to make bread once so far. I am looking for the better mix though - I should give Shirley Mixes a try