Little Feet Biscuits

Last month, my 18-year-old daughter M, recently back from school in Europe and living with me while looking for an apartment and taking classes locally, nervously approached me. “Mom, I have to tell you something, and you’re not going to be happy about it.”

That right there was almost as thrilling as the time I got a phone call from a man identifying himself as a Highway Patrol officer and wanting to know if a certain young man was my son. He was (and still is)… but let’s not dwell on the past.

In the first few seconds, my thoughts ran something like this: I see no bruises no broken bones no scratches on the car   she could be failing her classes but probably not she’s bright and usually does her homework   god help her if she broke my oven but it was working last I checked—

Oh. OH. No. But what else? Realization settled in: patter… of… little… feet. Oh my. Well. Hm. No. No no no no no! OK, let’s not panic here. She can still finish school, she can still—

Little feet, indeed. Moms always know these things.

“I got a dog.”

Like I said, she’s a smart one. Anyone who can elicit the words “Oh, thank GOD, you got a DOG!” from my lips, when the words “What the hell were you thinking?” rightfully belong there, is no dummy.

Now before you go assuming that I’m a pathetically oblivious parent not to have noticed that my daughter had been keeping a puppy in her room for two days, or wondering why our Boston Terrier, Ruby, didn’t tip M’s hand, consider that Roxy, the Miniature Pinscher in question, weighed all of 2.5 pounds when she joined the household. Small enough for M to take in her coat pocket, for crying out loud, when she went to class or was otherwise out of the house. And when she was here, small enough to curl up and make like a dust bunny if I happened to poke my head into M’s room. As for Ruby, well, she’s getting old and one needs to make allowances.

I didn’t notice until after I made these dog biscuits (which are much too big for both Roxy and Ruby, but can be easily broken) that Nancy Silverton, from whose Breads from the La Brea Bakery the recipe is adapted, says they make good teething biscuits for babies too. So I guess we can just call them Little Feet Biscuits and cover all the bases. Not that I want M to get any more ideas.

Sourdough Dog Biscuits

Yield: a lot


  • 341 g whole wheat flour
  • 227 g flour
  • 558 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • 174 g water
  • 45 g wheat germ
  • 85 g yellow corn meal
  • 45 g vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cubes vegetarian bouillon, crumbled (the original La Brea recipe contains no bouillon and instead has 1 t. salt and 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flours, starter, water, wheat germ, corn meal, oil, and bouillon. Mix on low speed for about a minute, until the ingredients are roughly combined.
    2. Continue mixing on medium speed until the dough comes together around the hook. This might take about 4 minutes, but will depend on your mixer.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and work for a minute or so, until you have a smooth ball.
    4. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and ferment for 2 hours at room temperature.
    5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven with two oven racks, to 400F.
    6. Working with half the dough at a time, turn it onto a floured counter and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/3-inch. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. You can gather the scraps and reroll as often as necessary to use all the dough. For bite-sized treats, I rolled thin ropes of dough and used a dough cutter to cut it into small pieces.

  1. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.
  2. Bake two sheets at a time for about 30 minutes (less for the bite-sized bits), rotating the sheets halfway through the bake, if necessary, to ensure even browning.
  3. When all the biscuits have been baked, consolidate them onto two baking sheets. Turn the oven off and put the biscuits back into the oven, with the door ajar, for about 15 minutes to dry out.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lisa in Germany says

    What an adorable little puppy!!!! I have an all red min/pin. She is now 13 years old and going grey, blind and deaf. She is a PIA sometimes, but I love her to death and glad she is in my life.

  2. says

    OH, MY GOD!!!!!

    THat has got to be the sweetest looking puppy ever!

    Loved this post, and I hope you will give frequent updates on the growing of “the baby” :-)

    (I can tell he is already being completely spoiled….. )

  3. says

    I am a huge fan of your stories. Have you ever thought of turning them into a book? I’d be first in line to have it autographed! Lovely puppies too.

  4. Sheu says

    I am fairly new to your blog, but I can say that I love it !!
    BTW will be trying those for mu puppies, no fair my hubby is the only one to get to taste the goodies from your recipes !! And would love if you could send me some insight of SFBI !! Planning to attend next september !!

  5. says

    What a funny story and adorable dog! I never thought of using sourdough starter to make dog biscuits. Our dog, starts drooling whenever I refresh my starter (I think he likes the smell) and would probably love these!

  6. says

    What a cute puppy and a funny story. I love the fact that you worried if the oven was broken, that could be me, too. :-)
    I would like to see more puppy pics, too!

  7. says

    That puppy is so cute. The fun news is that they don’t get much bigger then that.

    That must be one quiet puppy to not let you find it out.

    I smuggled a kitten home when my parents were out of town. Lucky for them and me (they hate cats and would have killed me) I was allergic to it and gave it to a friend after a couple of days.

  8. Erika says

    LOVE this!! Your sense of timing is terrific and I am a sucker for a happy dog “tail”.
    Yes, PLEEZE turn your stories into a book! You have so many and are a natural story teller.
    The biscuits are beautiful–maybe I will get a dog too!

  9. Susan LeRay says

    I’ve enjoyed all of your posts (for the past year or so) but this is my favorite. And I really needed to feel good today. Thanks.

  10. Janknitz says

    One guesses that your daughter is not going to be as successful sneaking “her” dog back to school in Europe or on to college or wherever she is going.

    So, congratulations on YOUR new puppy. Very cute (and I loved the post!). ;o)

  11. says

    If it doesn’t ‘work out’, call me, I’m a big sucker (there’s an ‘S’ written on my forehead) for cute puppies and kittens.

    P.S. Hannah, thanks you for the recipe.
    :) Enjoy your sweet new bundle of joy, and try to contain your excitement. You tried to fool us, but we know a kind-hearted soul when we see one.

  12. says

    what a nice idea, susan! and nice puppy too!
    but I am too busy with my numerous kids to have time to bake dog’s cookies too…and I should make a lot as our dog is XXL size!
    have a nice w.e.!

  13. luv2cknbk says

    What a cute story and as a mother of a grown daughter I can totally empathize with what went through your head at the moment. What a brilliant way of telling the story.
    Though I never had a dog, I too have made NS’s dog biscuits for my daughter-in-law’s dog and to take to friends who have dogs. One word of advice; make sure the biscuits are very dry, and hard. One time, I baked these biscuits to a deep golden brown and left them to dry in the oven for an add’l 15 minutes after turning off heat, per instructions, and put them into a jar after totally cooling. A couple of weeks later there was mold all over the biscuits. Better to leave biscuits to dry a bit longer before storing.

  14. Takahiro says

    it is indeed a cute, cute story that I just had to smile and that really made my day. Thanks a bunch for sharing ! (and I am a big (secret) fan of your bread……!!!!!)

  15. says

    Oh my goodness! What an adorable little puppy! I didn’t know that dogs like sourdough…I’m going to have to get a puppy so that I can bake these biscuits.

  16. says

    my partner e has a terrible habit of saying there is bad news and making me very nervous but it is usually just a celebrity death in the media rather than something that directly affects us – I always breathe a sigh of relief – hope ruby is enjoying the company.

    Can’t believe your dogs are having home made sourdough biscuits – hope they are appreciating that there are many of us our here who would love some sourdough baking

  17. says

    Looks like I’ll have to give this recipe a try when we near the end of the current batch of store bought cookies.

    And congrats on the new addition to the family. Such a pint sized cutie!

  18. says

    Oh, and a question: Is there any particular reason for using vegetable bouillon instead of beef or chicken? Just curious, not that our dogs will care; they quite gladly eat salad fixins that ‘accidentally’ fall off the counter.

  19. says

    Thanks for the sweet comments, everyone. M and Roxy have have moved out into their own place, but they visit often. Roxy is such a little bundle of energy! She reminds me of Tigger in Winnie the Pooh.

    Paul, it was vegetarian bouillon only because that was what I had around. I think beef or chicken would be just fine.

  20. mlaiuppa says

    Roxy is adorable.

    If you ban your daughter from keeping her….I’LL TAKE HER!

    (I make my dog biscuits too. Whole wheat and all natural ingredients. That dog eats better than I do.)

  21. says

    I so loved the dog teethers and the story. Being a mom myself I can relate to the panic our children can put us through. There are worse things than getting a dog, all needs to be taken in perspective. I inherited a dog from my daughter, after her 3rd child she could not also take care of her dog and so I took him in, even though it was the last thing I’d dream of taking care of. But I must confess I fell in love with the most unlikely thing I thought I’d ever love. I now think dog people are a special kind of people.
    Thanks for sharing your creation, I will try it immediately. Paco Tequila, my dog loves to bite on things, these will come in handy.
    Love your blog!

  22. Jenny says

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – treats for my dog with starters – a bunch of them sitting around to be thrown away, and I want to use them. Tried doing some that day, but felt it was a little bland. My dog seems to like it though, I’m sure he’ll like this better, better than the cube shapes that I made…. your recipe looks really tasty…..

  23. Sharryn says

    Thanks for this fun recipe. I made a batch, and shared with several canine friends, as well as my own Schnauzer. It was a solid hit with all the dogs. I’m doing another batch again tomorrow. The dogs preferred the bone shape over the tidbits, but then again, mine were more like TIDBITS!

  24. BellesAZ says

    I wonder how the new puppy is coming along? Has M moved and found a new apartment?

    I’ve been rescuing dogs and studying nutrition for about a decade now. Owning German Shepherds with allergies to just about everything, has forced me into this role. Admittedly, I wander into it with open eyes and arms.

    One consideration about these biscuits is if you’re going to make them a routine part of puppy diets, i.e. daily treats find a substitute for the wheat flour and the corn. I use oat and rice flour and my dogs get just two cookie treats a day. Well, OK – they might get a third if I get the “look”.

  25. Sharryn says

    I have two black Schnauzers (rescue dogs) who absolutely LOVE these treats, and they are the only treats my sister-in-law’s dog will eat. We are snowbirds, between our homes, and I only have access to one half-sheet pan. I am thinking of freezing part of the dough. Would you let it rest for the two hours first, or freeze it as soon as it is mixed, or??????

  26. Gilda says

    Well, I made these yesterday. Husband , daughter and I loved them and dog is just crazy about them. I do not have bone shaped cookie cutter, so just cut strips. Great treats.

  27. Julie says

    Awesome idea for using up starter that otherwise would have been thrown out. Not having more than 160 grams of starter on hand, I cut the recipe by 5 and made a small batch of training treats for our dogs. They are very happy to have a training session now LOL One of them followed me around for several minutes afterwards trying to con me into “training” her some more ;-). I didn’t taste them, but my dogs give them two thumbs up.

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