In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, yeast and salt for Herman Starter. Gradually stir in the water; beat or whisk until smooth. Cover with towel. Set in warm (80 to 85º) draft-free place. Stir 2 or 3 times a day for about 3 days or until starter is bubbly and produces a yeasty aroma. Transfer to larger bowl, large jar or plastic container. Cover partially (tilt lid or punch holes in plastic cover); Refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups starter, depending on thickness. It can be creamy or as thick as dough because of room conditions, the age of "Herman" and other variables.
CARE & FEEDING OF HERMAN:
The starter should be used within 14 days and replenished or fed immediately after each use. To feed starter, stir or whisk in 1 cup each flour and milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Mixture need not be completely smooth. Wait at least 24 hours before using again. If you do not plan to use the starter within 14 days, cover tight and freeze. Then let stand at room temperature several hours or until thawed and bubbly before reusing.
If receiving Herman starter from a friend: Stir and feed Herman on 1st day with 1 cup flour and milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir and feed above ingredients on 5th day. Keep in refrigerator in large covered bowl. Stir him every day.
Stir and measure out 1 c Herman for yourself and 1 cup for a friend. Feed the cup you keep for yourself. Put the remaining Herman in a mixing bowl and add:
2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp soda, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional). Mix at medium speed until blended. Pour into well greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.
Topping Before Baking:
1 tbsp flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 c melted butter and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Mix and pour over cake dough. Use fork to swirl through batter as for marble cake. Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes or a little longer. Check with toothpick.
Glaze After Baking:
1/2 c butter, 1/4 c milk, 1/2 c brown sugar. Put in saucepan and boil 3-4 minutes. Gently spoon over baked cake as soon as it comes from oven.