My first sourdough bread!
Ok, so it's not going to win any beauty contests, but it tasted great! It was really sour, with a crunchy crust, and moist inside! I am very pleased!
I liked the idea of making a starter from just flour and water (and no juice or other stuff), so that's what I did. I used whole wheat flour, because I was less likely to run out of it in the near future! (I live in a rural area and can't always get to the supermarket.) I fed it 1/4 c whole wheat flour and some water, twice per day, and let it sit out on the table. I just sort of eyeballed the water amount. Later on I decided I had been under-watering it, and gave it a bit more. I don't know if I was right on this count, but anyway, it worked out fine. It took about a week before I was satisfied that the starter was fully bubbly and mature enough to use.
My recipe was simple: Starter + flour + water + salt
1 1/2c Starter
2c Bread flour
3/4 tsp Salt
as much water as I thought looked right...
It took some 3 hours for the bulk rise, then another 2 for the formed rise. I don't have a bread peel so getting the round from my cutting board to the baking sheet was a little tricky--I used two large spatulas. For steam I put some water in an old pan and set it on the bottom rack of the oven. I left it in there the whole baking time. (I've since read that steam is only supposed to be present for the first half of baking, though it turned out great anyway.) I don't have a baking stone either, so I doubled up two cookie sheets and baked it on that.
Given this success, my husband has started talking about chocolate sourdough bread, so that may just be my next challenge. Oh, that, and figuring out how to maintain my starter.