Updated with Pics - Help with First sourdough loaf - Carl's starter - Simple Sourdough Pan Bread - Low Knead
I'm in the middle of mixing my first sourdough loaf. I'm pretty good with commercial yeast breads - but this is my first sourdough attempt.
Starter: From Carl's Friends
Fully activated starter.
Using this recipe right now: Simple Sourdough Pan Bread
Hand Mixed with a Low Knead Procedure
I'll paste the recipe below - but here is where it came from: Found on this page as a pdf - second from top http://carlsfriends.net/photos.html 
I'm a bit confused - I started this at 2:15 in the afternoon. Now I'm realizing that I may have to bake into the wee hours if I want to prepare this properly. Is there some step at which I can throw it into the fridge - and finish tomorrow? Or am I doomed to an all nighter? FYI - I'm 5 hrs and 15 mins into the first step - building the sponge.
Simple Sourdough Pan Bread
Hand Mixed with a Low Knead Procedure
Makes two large loaves
• 1 Cup Active Sourdough Culture
• 2 Cups Water
• 5 to 6 Cups Flour (divided)
• 1 Tablespoon Salt
Make the sponge
Six to ten hours before making the dough, put one cup active starter into a bowl and add
two cups of water and two cups of flour. Stir until reasonably smooth, cover and set
aside. The time for this step will vary. Ideally, you would want to go to the next step
when the sponge had reached peak activity. I just make the sponge before I go to bed at
night and make the dough the next morning when I get around to it. The timing is not
critical. If the sponge looks active, it will be fine.
Make the dough
Stir one tablespoon of salt into the sponge. Add three cups of flour to the sponge one cup
at a time. Stir to incorporate after each addition. I always stop at this point and judge the
dough. With experience, you will know exactly how much additional flour is required.
Until you have enough experience, add flour 1/4 cup at a time until you have a medium
dough. It will probably take two ¼-cup additions. You will most likely have to give up
your spoon or dough whisk and finish mixing the dough by hand. Cover the dough and
let it rest for twenty to thirty minutes so the flour can absorb the water.
Knead the dough
Knead the dough for 15 to 20 seconds. I do this right in the bowl. Cover and let rest for
10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the short knead twice more for a total of three short kneads.
Cover the dough and let rise for one to two hours. It does not need to double, but it
should definitely increase in volume by at least 50%. This will take longer in cool
Stretch and fold
Dump the dough onto a lightly oiled or floured work surface. Gently stretch the dough
into a rough rectangle about one third as high as the dough was when dumped on the
counter. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, and then fold the dough in thirds in the
other direction. Round the lump of dough and put it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover
and let rise until fully doubled.
Shape the dough
Divide the dough into two equal pieces, round, cover, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Form the rounded dough into loaves to fit your bread pans. Place the dough into buttered
bread pans, cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside to rise.
When the dough reaches the top of the pans remove the plastic and make your decorative
expansion cuts on the top of the loaf. Place the pans in a covered container to finish the
rise. I put the pans in a plastic grocery bag and close the top with a twist tie.
Bake the bread
When the bread is fully raised, place in a 375° F oven and bake until done - about 40
minutes. Cool before cutting.
The directions for making the dough call for adding flour and mixing to a medium dough.
The dough will become softer after the rest and the short knead steps. The end result is a
soft and easy to handle dough.
Kneading. You can use conventional kneading if you wish. After mixing the dough, let it
rest for 30 minutes, then knead until the dough is soft and supple. However why work
Bread flour will give a higher rise, but All Purpose Flour will work just fine. This recipe
has been tested with a variety of flours and all have produced acceptable results.
Some taste testers preferred a little less salt. You might try 2 ½ teaspoons and see if that
suits your taste.
This is a simple bread, however it makes a great tasting loaf. I like it just as well as some
bread that is made by more complicated procedures.
Turn this into a nice whole wheat bread by substituting 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour for
an equal amount of white flour and add one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of