Here is a tutorial on how to make a starter, and make a loaf of bread using the starter.
I suggest you read the whole Instructable first before you start baking.
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Step 1: The Starter
If you have not yet started a sourdough starter then all you need to do is a week before you mix together half a cup of flour and half a cup of water in a medium bowl. Leave the starter on the counter. Then everyday add quarter cup of flour and quarter cup of water, and mix well. Keep this starter going, if you are planning to make more loaves in the future. If you want to stop feeding the starter but want to keep it alive then simply put it in the fridge.
Step 2: Make the Dough
On the day you are going to make some bread, put four cups of sifted flour and two cups of water in a mixing bowl then add half a cup of starter.
Step 3: The Dough
Mix the dough well. Then scrape any dough from the sides of the bowl.
Step 4: Let Rise
Cover it with a tea towel and let stand for an hour.
Step 5: Salt Water
Meanwhile add two tablespoons of water with a teaspoon of salt.
Step 6: Knead
Lay the dough on a large floured cutting board and pour the salt water on top. Knead the dough by folding the dough in half then squeeze the opening repeat this about eight times. After you do that a few times and there are no visible "big openings" go to the next step.
Step 7: Rise Again
Sprinkle a basket or container with flour then put the dough in the basket sprinkle with flour and cover with a dishcloth. Let it sit overnight.
Step 8: Baking
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with an empty cast iron pan. Once preheated put the dough in the hot pan for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes decrease temperature to 400 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit and leave for 30 minutes.
After that remove the bread from the oven but leave it in the pan for ten minutes. Brush the top of the bread with water. After ten minutes take the bread out of the pan and let cool for one hour.
Step 9: Shortened Version of the Recipe
Here is the shortened version of the recipe:
1. Combine: 4 cups flour, 2 cups water and half a cup of starter in mixing bowl.
2. Mix the dough well.
3. Let rise for one hour.
4. Combine one teaspoon salt and two tablespoons water.
5. Knead and add salt water.
6. Let rise overnight.
7. Preheat oven for 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a cast iron pan.
8. Put bread in the hot pan and put it in the oven for 15 minutes.
9. Lower heat to 400 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Leave bread in for about 30 minutes.
11. Remove bread and let cool down in pan for ten minutes.
12. Take the bread out of the pan and let cool for one hour.
Enjoy with jam, butter or simply by itself!
Step 10: Tips and Tricks
1. When making the dough you can use a multi grain flour instead of regular white flour. White flour is still delicious!
2. When feeding the starter you can feed it a mixture of rye and white flour so that it has some variety.
3. After you started the starter you will see bubble appear on the surface, this is the byproduct of the good bacteria eating away at the sugars.
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