Simple Sourdough Starter:
- 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F - just use faucet water on hot)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (aprox 1 1/2 packets)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until the yeast becomes foamy (the way you can tell is if you watch it you can see the yeast almost explode up to the surface of the water), about 5 minutes. (If the yeast does not foam, discard the mixture and begin again with a new yeast.)
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour (you can substitute regular flour if you want)
- 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter (recipe above)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Extra flour if necessary
In a Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook (if you don't have a kitchen aid then you can knead by hand), combine the flour, starter and salt, and knead until it no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the mixing bowl (if it too dry place mixture on counter and knead in water as necessary to form a dough ball).
Place a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and knead gently, removing any large air bubbles. Knead into a small circle, then shape into a tight ball, pinching the seams together underneath. Place on a baking sheet, seam-side down. Cover with a kitchen towels and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut a large "X" or cross-hatch pattern into the top of the dough. Bake until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, about 60 minutes.