A few months ago, I received the best gift a girl could get! One of the AmeriCorps at my office brought in a jar of sourdough starter for me that came from her roommate's girlfriend. The starter originated in San Francisco, has been over seas, and back and is now in RI - so it's got some great cultures going!
After some research and practice, we've finally found the best recipe and method for the sourdough bread. It produces a crispy crust, a fluffy airy interior and a mild sour taste.
The hubs has been doing so much bread baking it's insane. Every Saturday he begins the proofing process and then bakes rolls and a loaf for us on Sundays. And we truly enjoy the results all week long. In addition, anything that goes stale we turn in to croutons or breadcrumbs - so we've really been making the most out of the bread.
In order to watch our carb. intake with the bread in the house though, the hubs has even determined the bake-off ratio of the moisture and is now able to make us 3 oz. rolls to enjoy with dinner at night. He's so awesome!!
So this is the link to the process we've been using that uses a starter as the base. I hope you find it as great as we do! Watch the video, it's very helpful!
The basic recipe is as follows though, although we use 16 oz of just bread flour - and USE BREAD FLOUR! That is what will give you the nice air pockets in the loaf.
1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (11 oz.) white bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups purified water
1/4 cup starter
The baking times and all that are the same as the basic no-knead method. So you can easily just watch that video but follow this recipe. I usually bake the bread at 500° for 30 minutes with the lid on and then remove the lid and continue baking for 15 more minutes at 450°.