I'm not going into the How's, Why's and Wherefore's of these ingredients, but this is what you need to make some delicious, basic sourdough bread.
In a stand mixer, or with a hefty wooden spoon and a bowl, mix the following ingredients together:
3 cups of water, slightly warm. ( yes, tap water is just fine. That's what I use.)
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast ( rising time varies according to the kind you choose. Use less if you prefer. It will just take longer.)
1 1/2 Tablespoons coarse Kosher salt. (use about half this if you only have table salt. It's finer. It controls the rising of the bread, and helps with the flavor.)
6 1/2 cups UNBLEACHED bread flour. ( all purpose works too, bread will have a slightly softer texture.) Use a dry measure cup.
Mix well together, until there are no dry patches. The mixture should be smooth, and quite slack. That is how you get wonderful results, and those lovely spongy little holes!
Use right away if you want, or leave in a refrigerator for up to 10 days, just taking off pieces of it for buns and bread. The longer you leave it, the more those little sourdough bacteria get to do their work of maturing and flavouring the dough!
Take your pieces of dough, and gently pull the gluten cover down to the bottom of each, making a ball. You’ll see what I mean! Today we are making loaves you can use for sandwiches, so gently make an oblong shape for each. You will need a couple of nonstick bread pans. You also need enough dough in each ball that will come about halfway up the pans.
Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise to double. If you are working, you can just plunk the pans into the fridge to rise, and be ready for when you get home.
Bake the bread.
Oven temp should be around 475F for 15 minutes, then lower to 400F to finish. I use an instant read thermometer, which should read 200F, and then you know it is perfect.
NEVER keep it in the fridge! It keeps well with sliced side down on the counter for a day or two. To always have bread on hand, slice it, wrap in 6 slice portions with plastic wrap, then put them into a Ziplock bag and freeze. Remove however many slices you need at a time. Always wonderfully fresh. I use my kitchen slicer for this. Look at that beautiful, spongy texture, otherwise known by bakers as "the crumb".