There are loads of sourdough recipes, and I’ve only read a couple and tried two. One of note I’d like to link to is from thepioneerwoman.com and it’s great because it has a lot of useful descriptions and tips. Also these people put way more effort into their websites with pictures and everything!
Ingredients - makes one loaf
175g wholemeal flour
175g plain flour
Of course sourdough takes multiple hours. I usually begin baking after I put the kiddo to bed and sourdough will be ready by 2pm the following day - but my starter is also quite fast.
Wisk together the water and starter. This just makes it easy to mix the flour in evenly.
Add the flour and mix until no dry flour remains, it doesn’t have to be smooth, the dough will do that itself in the following steps.
This step allows the water to get access to the gluten in the flour and begin to activate it.
Rest for one hour.
Add salt and lift and fold the dough to combine it. With wet hands and a spatula I like to lift the part of the dough closest to me. Pull it to stretch it then fold it over the part of the dough furthest from me. Give the bowl a 1/4 turn and repeat four to six more times.
Rather than kneading dough folding dough is easier and I think more effective, although I want to research this.
Every half hour, make four to six folds, one in each direction. Repeat 4-6 times.
I’ve been a bit lazy with this step and trying to rush before bed time. If you rush this (eg skipping folds) it will mean that while your dough may rise, it mightn’t get the right texture holding it together to help it rise fully. So YMMV. If you skip some folds it is still edible bread, but if you expected more rise think about doing more folds.
Refrigerate overnight. Here’s where the microbes do their work.
Shaping, bench rest and final rise
I usually take the dough out of the fridge about 30 minutes before this step to let it warm up a little. I don’t know why.
With flour on your hands coax the dough out of the bowl (set dirty bowl aside, you’ll use it again).
With your floured hands shape dough into a ball by folding the edges under to create some tension on the top of the loaf. It takes some practice to keep the parts your folding together not too floured so they stick while keeping the top floured enough so it doesn’t stick to your hands. I think i do this step upside-down. I’ll make a video.
Rest on a floured surface 30mins (bench rest). I don’t really know what this step is for.
Place a tea towel in/on the dirty bowl from earlier and dust it with some flour.
Gently roll dough on the counter, guiding it with your hands, to create more surface tension. I usually pull the sides under the bottom a little more. If the dough starts to break apart on top, you know it’s time to stop shaping (I’ve never had this happen).
Rest, upside-down in the bowl with the tea towel. I started with 1-2 hours but have found 2-3 hours better lately.
Place a dutch oven or casserole pot with lid in your oven and preheat to 250c.
Turn dough out onto paper, dust with flour, score with a bread knife. Have a pair of scissors ready because you want to do the next step quickly.
Take the dutch oven / casserole pot out of the oven and take the lid off. Pick up the baking paper by the corners and lower into the pot. Trim the edges of the paper, don’t touch the pot!! Put the lid on the pot and put it in the oven, reducing the oven’s temperature to 245c.
Bake for 27 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
When the bread is done let is sit until cool. The gluten isn’t done just because it’s out of the oven, it’s got to "set" now.