A while back, I came across the book "In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey" by Samuel Fromartz. Not surprisingly, he advises anyone who is starting to bake sourdough bread, that they are going to bake a lot of bad bread. I haven't baked any sourdough bread that was really bad and have not had to throw anything out, but for now I'm following the simplest recipes and just trying to understand the basics. Fromartz' books is a great read, but the recipes are still beyond my capabilities.
I found some recipes and resources for sourdough breads that have worked for me, and would like to share those with you here. Be warned though, once you get started with this, there is no turning back.
If you are lucky, you can get an already established sourdough starter from a friend. That's a great way to get started, because with that you can bake a bread right away. I got a starter and a recipe for no knead bread, and here is a photo of the very first sourdough bread I baked. That was pure beginner's luck, but the success motivated me to continue.
Follow the link to a video, about 8 minutes long, that takes you through the whole process of mixing the dough and baking it. The recipe is slightly different, but this also works well. I would not use iodine salt though, because it contains an anti caking agent which doesn't taste good in bread. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POnxAoHl1qc
To bake the bread, you need a dutch oven. I am using a granite ware turkey roaster with a lid. You can get this at Target or Amazon for about $12. After shaping the dough, I put it on parchment paper, which makes it easy to drop it into the hot dutch oven quickly and keeps the dutch oven clean. I also found it useful to have a bench scraper. It only costs a couple of dollars and helps to pick up or move sticky dough.
I hope you give this sour dough bread making thing a try. After you get the basics down, you can get more creative. I've been adding rosemary to sprouted wheat and caraway seeds to rye bread. Still searching for the perfect loaf though.....