After two week of carefully cultivating a sourdough starter, it finally smelled like sourdough! It was touch and go for a while. If you ever decide to make a sourdough starter, just be aware that it will smell like well preserved puke for a few days. Then, after the puke phase, it smelled sweet for a little while. In the end, it just smelled right, and I knew it was time to bake some bread.
The instructions for making sourdough bread are very clearly outlined in The River Cottage Bread Book. It's not a quick process. Even though our sourdough starter was quite bubbling, it still took many hours to rise. We actually let it rise further overnight instead of baking it on the first day. It still came out a little dense. Despite its "denseness", it tasted wonderfully of sourdough. It was a good first loaf, and I'll tweak the process each time a loaf is baked.
The soughdough starter has now been placed in the fridge, and it will be fed once weekly.
Have you ever tried sourdough starter?