That's right. We got to make our own sourdough starter from scratch! If I'd known how easy it was to make a starter I don't think I would've taken so long to make my own sourdough bread. It's really as simple as letting flour and water sit on the counter. Together. They do all the work for you. Really!
My sourdough starter really got going on day 2 of the four day process. It looked bubbly and smelled sour. By day four, though, it only had one bubble. Not to be deterred, I charged ahead and followed the directions for refreshing the leaven and making the dough. I kneaded it by hand. I let it rest. I shaped it. I let it rise. Nothing. NOTHING! No bubbles. No rising dough. Just a flat lump. Look. . . I baked it just to show you how brick-like it really was.
But I figured my starter just wasn't ready to make real bread yet. So I fed it some more flour and water and popped it in the refrigerator for a week. Then I tried again. And this time it worked just like it was supposed to. The bread rose beautifully. It had a great texture and a bit of tang. It was gobbled up before I could even think of making anything fancy out of it.
So, my starter is still in my refrigerator. Once a week I feed it a bit more flour and water. I've named it Elphaba. (Did you know people name their sourdough starters?)