In Walthamstow there is a starter going round that had 100 year origins, it even has it's own Facebook page. I got some and have been carefully feeding it. When I was in Warkworth we had a go at making sourdough bread with it. The first go went a bit wrong and ended up burnt, we put the oven on the wrong setting, so I had a second go, which was much more successful. It didn't rise all that much but it was tasty.
Sourdough Bread (from Leiths Baking Bible)
(Makes 1 loaf)
170g sourdough starter
55ml warm water
1 tbsp clear honey
170g strong plain flour55g rye or wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
Place the starter into a bowl and stir in the water and honey. Sift the flours together, then add enough flour to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Knead for 10 mins by hand or for 5 mins by machine. Place in a oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, this will take about 8 hours.
Knock back the dough and knead for 1 min. Return to the oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and rise until doubled in size about 3 hours.
Sprinkle with salt and knead to knock back for about 2 mins. Cover the dough with cling film and let the dough rest for 10 mins. Line a 20cm basket or bowl with a heavily floured tea towel.
Shap the dough into a smooth round and place in the basket or bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and let prove until nearly doubled in size.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 225C. Place a pizza stone in the centre of the oven.
When the dough is ready to bake, remove the stone from the oven and sprinkle it liberally with flour. Carefully turn the dough on to the stone, then slash the top.
Place the dough into the oven, then pour a cup of cold water into a tray in the bottom of the oven to create a steamy environment. Bake for 35-40 mins or until the loaf is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Trabsfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for 1 hour before slicing.
Sprinkle the salt over the dough