Sourdough starter has been passed down generations in many Old World European families according to Life From The Ground Up (LFGU) site, if you are not fortunate to have sourdough starter in your family then you can start it from scratch.
It takes time for the starter to take but once you have it keep it going and you'll enjoy delicious sourdough bread all the time.All you need is flour, water and a container like a mason jar. The daily directions are as follows:
Day 1: Add 1/2 cup of flour to 1/2 cup of water in your container. Mix the ingredients well. Cover the jar with a piece of kitchen towel to keep out insects but allow air inside the jar to activate the yeast.
Day 2: Depending on the weather you might see the yeast already active with bubbly yeast in the mix. In the winter, it may take a couple of extra days to get started. By the end of the week you should see activity.
Day 3: Add 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of water to the mix. Mix the ingredients well and again cover the jar with the dishcloth and let it work it's magic.
Day 4: Repeat step 3.
Day 5: Repeat step 3.
Day 6: Repeat step 3.
Day 7: Your starter should be ready to use. Your sourdough starter will be bubbly, sticky and smell sour. If you taste a drop it will taste like a strong loaf of sourdough bread.
According to LFGU's Gabe if you live in Ohio your sourdough will taste different than if your sourdough is in Florida. The climates are different, which makes the yeast react differently. Sourdough is better for you than wheat bread, the lactic acid created in the fermentation steps bread down phytic acid, starches, and gluten. It won't spike blood sugar like most breads and the sourdough acts as a preservative and is easier to digest as well.
Wise bakers have this to say:
Instructables.com says "Sourdough bread is the ultimate renewable source."
My Sisters Kitchen says, "It is important to backup your sourdough bread in the back of the refrigerator/freezer."
King Arthur Flour says, "We love this bread for its chewiness and golden crust, ideal qualities for panini; try it with ham and cheese, for a new take on that favorite sandwich." (Sourdough recipe for using your starter.)