Our family is having heaps of fun at the moment making our own bread. Here is a simple Sourdough Bread recipe that does not require any fancy equipment, just the basics of flour and water and a bit of time. Sourdough Bread differs from most commercially produced breads in its flavour and health benefits. Making the starter from which this bread is based uses the natural yeasts around us. The fermentation process increases the absorption of calcium and starches and B group vitamins making sourdough bread far more nutritious for growing bodies. To begin this process you firstly need to make a starter. For this you need: 1/2 cup of flour (use 100% stone-ground organic wholemeal flour for a great result) 1/2 cup of warm water (You need to use unchlorinated water. You can make this by boiling the kettle and then letting the water cool.) Start by mixing these two ingredients in a glass jug. Place some muslin cloth over the top and leave the mixture on top of the fridge for a couple of days. After this time you will start to see a grey layer developing on the top. Remove this with a spoon and then begin to feed your starter again by stirring in another cup of flour and enough warm water to get a consistency like thick porridge. Leave the starter again for another 12 to 24 hours. During this time the mixture will develop lots of tiny bubbles. This is the yeast become really active. This is a good time to use the starter. If you miss the bubbles stage you can keep feeding the starter and reactivate it at any time. The more you go through this feeding process the stronger and tastier your starter will become. Once you have enough starter you are ready to make bread! Ingredients: 1 cup of starter 1 1/2 cups warm water 4 cups of flour (you might like to mix wholemeal and plain flour) 1/2 tablespoon of Celtic sea salt Method: 1. Dissolve the salt in the water. 2. Add the starter and mix well. This may still be lumpy but dont worry about that at this stage. 3. Add half of flour and stir. 4. Add the rest of the flour and knead with your hands to combine. This is a fun job for the kids to join in too! Depending on the day your dough could be really sticky or quite smooth. Either is fine and shouldnt make a great deal of difference to your final product. 5. Knead bread for a while. You can do this for ten minutes or one. It doesnt really matter. 6. Place the bread back into your bowl and sprinkle with a little extra flour. Cover and leave in a warm place. This will take about six to four hours to rise. If it is cooler it will take longer. 7. When the bread has risen punch it down and knead again. Keep aside a handful of dough to use as your starter for next time. At this stage you can add things to the bread. You might like to add sultanas and nuts or herbs and olives. It is fun experimenting with flavours and add-ins. 8. Place the dough in a tin or mould on a flat tray. My children love to make bread rolls and they can be very creative with their shapes. Snails and snakes work well as do knots. 9. Leave the bread to rise again. This can be over night. Bake in a moderate oven until brown. 10. Remember to keep your starter. To do this sprinkle a glass jug with a little salt and place the dough on top. Sprinkle with a little flour. Keep at room temperature. When you are ready to make your next lot of bread, remove the crust and feed it for 12 hours or so. It should smell like yeast. If not you might need to start again.