I have had my sourdough starter for almost a year now and only baked a sourdough loaf about ten times, this saddens me. Sourdough for some people is an acquired taste but a taste that I feel is easily acquired, Makes sense? For me after baking and eating my own sourdough other mass produced breads stuffed with additives and preservatives paled in comparison. Home made bread will have so much more flavour, texture and reward including nutritional value and a great smelling house. Great bread requires a few things, Good flour, good salt and, clean water. Thats it!
You can get these things in Belfast, Nutmeg in town sells doves farm flours and its the cheapest too. doves farm does a wide range of specialist flours and ancient grains that industrial bread production have almost wiped out. Experiment with flours, there is no right or wrong. For example my starter is made of wholegrain rye, then the create the dough I used spelt flour and strong bread flour.
Different flours give different flavours, crumb, textures and colours to a loaf. I’m only at the stage now where i experiment a little, going off the beaten track with flours but the basics are also very important. The ratio of flour, starter, water and salt will greatly effect the final loaf.
If you want to start making your own bread then get a good book. two I would suggest are
River cottage bread handbook:
Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard:
Both are great covering many different bread types along with how to set up and care for your own sourdough starter! Please if you have ant questions or interests feel free to ask, I would be more than happy to get some feedback. Happy Baking!