We use a food processor for bread, which makes it really quick and easy—although not quite as traditional or cathartic. For a more sour flavor, reduce starter to 1/2 cup and let the shaped dough rise longer.
½ teaspoon yeast
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup sourdough starter
Whisk yeast and sugar into 1 1/2 cups warm tap water. Let stand until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse flour, salt, and starter to combine in a food processor. Add yeast mixture and process until dough forms a single mass. If the dough won’t come together, add a little more water. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until it forms a smooth, soft ball.
Place dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel, and put in a warm place to rise. When it has doubled in size, punch dough down and form into 2 large, round loaves (or other desired shape). If baking bread on quarry tiles or pizza stone, transfer shaped dough to a cornmeal-coated baking peel. If not, transfer them to a large, rimmed cornmeal-coated baking sheet. Again, cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 500 degrees. Slash a cross shape on the top of each loaf. Bake at 500 for 8 minutes, then turn the oven down to 475 and continue to bake until very brown, another 12 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool.