Emeril Lagasse has a simple and easy-to-follow recipe for sourdough bread. To start, make a basic sourdough starter before making the dough for the bread.
To make the sourdough starter, combine in a bowl 3 cups warm water, 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let the mixture sit for five minutes until foamy. Add 3 cups flour and stir vigorously. Cover with a towel, and let it rest in a warm place for eight to 12 hours. In an electric mixer, combine 2 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and knead until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it double in size in a warm, dry place. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently to remove large air bubbles. Shape into a tight ball, and cover with kitchen towels until it has doubled in size. Preheat a baking stone in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut a large X on the top of the dough with a sharp, serrated knife. Spray lightly with a mister, transfer the dough to the baking stone, and bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown.