Sourdough is believed to have originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC, and was likely the first form of leavening available to bakers. This is definitely a labor of love, but the end result is the most amazing bread! Because of the complex three build process, this recipe probably is not the best choice for the first time bread baker. Besides basic sourdough bread, there are so many possibilities. Just to give you some ideas, check out the Optional Additions; let your imagination be your guide; walnuts and blue cheese together is amazing! It takes a little time and attention, but your efforts will definitely be rewarded. Please read the instructions thoroughly before starting. Note that the special equipment needed is a baking stone, steam pan (see *note at bottom) and spray bottle. This recipe is from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. If you want to raise your level of bread baking, this is the book you need! PIctured to the left is a loaf where walnuts and blue cheese were added.