I've been making my own wholemeal bread for some years, but in 2012 I discovered the sourdough version and am now hooked! It has such a tangy flavour and sticky moist texture with a crisp outer crust.
The simplest dough procedure in my breadmaker takes 2 hours 20 mins, and it gently warms the dough after kneading. I leave the dough in here after the cycle is over, for 8 hours or overnight.
The procedure is very flexible and if the dough gets left too long, simply re-knead it and let it rise for another 2 hours in a warm place.
Note this is a long procedure but actually requires very little work. Once you get in the routine and make little adaptations to suit your own time schedule, work commitments and cooking style, it will become a very simple procedure.
Note, I do not add salt to my loaves as the tangy flavour and addition of caraway seeds and lemon juice make this unnecessary (plus I have a thing about salt!). However, you can add salt by all means, maybe half a teaspoon to the dough mixture. Experiment by substituting white flour, oats, barley, spelt or rye flour for some or all of the wheat, and by adding various seeds to the mixture like sunflower, linseed, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Also a little mashed potato, mashed cooked beans or peas can be added if you dare! I sometimes like to add a little chopped raw onion. The probiotic bacteria love the prebiotics such as beans, peas and onion. I have tried adding garlic too, although it may inhibit the wild yeasts. You could try gluten free flour such as rice flour, to see if it works, if you prefer to avoid gluten. Good Luck!
Enjoy the first few slices of this bread just with butter, to appreciate its wonderful flavour and texture. The bread last several days without the need to freeze or toast. I keep it semi-wrapped in tin foil. If you wrap the whole loaf in plastic, the crust might go soft and grow mould if left too long. I'm sure you will get hooked too....maybe dough-hooked!
You will need to add more flour and water every time you take some out for making bread. Give it a good mix. Don't leave the starter too long without using and feeding. The starter never seems to go moldy, if kept fed and watered regularly. Don't tighten the lid of the jar as carbon dioxide needs to escape slowly.