- Put the chopped apples and honey in a glass or plastic container, (just don't use metal ones), and fill with filtered water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 days. When the apples are bubbling away nicely, the fermentation has begun.
- Mash apple brew with a fork or blender, transferring to a bigger glass container, and stir in 120 grams flour. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Measure 1 cup starter, discard any extra, and stir in 60 grams of bread flour and 60 grams of water. Mix with a ceramic spoon until the mixture resembles a thick pancake batter. Add more water or flour if necessary to achieve this consistency. Cover the starter with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Repeat the following day. The mixture should be starting to bubble. Repeat once or twice more. Starter should be fully active and ready for making bread.
- To use the starter, measure out the amount called for in a recipe and store the remaining, covered loosely, in the refrigerator, and feed weekly, i. e. you will need to discard some of the mixture and refresh with water and flour. Starters can also be fed whole wheat, rye, or dinkel/spelt, depending on what type of starter you wish to maintain.
- Place the firm starter ingredients together in a bowl. Use a spatula to stir the ingredients together until a stiff dough forms. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough has become soft, about 8 minutes. Place this dough covered with a plastic wrap in a clean bowl, let stand for 8-12 hours at room temperature until the dough has almost doubled. Or you can place it in the fridge overnight, of course covered tightly with 2 or 3 layers of cling film.
- Take it out the next day and allow the dough return to the room temperature, about 2 hours. (Since I was not in a rush to bake the bread, after taking out the starter dough in the early morning, I just left it in a shelf until that early afternoon, more or less 6 hours.) Cut the dough into smaller pieces and stir with the rest of the dough ingredients on a lower speed for 1-2 minutes in a mixing bowl. Switch to higher speed and knead until you have obtained soft and smooth dough, about 10 minutes.
- Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and top with a wet towel. Let rest for 4 hours until doubled. Lightly press down the dough and divide it into 3 pieces. Traditional San Francisco sourdough is usually shaped into a round loaf with a crosshatched pattern slashed across the top. However you can always shape the bread into your desired forms, for example, boule, miche, coburg, vienna, fougasse, or bauguette. Place the shaped loaves onto 2 baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal and dust the top with some rye flour. Cover again and proof at room temperature until double in bulk, 2-3 hours. (Again you can always leave the dough covered tightly in the fridge to proof overnight.) Slash the top 3-4 times with a very sharp knife, cutting about ¼ inch deep. Spray the knife lightly with vegetable oil spray before slashing; it will prevent the knife from sticking on the dough's surface.
- Whip egg white and water together and brush with the loaves. Place them in a 210C/410F oven (it took me about 35 minutes) to bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. If you prefer a thick chewy crust, use steam during the first 10 minutes of baking. I sprayed water on the oven walls right after placing the bread loaves in and repeated this until the loaves begin to color. Move them to a rack to cool thoroughly before slicing. Cut the bread with a bread knife and enjoy with butter, jam or your favorite spread.