To begin at the beginning - it was starless and bible black. oops, sorry, wrong script.
Before I start posting recipes, I'm aware that I do things differently from many people, so it might be as well if I post a bit to let you know where I'm coming from.
I first tried baking (with yeast) when I was at university. The results were not very good, but I eventually found I could make adequate pizza dough, and that I preferred to use wholemeal flour (less messy!). Around this time I got in to wholefoods, and started to prefer using wholemeal for the flavour and the fibre - in fact, now I rely on its fibre.
Over the years, I tried various forms of breads - some tea breads were ok, but wholemeal was generally disappointing in volume - and since I often wanted to make toasted cheese, the volume was a problem. Somewhere along the way I became insulin-dependant - the amount of carbohydrate in what I eat is _important_ to me!
Some years later, I was in an accident and spent a protracted period in hospital. After that I never made it back to fulltime work, but I did have more time on my hands. I started looking at more authentic recipes. First, Tom Jaine's "Making Bread At Home", and later Joe Ortiz's "The Village Baker" - inspirational, but the front-of-book recipes are in the incomprehensible American cup measurements - at the back of the book are "commercial" versions with proper weights, which can be scaled down.
Before this, I'd developed a liking for pain d'epice using wholemeal rye - I used to make a fresh starter each time, but this was extremely unreliable and slow.
Eventually, after I'd taken early retirement, and spent a long time failing to create a high-volume wholemeal yeast-bread recipe, I realised the best way for me to get an acceptable bread for sandwiches and toasting was to buy it! Meanwhile, I'd had interesting breads on holiday and figured I could have a go at making sourdoughs. I started with wholemeal wheat, and this was very successful. Later, I tried rye and at first it was problematic. Eventually I tweaked the recipe until I got something usable.
For me, the important things in baking sourdough are -
° wholemeal flour (or wholemeal rye) for the levain
° levain able to last for some weeks in fridge door between bakings
° less than a day to refresh it
° small loaves - somewhere between 300 and 400gm suits me - I keep these in the freezer, and then the current loaf is kept in the fridge for up to about 9 days depending how quickly I eat it (some people say this is absurd, but it works for me) - a thick, flavourful but tough, crust
° Low salt - the French always think English bread is too salty, and when I made yeast bread I used to reduce the amount of salt. Funnily enough, for regular sourdoughs I had to _increase_ the salt to make the sour taste less prominent. I now prefer to use salt _flakes_ and to dissolve these in the water which I add to the starter before I mix in the flours. Again, this is probably heresy. For German breads, less salt (to accentuate the sourness) is essential.
Mostly, I like coarse breads. In summer, when I'm eating a lot of fruit, I'll eat whiter breads and even buy things like brioche for part of my breakfast. In winter, I like to add lots of seeds to german-style rye breads - I'm still searching for a reliable way of getting coarse grains in rye, grinding grain flakes doesn't totally do the job, grinding grain is slow and hard to judge.