I've been "lurking" in the forum for a long time. I've been baking sourdough bread with my own homemade (and very wonderful!) starter for about three years. I've had startling successes and horrid failures, and I can rarely figure out which it will be until the bread comes out of the oven.
This is what I am trying to achieve, so far, to no avail: I would like to bake about three loaves of bread about 2X per month. I can't seem to figure out a "schedule" that makes any sense to me. The activation of my starter can take from 5 hours to 9 hours per feeding, the number of feedings required for my starter to be "bake-ready" can range from 1 to 3. The doughs themselves are also really varied as to proofing times. How does anyone get a loaf baked without committing three or so days, 27/7, to nursing a loaf of bread along?
The more I read online, the more befuddled I get. I know that temperatures affect starter activity, that doughs can take any number of hours to proof, that starters can take any number of hours become fully active, that starter activity when you bake will affect the rise and taste of your loaf, and and and...
I'm an old bag whose memory and organizational ability have long sinced tanked. And I was always math challenged (baker's percentages, volume vs weight...) Do people such as me have to stick to processed yeast? Gaaa!
I would so appreciate some advice, and perhaps the sharing of some of your own baking schedules? Thanks in advance from a heart that willing and a brain that's weak.