I just got my copy of the handmade loaf (I know... I'm a sheep). And let me say I haven't attempted any of the recipes yet, so these questions may be a bit premature.
I notice a few differences to the general trend of recipes at sourdough.com.au Lets compare his 'white leaven bread' recipe with the 'sourdough vienna white' recipe in the recipe section. Firstly, ferment and proofing times. Now I know he does most of his proofing at 16-18C, but does this warrant such longer times (>8 hours total) compared to the 2-3 hours in the vienna white recipe (which is optimized for 30C).
Secondly I notice a lot of our recipes have 45mins worth of 10second kneads. Dan suggests 5 ten sec kneads with increasing gap times up to 1 hour! Basically...why does he suggest this? Dough building?
At the end of the day, does the 27C climate-controlled, shorter proofing produce a different (taste, texture) to the 16C, chilly, long ferments favoured by Mr Lepard?
ps: any thoughts on his use of an 80% starter instead of 100% (which seems to be the norm around here).
also, do you think its worth optimizing the temperature at which the starter is fermenting to try to 'catch it at its peak' for baking?