I recently purchased 2 awesome books on sourdoughs: "wild sourdoughs" by Yoke Mardewi, and "classic sourdoughs" by Ed and Jean Wood. Both books are very easy to use, well presented and tickled my curiosity to try new things.
Only one thing remains a question for me at this stage. Neither books include in their method the preparation of a sponge. Both preconise the mixing of all ingredients followed by resting, kneading, resting, shaping and proofing.
I made Yoke's cursty semolina sourdough (the first recipe in her book) and though I was happy with the taste of the bread, it came up very dense. too dense really. so I obviously went wrong somewhere, and I think possibly my starter, which for the first time last week I put in the fridge - I always used to keep in on the bench. I took 200g of the starter out, fed it, waited about 12 hours and used it. is this the right way to do it?
Also a change in the method: instead of proofing it for 4 hours, as advised, I allowed 1 hour proofing on the bench and then overnight in the fridge.
FInal change in the method, I used a dutch oven. the bread looked amazing coming out of the oven and tasted great. But it was so dense that I ate most of it in very thin toasted slices.
I don't think my changes in the method made a big difference, but naturally I could be wrong. I am about to send Yoke an email (generously shown at the end of her book to ask her about it as well.
another question, also in regards to Yoke's recipe book: She specify what type of starter I need for her recipes, ie white starter, rye starter, mix of different flour starters. Let's face it, I only have room for one starter in my life. Will it be a complete disaster to use my modest plain starter for all her recipes?
ps on the bench now is the sponge for Ed and Jean Wood's spelt bread. I have again changed the method, which tells to mix all ingredients at the start, and have made a sponge this time, also increased water by 100ml, this loaf will be ready tomorrow. Maybe I am shooting myself in the food again by not following methods....