I've been doing some experimenting this week, without much success. I'm trying to play around with timings to best fit making sourdough into my working week. My first attempt was a no-knead recipe. Now, I like kneading, it's one of my favourite bits of the process. This might sound all airy-fairy like, but it connects me to my bread and I feel as though I know what's going on with it. The dough did a near-24 hour bulk fermentation. By the end, it looked really spongy, but I managed to shape it into a ball. Then I put it into a proving basket and left it again for a couple of hours. That transpired to be too long, and the dough had completely collapsed. I didn't even bother baking it. I know I should have done, but I was too despondent by that point. Then I tried mixing and kneading a dough and leaving that for a couple of hours before shaping the loaf and leaving that to prove overnight. I baked it in the morning and it looked okay, but tasted horrible. Really sour. I was a bit worried about the starter at this point, but it looked and smelled okay. My third attempt was yesterday. I followed the Dan Lepard method I'd used before when I got really good results, but this time I mixed the flour and water first and left it for 10 minutes before adding the starter, then left that another 10 minutes before adding the salt. The loaves turned out fine, but weren't as good as the ones I did on 25th January. I think that maybe I'm not using the starter when it's at it's most active. Oh well, nothing for it but to keep trying!
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