Mark Bittman's Whole Grain "Sourdough" Article
So Mark Bittman had a piece in the NY Times today or yesterday on the deliciousness of whole grain bread, and how sourdough is the best method for making it. I tend to agree (warning: rank amateur's lay opinion), but I don't think that any of his recipes are actual sourdough. Instead, his sourdough rye just uses a sponge made with instant yeast and fermented overnight...strains of the Leahy no-knead bread phenomenon Bittman popularized? Nothing wrong with Bittman's rye recipe, but calling it sourdough seems like a real stretch.
Anyhow, an interesting read. And I must say, he makes a good point about why hobby baking is so alluring.
[Edit: I read his rye recipe too hastily. My bad. (Very bad.) He has you starting it with a pinch of instant yeast, but letting it sit at room for a few days with daily refreshment. That may not be a dogmatically perfect method, but surely lactic acid bacteria will grow and acidify the environment in that amount of time. It won't be a mature starter, but it seems like the resulting bread could be called sourdough, if we're not being too strict. The only question is whether wild yeast will have taken over at that point--or ever. I don't pretend to have any idea what happens when you put instant yeast in a starter and then ferment it for a few days. Surely the LAB come.]