Help with making a ferment
I am semi amatur-beginner bread baker that has been trying out new recipes and techniques. I have been baking quick breads from the Joy of Cooking for a number of years but I received Dough by Richard Bertinet about a year ago. This was my first venture into more french/artisan bread baking. Just this last weekend I bought a scale to help with measurements given that weight is the preferred measure in the book. That appeared to help with some of the moisture difficulties I was experiencing. I will say that even with all my changes the crumb is still small and at times soft. But that is a different problem.
Typically I bake about 4 loaves of bread one day a weekend. This is a significant time commitment no doubt. Therefore, I thought I would try a ferment as my initial understanding was that I could just feed and bake. However, I am not so sure now. In the book Dough, The recommendation is to hold 7 oz of dough back and store in the fridge. Then you feed it 14 oz flour and 7 oz of water. Mix until it is a firm dough and store. Continue until you want to use it. "Then you can add it to your next batch of dough to enhance it..."
May questions are:
1. To use a ferment I have to make a batch of dough the "normal" way and just add it? I cannot just feed and use the larger amount?
2.When I tried to feed my first ferment I found that the amount of flour was huge. I could not get it all worked in. About 1/2 cup was not used. Does the intructions about sound right?
3.Is there a way to make a "quick start" bread that I could keep some in the fridge and when I want to make a loaf, then add some ingredients and go?
4.Any other help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.