I've been baking sourdoughs a couple of months and messed about with all sorts of variables. Lots of starter,little starter,short fermentation/long prove after shaping, fridge proving,warm water, cold water and many more. I've a tendency to change more than one variable at once too which doesnt help evaluation! Just cant help myself;)
Anyway current method
Mix 50g starter, 200g flour and 125g of water. Cover and ferment at approx 70f for approx 16 hours.
Mix the fermented batch with 304g flour and 221g water achieving 70% hydration(my starter is 100%)
Making 900g in total
Knead this mixture for 10 to 15 mins adding 8g of salt after 10 mins or so.
Pop back in bowl and do 3 stretch and folds at approx 40 min intervals
I then split the dough in two for 2 mini loaves. degass a little then preshape into boules. Final shape 10 mins later.
Into baskets, into plastic bags and prove at 70f for about 2 hours.
Bake! Im lucky to have an oven with multifunction including bottom heat only function..this has transformed my ability to achieve bloom/ears...now I've realised it anyway!
I bottom heat for first 10/12mins, then fan only 15 mins,then off the stone and 5 to 10 mins with top and bottom heat to crisp up the bottom as well.
I suppose in short...how am I doing? My loaves look great(in my opinion-feel free to critique!), have a nice rich flavour, soft texture and lovely fruity aroma-not that much sour flavour though.
I'm thinking should I be bulk fermenting the whole dough? I suppose currently I'm simply feeding a small amount of starter and letting it grow overnight..? I think i read somewhere yeasts grow more rapidly at room temps but the lactobacillus are responsible for more of the sour notes and these develop more(or more in proportion to the yeasts) when in the fridge. Have I got this right?
I had previously been fermenting the whole dough for 4-5 hours and then shaping and proving overnight in the fridge. This has the advantage of course of being able to bake first thing in the morning but seems a little less controllable?
Sorry I'm writing an epic here! I'll stop now and be very grateful for any thoughts/feedback.
Cheers and thanks for your patience. Hopefully I'll be able to help people too..one day!