Smart Sourdough - book testers needed
Hi. I'm new to this forum as an active participant, but some of you may know me as the author of "Simple Sourdough," a booklet I wrote decades ago that's been popular on Amazon for about fifteen years.
For the past few years, I've been working on a new book, "Smart Sourdough," that presents a new and radically different approach to making sourdough. By working with high temperatures and short feeding cycles, I'm able to make 100% naturally fermented sourdough within 24 hours WITHOUT STARTER. That means doing away with maintenance feedings, discards, and everything related. In other words, my sourdough is almost as quick and simple to make as yogurt.
My approach is similar to what's known as "Type II sourdough," but adapted for the home. As with Type II, I focus solely on nurturing lactic acid bacteria in the dough, then just add a bit of baker's yeast at the end for the rise. My reasoning is that the special benefits of sourdough come almost entirely from the bacteria -- they are, after all, what put the "sour" in "sourdough"-- so the source of yeast is really not a concern. (And as researchers have shown, most bakers today wind up with baker's yeast in their starters anyway!)
Keeping sourdough at just the right temperature can be tricky, but I've found that, with some finagling, it can be done with a variety of kitchen devices. My book includes recommended setups and settings for the Brød & Taylor proofer, an Instant Pot used as a slow cooker, and a sous vide cooker. It also gives tips on adapting other devices you might have.
Can I really get much souring in 24 hours? Yes. Before being made into a loaf, my sponge of wheat, water, and salt reaches a pH of about 4.5. The taste can range anywhere from a "sweet" sourdough to mildly sour -- but it's always delicious! Since I add minimal yeast to the loaf -- normally just 1/8 teaspoon -- there is no alcohol taste to overwhelm the subtle sourdough flavors.
I've finished a working draft of the book (minus the photos), and I'm looking for bakers of all experience levels to read it, try the method, and provide comments. My idea is to use this thread for feedback and discussion. (So, please make sure you can find it again!)
This is open to all Fresh Loaf members. All I ask is that you do NOT share the draft with anyone else, and that you do NOT share my methods or your results outside this forum until the book is ready to order -- hopefully in January.
If you agree, please download the draft here: