I hope you do understand now why some of us love this book. Wait until you try some of the other recipe that are in there.
Regarding the starter, I used a 1/3 of a cup of the SF sourdough but activated it with 1/3 of a cup each of 50/50 mix of KAWW and BF. You can try that next time if your starter was too active. The trick is, imho, to get the timing right...knowing when your leaven is ready to go to work.
It can only get better from here...
Yes Mike, I have to say that I'm definitely on the bandwagon. I can not say enough good things about this book so far. I thought the Hammelman book is good, but this book takes bread baking to the next level. I'm looking foward to trying the croissants and baguettes as both have always been an ulitmate goal for me. With the book and a little experimenting, I'm fully confident I'll get there.
Thanks for the tip on the starter, I'll keep that in mind. My starter was actually not too active despite what I had thought. Initially, it actually wasn't bubbly compared to when I normally use it for pizza, but it was getting late and I wanted to make a loaf. I did the water test, and it floated so I went ahead and used it then. In hindsight, had I proofed the bread another hour I think it the flavors would have been even better without detriment to the crumb. The cool thing though, is that Chad gives the reader freedom to experiment and vary the process a bit to find your ultimate loaf.
I'm really digging the option to use an active starter instead of making a young leaven and waiting the 12 hours (as John mentioned earlier). As long as someone has an active starter on hand, you can make a great looking and tasting bread in a matter of 7-8 hours.
What I really appreciate about Chad is that he says that making a natural leaven bread is really forgiving and versatile. We can lengthen the bulk/proof time to 2 days if needed. We can vary the water temperature to manipulate length of fermentation (bulk or proof) "to achieve convenience without compromise". We can make great bread that fits our busy schedule!
I was really happy to read this as my approach to pizza making is in line with his approach. But it does require that one is able to recognize the signs of when a dough is ready. This is where his book really shines b/c he gives us photos and a description of the entire process. What the dough is suppose to look like and feel like. How the dough should behave when it is scored, how it should spring in the oven, what the bread should smell and sound like.
And the best part is that it is a simple and easy read. I think most members here who have spent considerable time making pizza dough would really enjoy and benefit from this book.
I know I sound a bit enthusiastic, but I really can't wait to get home and enjoy another slice of bread. Here's one I sliced this morning.