It all started simply enough. My brother in law said: "How come I cannot find a good hearty rye bread anymore. Why can't I find those flavors anymore.. the super chewy, sour crusts?"
Yeah and why do I feel I have to pay the 7 or 8 bucks to buy those breads when maybe I could learn to make them myself. Its the sour taste I love and crave in many old world breads.
I had never made a sourdough starter before. The truth is, after 4 months of experimenting with sours or prefement, as some bakers call it, it is like everything else... you have to know what to look for and watch for before you can throw away all recipes and rely on your own judgement. But ah... the quest to know what it is you want.. that is the kick, the joy, the fun, the adventure.
What are the flours like? What kind of yeast is best? Should you store starter in plastic, ceramic, glass? What does "smelling like beer and baked apples" mean to you?