Time is totally the key to sour flavor.
6:00pm – mix dough, leave for work
2:00am – get home from work, punch down dough, go to bed
10:00am – get up, punch down dough, knead, form loaves
2:00pm – bake!
Yep, the dough sat and rose/fermented for a whopping 16 hours. But for all that time, I barely had to pay attention to it. And I didn’t worry about temperature — the dough rose at room temp, which ranged from 72° to 77° through the night.
The loaves were flattish, but they definitely have a sour flavor. And the pattern of bubbles is very much like a store-bought sourdough. I got a crisper crust by putting a pan of water in the oven and baking for a shorter time at a higher temperature.
Now that I sort of know what I’m doing, the tinkering begins. Adjustments in time, temperature and treatment lie ahead. Bread, ho!