Listen, I am not a genius, but more than a dozen years ago, I started trying to make myself a decent loaf of bread. At the time, my ideas about what a decent loaf of bread was and how I would make that were – I admit this – extremely silly, but I persevered, making many a whole wheat brick, which I ate or fed to particularly desperate wildlife – I assume.
Last year, my neighbor Andie, organic farmer girl roughly the same age as my daughter Miss Sasha, gave me a sourdough starter I came to regard as a mildly surly pet. It is less surly than I am. Of course. Anyway, in the course of trying to make a decent loaf of bread as I now see one, it turned out the secret to great texture and complex sourdough flavor is giving the dough all the time it needs and almost more time than I can handle, because I am one of those people who stands in front of a microwave and growls, “COME ON.”