Whoever came up with the bucket bread method is some sort of genius. I suppose it's one of those things that has more or less always been around, but just gets rediscovered from time to time. There's that book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day that everyone was so nuts about awhile back. I loved the idea, but was less enthusiastic about the lack of whole grain recipes. Their second book is better, but this 100% whole wheat sourdough recipe is the best I've come across so far!
I've found that this dough is perfect for making a small boule to go with dinner (and to have with cheese the next day!). It's too dense for sandwich bread; I tried that and it was okay, but I still like my mother-in-law's recipe best. Although I'm still trying to adapt her recipe to using a sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. No luck yet, but you'll be the first to know when I figure it out!
(That's the pizza peel Clayton's brother made me for last year's sibling handmade gift exchange.)
Mmm, but these crusty, chewy sourdough loaves are so delicious! They're perfect with soup and salad. And it's the easiest thing in the world to just turn on the oven, tear off a hunk of dough and toss it in the oven. I let it rest on the counter a bit to soften up so it can rise a bit more, but really, that's about all there is to it. And I love how forgiving this stuff is. I mean, it just hangs out there in your fridge for a week, none the worse for neglect or time. In fact, it gets better with age (up to a point, of course); the sourdough flavor isn't very pronounced the first day, but by the end of the week the loaves definitely have that signature tang. I prefer mine slathered liberally with butter!