I've made a variety of sourdough breads since this obsession hit a couple of months ago (is that all it is...a couple of months? Scary - my life has changed and there ain't no way back!). All my breads have been nice without being spectacular. Now I'm in quest of a REALLY FLAVOURSOME white sourdough.
I've done a pain de levain, which is probably a fairly standard recipe - nice, but not sensational.
My best-tasting bread so far is the Norwich sourdough (as adapted by Susan, of the WildYeast site, from Vermont Sourdough in Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman), which has a small amount of rye as well as white flour. It's just a little heavier than the white loaf I'm questing after.
So, would be most interested to hear from anyone who has a white sourdough recipe they love.
I am aware that flavour comes partly from quality ingredients. I am using the best organic flours available here, and I'm confident they're pretty good. That said, the best bread I've ever tasted was in Germany - and I mean all over Germany. Every second corner seemed to have a little privately-owned bakery serving up a huge variety of bread, sourdough and otherwise, that has no equal that I've come across anywhere else...although I live in hope!
No doubt there are also great breads in France and other regions - the baguettes I tasted over there were LOVELY, and although white, were so tasty (not sourdough though, as far as I'm aware).
My conclusion was, and is, that the Euro flours are better than Australian ones. Unless I am bigoted by nostalgia, even the top quality breads I've had in Oz are not up with the German ones...and I have never had white bread here to compare with the flavour of a Parisienne baguette. Sigh...drool...