I sometimes tell people who ask about my bread that sourdough isn’t difficult. It’s just twenty minutes of work spread across two full days.
On day one I start in the morning and take my starter out of the fridge. Some people will tell you that you need to keep in on the counter, feed it every day, and care for it as if it were a child. My starter will be four years old next month and he comes out of the fridge for about 12 hours at a time, just long enough to prime for action… then fed, watered, and right back to bed.
My starter comes out of the fridge at about 7am, before I head out to work, and by the time I get home it’s warm and bubbly and active.
I mix my dough, and while I’ve got the flour out on the counter, I replace the half of the starter I used with two parts flour and one part water and double him back up to his regular size with a good mix.
The starter goes back in the fridge. The dough has some countertop time and some folds over the next couple hours, and it joins the starter.
Ten tough minutes of work, spread across that first day and I’ve got a fed starter and a bowl of dough resting for tomorrow.