@zepp Ha!! I’m a half step behind as I work from a home office (self employed computer programmer) that is situated just off my kitchen And no husband or children to get out the door or prepare meals for, so theoretically, I have a LOT of “free” time. It doesn’t always feel that way but I do know that 90% of the time, life does not interfere with checking on dough.
I do bake frequently: every 3 or 4 days. I tend to make smaller versions of things. I think the point Melissa made of knowing your ingredients and how they typically perform in your oven/kitchen is key to mostly stellar bakes.
I started baking kneaded breads over 40 years ago. About 10 years ago, I changed to no knead ala “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day” and then made my first sourdough almost 4 years ago. There is always, always something to learn and that is part of what I love about baking and sourdough in particular. But years of experience is helpful as well and also as Melissa noted: it is good to be able to roll with whatever .
One of the things I took from the “Artisan in 5” approach is that dough is storable. I tend to go with not much room temp time and a lot of refrigerator time. That not only gives me a lot of flexibility about when I bake but I find my breads are lighter in texture. AND, I can make a large batch of dough and bake small-medium fresh loaves through the week.
I rarely have a very busy time in my house as I just do not live that way. But, the challenging part of sourdough baking, for me, in the beginning was thinking ahead: feeding/refreshing starter, enough time for fermentation. Over time that has become easier and I don’t “think” about it all that much but at first, I kept a lot of “time” notes so I go things going in time to have bread when I wanted it.
The other “trick” when my inventory control and planning fails, is something I learned from Melissa (@Fermentada) which is to increase the amount of starter to speed things up. I’ve only done this a handful of times, but it has worked each time.