After two weeks, I have finally baked some sourdough loaves! They turned out pretty nice for a first try. I have been struggling with the starter for a while. My first batch even molded and I threw it out. I started back from scratch and it worked perfectly. The recipe that I used is from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice.
The taste is different from any other bread that I have baked before. Tangy, yeasty, wheaty and just very good. The crumb is moist and the crust is chewy. I was afraid I over baked them because they registered almost 210F on the thermometer, but they are just perfect.
I have a large pain Poilane rising in the fridge right now also from BBA. More on that later...for now I am just enjoying my new bread. Sourdough may be more time consuming than other breads, but it is definitely worth it.
When I started this sourdough thing, I wondered why people go to such trouble instead of just using commercial yeast...but now I think I am starting to understand. There is something personal about growing your own wild yeast and watching as they slowly form into a crusty loaf. It makes it all worth while.