A lurker finally comes out. I just baked my first loaves from my "new" (about 5 days old) wild yeast starter. They came out great. I used Shiao Ping's version of Chad Robertson's Country Sourdough. I tweaked the schedule a bit to fit my personal commitment, but generally followed her schedule and formula. I did replace about 20% of the total flour with King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour.
The loaves turned out beautifully. I was completely surprised by the amount of oven spring. I baked the first two loaves and the slashes were obliterated by the amount of spring that occurred. On the second set I slashed even deeper, but they were almost completely filled in. I know I should have waited to slice them, but I was curious about the crumb and so cut one loaf as soon as it was cool to the touch. Very pleasantly surprised by the openness of the crumb, and the crust seems nice and crisp with a bit of tooth to it. I think the "fresh" flavor was quite nice, especially for a new starter. It will be interesting to see how the flavor develops as the bread ages a bit.
This is a comparison of the proofed loaves to the baked ones.
This is the second set of loaves and even though I made a concerted effort to cut deeper the slashes still filled in a lot.
And finally the crumb. (Sorry for the poor focus).
So there it is. My first loaves and my first blog post. I'd like to express my appreciation to the folks who make and maintain TFL website. It is truly an approachable and yet impressive resource for bread bakers everywhere. Thanks for the amazing array of expertise, the encouragement, and the inspiration.