Hello from the frigid Southeast (Texas)!
I'm finally introducing myself after lurking for a while. I think I'm so excited because my homegrown sourdough starter is going to "take". And I bought my first book today "the bread bible" (Berenbaum's). I started baking in ernest when I was given a bag of Amish starter in October and decided to play with the numbers, decrease the sugar and find another way to bake with it beside using nasty box pudding mix. I successfully used starter without adding pudding to make several lemon cranberry loaves (lemon juice from my own trees), split the starter in two and converted one to whole wheat and the other stayed AP flour. I then dropped the milk and only fed equal fl oz of flour and water, then changed the ratio again. So, they are sort of a sourdough I suppose but started unconventionally.
I successfully made sourdough boule's from each which turned out very yummy and made everyone oohhh and ahhhh : ) I then used the AP one as sort of a poolish and made the potato & rosemary rolls (my own rosemary and sage). So good! I learned the hard way about the necessity of autolysing whole wheat (had to add water to the dough after rested overnight in fridge!) But the bread continues to taste good and I am learning. Something else I've learned is the benefit of a heating pad under the first rise and even the 2nd rise when my kitchen is 62 degrees and I want to bake!
Yesterday I was bound and determined to make a white sandwich loaf for my son's lunches this week (started back to school after break). I used a recipe that I again changed from a poolish starter to my sourdough starter. I felt a little naughty adding the 1tsp of yeast to the final recipe, but I had to remember I wasn't making sourdough! Those loaves turned out so lovely and he did indeed have his lunch sandwich made on bread that his mom made for him. Wow.
Back to my wild sourdough starter - first mixed it on New Year's Eve with rye flour for the yeast load and have now gone to the AP flour. I'm really excited about baking with that! So, I'm pumped and ready to keep going!