As it turns out, sourdough bread is a lot harder to make well than the sourdough starter.
First batch, when I thought I could just wing the measurements: Horrifyingly sour
Second batch: Working from actual recipe, good taste, crust so hard that I couldn't even cut it with one of those zippy electric knives you bust out once a year to carve the turkey. But like a TootsiePop, once I got to the center, what I found inside was tasty.
Third batch: Good crust, but bread didn't taste like sourdough! It very was pretty though. Glossy and stuff. Like someone had varnished it for a photo shoot.
Fourth batch: Coming soon, probably Tuesday. Will take pictures next time, I swear. Just gotta figure out where I stuck my camera. . .
Attempts 1 thru 3 have been with whole wheat starter and the loaves were about half whole wheat and half all-purpose. Making an all-purpose starter now to see if the not-as-good-for-you white sourdough has any flavor at all. It's a mystery!
Note: Working on a new story while being on this bread kick ... well, I think my bread got hard because I kind of forgot I was baking something for a while. I don't know if it's forgetfulness or just being easily distracted. I walked away from the oven, forgot the bread. La la la. Started carrying one of those ridiculous old clangy kitchen timers with me to keep me misting the bread and oven with water! (Something I never knew anyone ever had to do. Had to buy a squirt bottle to make soft crust. I really wish I had gone fun instead and got a squirt gun, but they don't mist, and when they do it takes all the fun out of it. Mists don't go very far. Whoever wanted a mist gun? Well, er, me. Just now. Then I could wear it in a holster when I'm baking, and occasionally rip the oven door open and shoot into it while making whoosh noises. Bang-bang doesn't seem to fit in the mental image I'm gettin...)