Before I get into the sourdough breads in The Bread Baker's Apprentice I want to sing the praises of Reinhart's method for sourdough starter. The starter is absolutely essential, of course, but is also the most daunting aspect of making sourdough bread. The great thing about this starter is that you can abuse and neglect it and it still keeps kicking. Because the starter lives in the fridge it does not need daily refreshments and actually can be left for a few weeks (as I did when I went on holiday). Really it's the most hassle-free sourdough starter ever. My starter is now over a year old (I originally blogged about it here) and is still happy and bubbly and making great bread.