This was the first bread book I bought, inspired by seeing Dan make sourdough on a River Cottage TV episode (it looked so simple yet so complex... just my thing!) and it got me hooked on bread baking.
I have created three sourdough starters following directions in this book and, every time, it just worked; I have consequently never understood the need for all the sourdough rituals like adding raisins, pineapple juice, bakers' yeast, dancing round the starter in the full moon, etc.
I have other books now, and generally refer to them instead when baking something new by recipe, but often refer back to the River Cottage book to compare similar recipes. It's still my standard for focaccia and scones!