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Classic Sourdoughs: A Home Baker's Handbook Paperback – November 30, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Each recipe gives different options for length of proofing cycles using different proofing temperatures. I was never able to control the temperature during proofing until I read the description for making an inexpensive proofing box described in the book. It made all the difference between success and failure.
The process is explained in much better detail in other books on Artisan Baking (like Peter Reinhardt's' "Crust and Crumb".
In addition, I purchased dried cultures from his company ($ 35.00), and when I had vital questions during activation, it took him six days to respond. When I then sent a series of (distressed) inqueries, he tells me "buy my book, the answers are there!!! ".I had already bought the book --- and it is over-rated. This "king of cultures" is vague on detail, and impatient with support.
Part of the problem with the whole topic of sourdough is the name. The bread baked from a "sourdough" starter doesn't have to be sour. Peter Reinhart prefers to call it "wild yeast" to be more exact. For thousands of years bakers had to rely on the single-celled fungi that are in the air, in the flour, even on our skin, to leaven dough. But this process was (and remains) as much an art as a science. Some bakers learned how to cut corners by borrowing the foam from beer brewers for its yeast. In the 1860s the Fleischmanns figured out how to cultivate and dry "brewers yeast" and revolutionized the baking industry.
But, convenient as commercial yeast makes baking, it's not the same animal (ok, plant) as wild yeast, and there are purists out there who claim this shift was the beginning of the decline of bread. There are studies to suggest that they have a point: one indicates people with Celiac disease can safely eat wild-yeast bread, and another suggests that because of the increase of lactic acid and the reduction of simple carbohydrates produced by the sourdough process,wild-yeast bread could be of benefit to diabetics. Accomplished bakers like Ed Wood, a scientist living in Idaho, recommend using wild yeast exclusively and avoiding "contaminating" your bread with commercial yeast. Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes its Ed's first edition, however it is still a viable reference. By all means don't miss the first 4 chapters. This is still authentic Sourdough with a scientific background. Read morePublished 3 months ago by pestleman
If you want to make REAL sourdough this is the book to buy. Ed Wood knows what he's talking about.Published 9 months ago by Unit_1
This book has a lot of helpful information on sourdough baking. It would be better if it gave all of the measures in weight instead of cups, spoons, etc.Published 23 months ago by John R. Hill
This book is truly interesting to read as well as recipes (formulas) for great bread. I still haven't bought a kitchen scale but that is on my list of things to get. Read morePublished on May 29, 2011 by LKimmel
Dr. Wood provides a wealth of easy to understand instructions for great sourdough in this book. I purchsed his San Fransisco culture and use it exclusively for my breadbaking. Read morePublished on April 28, 2011 by B.Scott Henry
So far I like the book. I would give it five stars but I have yet to go through all of the recipes and suggestions! It's simple and easy to understand and comprehend. Read morePublished on March 27, 2011 by Royster
I learned about this book from borrowing a friend's copy of it. Then I checked out Dr. Wood's website and learned he has a revised version which I expect to correct issues people... Read morePublished on March 2, 2011 by kmsg