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Classic Sourdoughs: A Home Baker's Handbook Paperback – November 30, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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One Dough, Ten Breads: Making Great Bread by Hand by Sarah Black
"One Dough, Ten Breads" by Sarah Black
An introduction to making bread by hand, starting with one simple dough and making small changes to ingredients and proportions to create ten "foundation" breads. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brings the tradition of sourdough cooking into focus. It is easy, interesting reading and doesn'¬?t make sourdough baking seem complicated.”—Sharon Maasdam, The Oregonian“A Match Made With Leaven: A True Story of Loafing, Lust, and Loss” —headline of review with recipe tested by The Palm Beach Post

About the Author

ED WOOD is a pathologist, biologist, wild yeast expert, and master baker. In 1993, he was invited to participate in a National Geographic project to reproduce the first leavened breads at an excavated baking site in Egypt. Through his company, Sourdoughs International, he sells dried authentic sourdough cultures he has collected from around the world. He lives and bakes in Cascade, Idaho.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (November 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580083447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580083447
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book really is for the home baker who doesn't have the special ovens and tools of the artisans like Daniel Leader's Bread Alone or Nancy Singleton"s La Brea Bakery. Ed Wood's book gives instructions that can be used with any sourdough starter although I have produced far better sourdoughs with his starters than any I captured myself. There isn't a baker's yeast recipe in the entire book. If you're a novice baker or an old hand, you can learn a lot about sourdoughs from this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is the only book I have found that really tells how to make sourdough bread the right way without having to use yeast. The book gives explicit instructions from the moment the starter comes from the refrigerator until the finished loaf leaves the pan. The step by step methods tell how to produce an active starter every time so the bread always rises well.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I began following this author quite a while ago including reading ealier books because there wasn't that much information about baking sourdough bread. He has simplified the directions a little but I was never successful with his directions until I took a course at King Arthur and discovered that baking sourdoughs isn't all that complicated. Now I make naturally leavened bread almost every week. I finally trashed the silly "proof box" that Mr. Wood recommends. I occasionally dip into this book to try the recipes and I'm pretty sure some of them have significant errors (the SF sourdough turns out more like a ciabatta because either the flour or water measurments are wrong). If you want a really good book on bread baking check out "Bread A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman. It has lots of good sourdough recipes based on solid baking formulas.
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Format: Paperback
The thing I liked best about Dr. Wood's new book was the section on doing sourdoughs in bread machines. For the last 10 years I've been totally frustrated trying to get a decent sourdough out of a machine. Now, I'm turning out a perfect sourdough with the sourness I really like and the loaf comes out with that open texture with all the big holes of a real San Francisco sourdough.
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Format: Paperback
I have used the recipes in this book and they work pretty well with the Sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour - I then purchased some starters from Ed Wood and followed the instructions in the book. When they did not revive (they came dried) his basic reply was "tough" even though they claim you will get a refund. Since the book is an infomercial for his starters I would think they would be a little more friendly!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for scientific and detailed instructions on sourdough, as I was expecting it from a scientist author and TenSpeed Press book description, Wood's book is not the best money the amateur baker can spend. Very few details (as few as 23 lines on p.8-9) are given on how to make your own sourdough culture and there is no clear instructions on how to use homemade chef--instead of chef made from exotic dry cultures marketed by the author--in the 102 recipies which form the main section of the book (p. 54-183). The book is no doubt excellent but if, as I do, you like to make things by yourself from A to Z, Daniel Leader's "Bread Alone"--in which seven pages cover minutely each sourdough making steps--is much more rewarding despites its very important editing mistakes (I have been told Mr. Leader is working on a second improved handbook). Following Leader's instructions, I successfuly made my first incredibly tasteful sourdough loaves few years ago. But the most complete (almost encyclopedic) information and instructions I found not only on sourdough making but also on poolish, sponge, etc, are in Raymond Calvel's "Le gout du pain" (recently translated into English as "The Taste of Bread" [...]) though the latter book is not for home baking. Look also for "Boulangerie Simon Rodolphe" on the net where a wealth of practical informations on sourdough making can be found.
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Format: Paperback
My whole incentive for purchasing this book was that I was under the perception that it would go into great detail on how to create, or activate, and maintain sourdough cultures. The author spends a whole one and a half pages on this topic only!!!!Do not purchase for the recipes--- nothing special at all.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Since learning to bake bread 5 or 6 years ago I've always held sourdough to be the ultimate achievement in bread baking. In that time I perfected my pizza dough recipe (using instant yeast), and could use the same dough to make a pretty good loaf of white bread. My preferred method is to mix the dough and leave it for a long, long proof in a cold fridge. Fermenting dough before baking, however, is really just an attempt to partake of a bit of the sourdough process without adopting it completely.

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.
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