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Classic Sourdoughs, Revised: A Home Baker's Handbook Paperback – July 12, 2011
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“[The] new edition of Wood’s classic global explorations of wild yeast is a big event
in the baking world and a must for sourdough fans.”
—The Arizona Republic
“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
About the Author
ED WOOD, MD, PhD, is a physician and research scientist whose quest for ancient sourdough cultures began in Saudi Arabia, where he served as a chairman of pathology at a Riyadh hospital. He returned to the United States with a bevy of sourdough cultures and began blending the art of baking with the rigor of science. He and his wife, JEAN WOOD, founded Sourdoughs International, which ships sourdough cultures from Cascade, Idaho, to seventy-eight countries around the world.
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The only thing I could see missing from this book was dessert items but those can be found on the web. The chocolate sourdough cake recipe offered by King Arthur Flour Company's web-site is very good as long as you know they are looking for starter with a thick pancake batter consistency.
I was really glad to have a copy of this book after getting my starter. It really helped answer the question of, "Now what do I do with it?" I am very anxious to try the waffle recipes. I can say the pizza dough recipe turned out better than the previous recipes I have tried and the challah recipe makes one huge challah.
I don't see a need for the proofing box Wood recommends, particularly during the warmer months but otherwise I am loving this book. He does not suggest fancy equiptment and the recipes so far have been excellent.
Honestly, a canning jar with starter and a copy of this book would be an excellent gift for those who enjoy baking and those who enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Update: Jan 2013, still using this book and a Danish dough wisk and the King Arthur flour sourdough starter stored in the King Arthur sourdough crock. I mostly use the no knead recipe as it is so easy with a Danish dough wisk. The wisk was an amazon purchase too.
I found this book to be a a very useful guide on growing, maintaining and baking amazing bread with my very own sourdough culture!
However i do have to say that now i use this book as more of a guide when baking. I found over the last 6 or so months i've been fine tuning the recipes and processes to suit my culture and my baking environment. My proofing times are quite a bit shorter than those described in the book (which isn't to say they're wrong) i just found my culture is very active and needs less time especially on the second rise.
One tip i'd suggest to anyone else who is starting out is to keep notes on things like consistency of the starter culture and then the dough as you're baking.
I was stuck a few months ago when all of a sudden my finished loaves where crap. They wouldn't spring anymore in the oven and they turned out very flat and unimpressive. I managed (through trial and error ) to work out that my starter culture wasn't hydrated enough in combination with a longer than needed have second rise.
This book is great if you want a very in depth explanation of the whole process..
I have to say i was a little overwhelmed after watching all the different ways to do it on youtube or in forums.
This book can be a little daunting at first. but once you understand the principals outlined in the book its really quite easy and fun!
These days i've started to rely more on judging the consistency of my starter culture (keeping it like a thick pancake mixture or a thick milkshake)
and then judging when the starter is fully activated. Proofing time varies for me now depending on what the dough looks and feels like rather than strict times and measurements. By doing this i am able to recreate great loaves every time now :) and now i'm like "why was i ever hesitant to get into sourdough?!" :)
Highly recommend this book for anyone with little or no experience in baking bread!
Its really not that hard to start doing it!
Ed Wood is an experienced sourdough baker. He is very exact and precise about his sourdough cultures and keeping them pure from yeast. Included in this book are; the birth and life of sourdough, the ingredients, putting it together, recipes that go from the basic sourdough to challah, to rye and then muffins, buns, pancakes and waffles. He includes baking with a bread machine which will probably be a relief to those that wish to use them. There are lots of savory bread recipes which are wonderful and some no-kneads are also included There is information on cultures from Sourdough International and an index.
If you would like to make your own culture, which is truly an adventure and an amazing project for interesting younger bakers in this art - that is included. He has come up with the idea and provides instructions for making your own proof box - just Styrofoam and a light bulb. The proof box is not that difficult and is a great tool in this age of air conditioned, controlled temperature housing.
It is a revelation for even some experienced bakers to learn of and be able to obtain different cultures and to bake bread using no commercial yeast. It's truly an experience that you should do if you have started to bake bread...which I would advise everyone to try - it's fun and such a satisfying experience.