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Classic Sourdoughs, Revised: A Home Baker's Handbook Paperback – July 12, 2011
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Praise for the PREVIOUS edition
“[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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
One of the biggest improvements is the simplified directions in the chapter "Putting It All Together". In my opinion this is the heart of the book. In just a few pages it explains very clearly what is happening in your sourdough culture and how to handle it correctly. It made me a better baker, and I am having more fun experimenting with recipes and adapting them to my taste.
Another great addition is the "No-Knead Sourdough" recipe section. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the basic recipe. It worked beautifully for me. And with a slight adjustment to the loaf proof (lower temperature, longer time) I can now easily fit baking fresh sourdough bread into my weekday work schedule. The recipe worked equally well for rye bread.
My favorite recipe section in the book is probably also the most unique - the one on Middle Eastern breads. It's brought to life by the authors' personal experiences from living and traveling in the Middle East. I love making fresh "Khbuz Arabi" (pita bread) when we have guests. They bake in just 5 minutes, the guests love watching them puff up, and they are delicious hot out of the oven. For a perfectly authentic version, and extra food for conversation, you could use the author's "La Giza" culture, collected from an ethnic bakery in Egypt.
At the end of the book is a small section that describes the sourdough cultures collected by the authors and available on their website (Sourdoughs International). It does not come across as a pitch but rather as sharing their passion for the history and variety of sourdough cultures.
I grew up in Germany on excellent rye and whole grain sourdough breads. Many years ago when I moved to the US and experienced serious bread withdrawal, I got Ed Wood's "New Zealand Culture for rye" and have been baking with it ever since. It makes fantastic rustic rye breads, though I tend to omit the extra ingredients (molasses, milk, and butter) listed in the book's rye recipes. Now Ed Wood has a new Polish rye sourdough culture and I am tempted to try it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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