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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.
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.
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).Read more ›
The book was quite readable and contained information that you just won't easily find anywhere else. Wood discusses different grains, gives tips on how to bring your starter back if it goes south, describes different starters, and provides a nice collection of recipes. If you are going to experiment with sourdough, this is a book you'll turn to again and again.
As an aside, the San Francisco sourdough culture makes a great bread, but I'm itching to try the Russian starter that according to Wood works well with whole wheat. Will update this review once I receive that order and turn out a few trial loaves.
Hard pressed to say if this book, or the one by Lisa Rayner is the absolute best one on the market for sourdoughs. They both have their great points. I'd go out on a limb though and say that if I could buy just one, this would be it. Read the book, order a starter. You'll soon be enjoying breads with wonderful crust and a chewy texture that just can't be duplicated with commercial yeast.
Update: One of the big challenges for me is making a palatable whole wheat bread with more than 50% whole wheat. Anything more than that and it's likely you will get a heavy, flat, dense bread. My San Francisco sourdough had that limitation as well. Last week I tried a Russian sourdough culture. Made two loaves that were 100% whole wheat. The loaves rose well and were not dense. For me that's a big milestone.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What I didn't see in the other reviews summarily read was you could buy sourdough starters collected from around the world through Ed Wood. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Robert B. Walker
I bought this to go with my sourdough starter from another company as it was recommended. The recipes are ok but I had to adjust times and temps for my own starter and they wound... Read morePublished 1 month ago by A. Burkholder
For my first book on this subject, I found the requirement to keep everything at an exact temperature (and to make a box where you can control the temperature for proofing etc),... Read morePublished 1 month ago by spabis
This is the first book I bought for sourdough bread baking and it really got me into the whole crazy sourdough baking world. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bettina Seifert
Read review from Grandma also - this book may contain some good info but for a new baker such as myself I would not recommend. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mlucia10
Wow, what a great book!!! I learned so much from this one!!! I have many sourdough books but this is my favorite for absolutely understand sourdough and its processes!!! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Suzanne
This book shows its relative age, when compared with more recent, authentic bread making handbooks such as those produced by Ken Forkish and Peter Reinhart. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J English