on February 15, 2002
For over ten years I've used Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book for making yeast and leavened (wild yeast) breads. Mostly the former. It has one recipe, however, for a whole-grain leavened bread which is more sophisticated than a rustic sourdough. That recipe alone is worth the book's price and produces a more flavorful and healthful bread than the sourdough leavened white bread I just made using a recipe from Classic Sourdoughs. Additionally, Classic Sourdoughs is not well edited for clarity, contains a fair amount of incidental information not relevant to learning how to bake breads, and lacks the extensive research that went into creating Laurel's Kithchen Bread Book. Unless you cannot obtain good quality whole wheat flour or have a strong preference for white flour, Laurel's Kitchen is a much better value for your time and money.
on April 5, 2002
Ed Wood and I became acquainted 10 years ago when his Brittany tangled with a porcupine near our home in North Dakota. By the time we got all those quills out, I knew about his sourdoughs. Since then my wife has used his recipes and cultures for the sourdough breads we serve every day in our Bed & Breakfast. With no previous experience in sourdough baking, she now uses both the Russian and San Francisco cultures that Dr. Wood has collected, and both have proved to be great additions to our menus. Of course, I'm biased but I think the new approach in the latest book is more foolproof and tells the home baker exactly how to produce the best sourdough bread.