World Sourdoughs from Antiquity: Authentic Recipes for Modern Bakers Paperback – Sep 1 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
The author correctly points out that until the last century, all breads were sourdough based, meaning that you had regularly feed, care for, and keep alive the yeast like a beloved family pet. Upon the invention of commercial yeast, almost all bread bakers switched. The commercial stuff is easier to deal with and more profitable, but it also means that the breads have much less flavor. In this book, the author has assembled a standard collection of bread recipes using a sourdough starter instead of the usual commercial yeast. He has recipes for standard loaf breads, ryes, egg breads, whole wheat, French, rolls, buns, pancakes, waffles, batter breads, and the like. Of particular interest are the kamut and spelt bread recipes (both are ancient predecessors to our modern wheat), and the bread machine recipes.
On the down side, the author does not seem to have devoted much time to developing proper recipe instructions. He has one master recipe (for loaves, for example), and all the other ones are just ingredient variations of the master. This a problem, as the breads go all over the place; some are heavy, dense ones, some are similar to French breads, and others have vastly different hydration levels (moisture content). This common procedure does not work for all the varieties of different breads.Read more ›
Ed Wood's book, World Sourdoughs from Antiquity, cleared up the mystery for me. His techniques work, they are understandable, and they don't involve witchcraft or the phase of the moon. While Dr. Woods sells sourdough cultures he has collected from around the world, his techniques will work with any culture, even ones you captured yourself.
The book not only tells you how to use sourdough, it explains what it is, gives an interesting history of sourdough, has amusing stories about how Dr. Woods collected the starters he sells, and has a number of very good recipes.
As I write this, there are four more loaves of sourdough bread in the oven, and the smell is driving me crazy.... before Ed Wood's book, I hadn't had any real sourdough success!
Most recent customer reviews
What an outstanding manual for sourdough baking. I was easily able to capture my own culture, which I have been using now for about 6 months. Dr. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2001
Am I the only one who felt these recipes produced very wet doughs? I weigh my flour when baking and found I needed to add a cup or more of flour to what the recipes required when... Read morePublished on March 17 2001
Wood knows too much about his subject, which leads him to tacitly assume knowledge a beginner doesn't have. This book has much to help a beginner, but it's organization is awful. Read morePublished on Dec 12 2000 by William H. Mills
This book has clear instructions and easy traditional recipes. I've baked some of these breads and my neighbors and relatives love them! Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2000
Ed Wood the pathologist makes sourdough cultures for bread baking accessible to the novice. He's spent his life studying these kinds of organisms and has applied his science in... Read morePublished on Oct. 8 1999