Classic Sourdoughs: A Home Baker's Handbook

Joined Mar 13, 2001
By Ed Wood (Ten Speed Press, California, 224 pages)

Author and sourdough aficionado Ed Wood has travelled all over the world collecting snippets of dough and expertly blending fragrant culture, but also how to create an indigenous version using water and flour to capture workable yeast and bacteria from the backyard or house. With scientific zeal, Dr. Wood carefully analyses flours and additives for their effect on sourdough bread. After this explanatory journey, he leads the reader onward through the activation of the culture to a "stock", then to a "working" culture and finally making the dough itself.

Included in Classic Sourdoughs are over one hundred recipes for utilizing this historic concoction. Amongst the recipes are his personal "Top Ten": World Bread, Light Swedish Limpa, Tanya's Peasant Black Bread, English Muffins, Dinner Rolls, Cranberry-huckleberry Batter Bread, Yukon Flapjacks, Sour Cream Waffles, Khubz Arabi (Arab Bread) and San Francisco Sourdough (prepared in a bread machine and by hand). — Great for Nicko! —

He goes to great lengths to explain the use of bread machines in making sourdough bread, but concludes that while the culture can be mixed mechanically, the length of time required to proof the culture and dough is beyond a machine's capability. He does, however, include bread machine recipes, with caveats about the machine's performance. In the final chapter, he recounts his adventures of collecting wild cultures, drying them and marketing them through his company, Sourdoughs International. His collection includes the original cultures gathered from the Middle East, Europe and North America. "The Original San Francisco Sourdough", acquired from an anonymous source in 1997, and his latest find, a South African culture that both grows in and leavens 100% whole-wheat flour. Finally, while noting that "successful sourdough baking demands patience, skill, perseverance and ingenuity," he reminds readers that the most important ingredient is "the baker wearing the apron".

by Chocolatier Magazine

You can read the first chapter at Barnes and Nobles dot com along with the table of contents.

Edited to add that Ed Wood is also the author of World Sourdoughs from Antiquity
Joined Aug 14, 2000
I have not read any of Mr. Wood's books. From what I hear, he is a bit zealous when it comes to 80º+ fermentation, including how to congigure a styrafoam cooler and a light bulb into a homemade proofing box. This strikes me as a little obsessive.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
There is a bread book coming out soon: Breads of France : How to Bake Them in Your Own Kitchen.

On paper it does look interesting. Take a look.
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