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Classic Sourdoughs - A Home Baker's Handbook
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607740070 1607740079

Classic Sourdoughs teaches home bakers how to make sourdough bread. You will learn how to make sourdough starter, how to grow wild cultures and how to proof cultures and bread loaves.

Ed Wood's sourdough baking lessons inform artisan bakers about ingredients, how to adjust the sourness and leavening with a culture proof and temperature controls, and how to use bread machines to make sourdough.

How to make sourdough bread

The front of the cookbook features sourdough baking lessons, which answer questions about baking naturally fermented bread. These include how often to feed the culture (every two to four months), what to feed sourdough cultures (only flour and water) and what to do if a brown liquid forms on top of the starter (stir it in).

Ed Wood introduces each recipe with information about sourdough ingredients, substitutions and recipe yield. For example, in his sourdough Kamut bread recipe for one 1.5 pound (680 gram)-loaf, the author notes that you can substitute one cup whole wheat flour or one cup rye flour for one cup of Kamut flour.

Using sourdough cultures

Each recipe includes bread baking instructions on dough proofing (first rise), loaf proofing (second rise) and baking temperatures and times.

Although we have successfully baked bread with commercial yeast, we have never tried baking bread with sourdough cultures. Having read Classic Sourdoughs, we are eager to try the recipes.

The cookbook has black-and-white images of Jean and Ed Wood, as well as two images that depict how to build a proofing box.

Middle Eastern bread

The 180-page bread cookbook features a range of recipes from whole wheat sourdough bread and sourdough dinner rolls to sourdough bagels, baguettes, pizza and pancakes.

Especially interesting are the Middle Eastern recipes for sourdough breads like Khubz Arabi (Arab bread), Kaahk Ramazan, a vanilla and cinnamon sourdough cookie recipe and Khubz Saj, a Bedouin sourdough flatbread.

Classic Sourdoughs also provides nutrition information like the number of calories in sourdough bread (less than 150 calories per slice).

Sample sourdough recipes

Basic sourdough bread. Braided egg bread. Challah. San Francisco sourdough. Malt beer bread. Cheese onion bread. Walnut bread. Cranberry nut sourdough. Sunflower bread. Austrian Christmas bread. Basic no-knead sourdough. Prairie flax bread. Caraway spelt bread. Raisin rye bread. Salted pretzels. Poppy seed rolls. Yukon flapjacks. Rye waffles. Sour cream waffles. Dark pumpernickel bread. Anise rye bread. Saudi date bread. English muffins. Cinnamon rolls.

Classic Sourdoughs - A Home Baker's Handbook by Ed Wood and Jean Wood


  • Introduction
  • One - The Birth and Life of Sourdough
  • Two - The Ingredients of Sourdough Bread
  • Three - Putting It All Together
  • Four - Recipes
  • Five - Baking Sourdoughs with Bread Machines
  • Cultures from Sourdoughs International
  • Index


Ed Wood and his wife, Jean Wood (1928-2010), founded Sourdoughs International, which sells dried sourdough cultures from San Francisco, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Yukon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

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