Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sourdough: How to Make Artisan Fermented Bread , Rustic Pizza Recipes and Homemade Yeast

Sourdough is a tutorial guide with recipes for fermented grain and homemade yeast products written by Mary Lo Caso. Released in 2021, it's 200 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

This is a well written and thorough guide to creating a starter, maintaining it, and utilizing it to create a surprising number of fermented bread foods. The book has a very spare layout with easy to read text and good formatting (bullet points, page design etc).The ARC provided for review doesn't contain any photography or diagrams, but the descriptions are comprehensive and easy to understand. The author writes clearly and encouragingly. 

The recipes are surprisingly varied. It naturally includes all the steps for creating and maintaining several different starter cultures, but in addition to the basic loaves, the author provides appealing recipes for pizzas and pie-crusts, breadsticks, buns, biscuits, crackers, and more. We've tried out the basic (no-frills) starter, which is bubbling away happily. There are numerous recipes included which we intend to try. I like the "no waste" philosophy and her recipes for discard dough which would otherwise go to waste. 

Recipes include a description, prep and baking times, ingredients in a bullet list, and step by step directions. Ingredient measurements are provided in imperial (American) standard measurements only. Optional ingredients and alternate preps are listed in parentheses in each recipe. 

Four stars. This would make a good beginning guide for folks who want to make high quality grain based fermented breads from scratch. I would also recommend it as an instruction text for workshops, activity groups, library acquisition, and similar uses. It would have been enhanced if it included photos, but even without, it's a solidly useful basic manual for sourdough.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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