'Master the art of sourdough with Vanessa and you will learn how to look after your own gut microbes and health.' - Tim Spector, author of The Diet Myth
At her renowned Sourdough School, Vanessa has taught countless students the secrets of this healthy, more easily digestible bread, and now she has compiled her teachings for the home baker. From creating your own starter from scratch, you'll then move on to basic breadmaking techniques, before progressing to using sprouted grains and experimenting with flavours to produce Fig and Earl Grey and Cherry Plum loaves. With step-by-step photography, detailed instructions, specialist advice and Vanessa's indispensable encouragement, The Sourdough School celebrates the timeless craft of artisan baking.
Kimbell (Food for Thought) offers readers techniques instead of an encyclopedic collection of recipes for sourdough breads of all forms in this immersive offering. Much of sourdough's unique funk and personality comes from its starter, a colony of living, symbiotic microbes that work in conjunction with various enzymes to break down flour, making it the foundation for sourdough. While readers can easily purchase their own starter, Kimbell walks readers through the many steps of creating one and keeping it alive in order to deepen its character; she includes copious photos and a detailed timeline with key steps in the process. What makes Kimbell's book so terrific is the advice she shares; she's been teaching bread making for years and is able to answer an array of questions readers may have ("What is a typical sourdough ratio?; "How do I maintain my starter?"; "What kind of flour should I use?"). Indeed, it often feels as if she's predicting problems and offering solutions before they even occur. Once she's given home bakers a solid foundation, she moves on to whole wheat recipes, olive and pickled lemon butter bread, Russian rye bread, and a batard of beet, black pepper, and feta cheese. Sweet breads include a chocolate and roasted hazelnut bread. Those new to baking are sure to appreciate Kimbell's patient and thorough tutelage, but even experienced bakers will pick up a trick or two.