Home Cooking

Sourdough: Silverton v. Berenbaum v. Reinhart?

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Sourdough: Silverton v. Berenbaum v. Reinhart?

Liana Krissoff | Jan 14, 2008 12:37 PM

I've done a fair amount of bread baking, and am pretty proficient in the kitchen, but I've never really gotten sourdough right. This year it's on my list of foods I'd like to learn to make well (along with bagels [which I have a good start on as of last week] and lox [need to start building that smokehouse], kung pao chicken, Iranian cheese, etc.). I'm interested in a straight flour-water starter—I've tried ones with dairy and whatnot, with no success. Which book should I invest in as a starting point? The Bread Baker's Apprentice seems most in line with my skill level, but would The Bread Bible be more useful in the long term? I don't know much about the La Brea Bakery bread book except that it apparently has a recipe for one of my all-time favorite novelty breads, which I'd also like to be able to make someday (chocolate–sour cherry bread; I assume this is a yeasted bread, not a quickbread? I'm thinking of the version I indulged in regularly from Amy's Bread in NYC). What's Silverton's sourdough section like? Thanks for any input you can give me. Browsing for extended periods at the bookstore is a little difficult these days with a very active 20-month-old to keep an eye on!

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