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Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories, and More

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  38 reviews
101 recipes for baking with whole and sprouted grains, making the most of the seasonal harvest, and healing the body through naturally fermented food

Sarah Owens spent years baking conventional baked goods, only to slowly realize she had developed a crippling inability to digest or tolerate their ingredients. Unable to enjoy many of her most favorite foods, she knew she mu
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Roost Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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May 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, cookbook
Update May 25, 2020:

I used the buckwheat pancake recipe with some light changes and tweaks and liked it.

Right now I used another pancake recipe, for oven-baked pancakes with a fruit filling. It reminded me strongly of Clafoutis. My fruit of choice was rhubarb (which is actually a vegetable, I think) and it was very tasty!


Bread next...

May 9, 2020:

The Good:
Beautifully made book with pretty photographs. I like that it is sorted by yearly seasons.

The Not-so-Good:
Complicated recipes with many st
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautiful pictures and great information, but the recipes are too adventurous. No practical recipes for every day breads.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Checked this out from the library as a trial and every recipe i made, all 20+, came out amazing. One changes, I reduced the salt in each to my normal use, which is on the skimpy side.

As i eat a plant based diet, at first i thought this book would have limited offerings for me. I was wrong. All of the basic substitutions work with great results throughout the recipes. Aquafaba for eggs and coconut oil for lard / duck fat.

Our favorites were the Jalapeno and Cheese Bread, Beet Bread and Cornmeal Ca
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sourdough bakers, especially those looking for discard recipes
Who can resist a book with a chapter entitled Sourdough Primer that begins with a quote from the inimitable Julia Child:
How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

[- Julia Child, from "How to Avoid TV Dinners While Watching TV" by Joan Barthel, The New York Times Magazine, p. 34, August 7, 1966.]

The book is set up in two parts: Part One: The Sourdough, and Part Two: The Recipes.

Most of Part One is filled with detailed and useful explanations for kitchen essentials, sourd
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, this is a gorgeous book. It's filled with a variety of recipes for baking and cooking with sourdough leaven. This isn't a how to bake sourdough bread guide though there are several recipes and tips throughout. The recipes seem to be written with great detail as well as an organized layout. I personally love that the recipes are written by weight so if you don't have a kitchen scale-get one! All of the recipes correspond to a season so if you enjoy foraging or gardening and finding new ways ...more
Aja Marsh
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i'm in love with this book. so up my alley. lots of whole grain breads and other fun recipes all using a simple and straightforward non-yeast based starter. the author is a gardener/botanist and has lots of interesting ingredients and perspectives. might have to buy this one, but will try out her starter recipe and bake a bread or two and see how it goes! ...more
Amy Elizabeth
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The pictures are stunning and I love the story of the author healing her digestive issues with sourdough. I am a hobby baker and the recipes are very complex with ingredients not super available. If I come across some exotic flours, I will come back to this. The designs on the breads are works of art.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Nice recipe ideas but they were poorly written and kind of confusing and tbh I don't need to be any more confused when baking bread because bread making is already difficult enough ...more
Fred Baerkircher
Feb 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Too much hipster, not enough sourdough.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. I haven't had a chance to cook through this book yet, I just gave it a through once-over. Read the introductory bits and browsed through the recipes. The book itself is gorgeous, a glorious hardcover with stunning photography. The recipes are broad, ranging from bread to donuts, cookies, and savory concoctions. This does not seem to be a book for the faint of heart. The recommended baking gear isn't out of this world, it's pretty basic compared to some books, the most important piece being ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-cooking
Almost every recipe in this book uses sourdough starter. I have an active starter and I'm learning how to bake with it. I'm not sure how useful this book is going to be for me, because as usual, I'm reviewing it as a book after reading it, but not after cooking with it. The author is a botanist and an artist as well as a baker. She has what she calls a microbakery. That means, as she admits, that she's baking in her house for a small group of subscribers. The recipes have a lot of ingredients th ...more
Aug 29, 2019 added it
Shelves: food, 2015
The first half of the book is a careful, thorough introduction to the basic tools, techniques, ingredients, and chemistry of sourdough, by which we mean bread or other baked goods made with a fermented mixture of flour, water, sweetening and natural yeasts in the environment, instead of using, for instance, packaged prepared yeast as a leavening agent. Owens even covers the basic preparation of your “starter” or mother for your own sourdough, including not only the initial preparation but how to ...more
Julie H.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook-cooking
What I most loved about this book is that it is predominantly recipes for things to make that include sourdough starter but that are not sourdough bread. Brilliant! (Don't get me wrong, I've become something of a quarantine cliche and taken up sourdough baking since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I refuse to become a slave to my sourdough.) With these sorts of recipes in hand, and the constant reminder that I'm the sentient one, I am ready to make all sorts of crackers, root vegetable c ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful recipes and I very much like the layout by seasons, but most recipes/ingredients do not seem particularly accessible. I would eat them in a heartbeat if presented with the opportunity, but being on the flip side of making them I hesitate to say I'll attempt more than a handful of these, if that. Also the book has a lot less to do with sourdough than I thought it would - I know, rookie mistake for not reading further into it before buying, but with a name like 'Sourdough' I expected thi ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
A charming book that is lovely to look through - beautiful pictures. It's interesting to read as it has information on everything from suggested flours to suggested kitchen equipment. It contains information on how to create your own sourdough starter and has a variety of recipes. I hadn't realized that sourdough starters could be so versatile.

What it doesn't seem to contain is recipes for different sizes of loaf (i.e. small, medium, large) and it's 1kg of dry ingredients is too big for my purpo
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been diving with gusto into sourdough bread baking, but this lovely book turned out to be more of a coffee-table book for me than one that sent me excitedly into the kitchen. For some reason, none of the recipes here felt like ones I just had to make. As others have said, there are relatively few bread baking recipes, so the title is a bit deceptive. Also, I'm a beginner baker and for now, I'm more focused on making delicious loaves of bread than gorgeous ones. Author Sarah Owens, on the ot ...more
Yu-Jie Lin
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A cookbook that is not just full of recipes, but also stories.

The first part is the sourdough, but it has more than just sourdough. Notes about kitchen tools that you might need to make bread, explaining terms and techniques, even a note about gardening. Ingredients that you might want to stock in your pantry, and of course, the sourdough starter.

In those recipes, unlike most other cookbooks, you will also read some plants' botanic introductions, their Latin names, identification, tastes, etc.

Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
The sourdough starter worked! The recipes included are ridiculous, though, with unnecessarily complicated directions (i.e., not finishing the full directions but instead referring readers back to previous sections of the book so you're flipping all around) and including ingredients that are hard to find. Also, they seemed overly concerned with seeming fancy at the expense of taste (who THE HELL wants to eat a parsley donut? That completely misses the point of the idea of a donut.) Also, ignore t ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favourites, food
Sarah Owens is my HERO - this cookbook is gorgeous as a material object, but the recipes inside are some of the dreamiest I've ever come across. Easy to understand instructions, and introduced me to a number of new ingredients or ways to use ingredients I thought I was already familiar with.

I'm a huge fan of the way this cookbook is split up into seasons - it makes the changing of the season that much more delightful, to skim through the next section and dream up what I possibly might bake/cook
Patricia D'Arcy
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Owens shares a bit of herself in this book beginning with her introduction. That makes it feel as if a good friend is sharing her sourdough expertise with the reader. The beginning of the book explains needed tools then gives explanations of sourdough terms and processes which leads to the majority of the book containing recipes for much more than your basic sourdough bread. I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to trying many of the recipes inside.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-cooking
More than just Sourdough recipes, from making sourdough culture to cookies, cakes, tarts, flatbreads and scones. There is more to the sourdough culture than bread. I'm a beginner at Sourdough bread making and I think most of the recipes in this book are a bit beyond my abilities at present but I'm looking forward to trying them when I get the hang of bread making. ...more
Doris Barton
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Truly a must-have cookbook if you keep a sourdough alive in your fridge! Many recipes to do with extra starter.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bread, cookbooks
So many recipes for starters and leavens. As long as you keep your starter fed, you can attempt any of these the next day. I might have to buy this. (I borrowed it from the library.)

I am making the recipe for the Strawberry and Cardamom Dutch Baby but I am substituting apricots and vanilla.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
symphony-like true celebration of mother nature. The real way it should be
Laura Pepper
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good information about the science behind sourdough baking as well as the tools needed. There are some interesting recipes that I'm looking forward to trying. ...more
Jennifer Alcaine
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good though the recipes are intensive but so so with it! I’ve been making amazing bread all because of this book.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So yummy.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Great garden photos. Lots of creative, unusual ideas
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good bread takes time. Once you have a starter I would recommend starting with her Table Loaf recipe that is posted on the Food 52 website. It includes an informative video that gave me a good understanding of the process and what to look for at the different stages. It made the recipes in this book less intimidating. ...more
Dawn Magnus
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is most definitely my sourdough treasury now. The way Sarah writes and the flavors she combines—not to mention her excellent technique and clear language—really sets this apart for me. It's one of the few, if not only, cookbooks where I'm not actually desiring to amend the ingredients to better suit my palette. ...more
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