The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best book for sourdough beginners?

badmajon's picture

Best book for sourdough beginners?

Hello, I am looking for a good book for someone who is new to sourdough baking. I'm particularly looking for one that really teaches you what is going on inside your dough/ starter and can help me understand what I am doing- not just a collection of recipes and instructions.

Right now I've read the sourdough section in the bread bakers apprentice, which did help a bit, but I'm just looking for more depth in a sourdough only book.


dlt123's picture

Sorry, I don't have a suggestion, just bookmarking this thread.  :o)


Janetcook's picture

Two come to mind:

'Bread Science' by Emily Buehler  (Self published and can be purchased through

'Bread Baking' by Daniel DiMuzio (Can be purchased off of Amazon)

(I will mention the book 'Bread' by Jeffery Hamelman too but it is geared more towards professional bakers in it's presentation.  Definitely worth purchasing though as it does contain many good breads each of which demonstrate a different aspect of baking.)

None of the above are exclusively sourdough books so you will find info. about commercial yeast in them as well.

My rule of thumb with most books in my collection was to check them out at our local library before deciding whether or not to purchase them.

Good Luck,


P.S.  An excellent source that is free can be found on Mike Avery's site 'Sourdough'.  It is all about sourdough and easy to navigate...

pmccool's picture

The Pineapple Juice Solution, Parts 1 and 2, here on TFL, I suggest you do.  That will give you a very good idea of what goes on in your starter.  Use the Search function at the upper left corner of the page and type in Pineapple Juice Solution.  I just tried it and those were the first two links at the top of the search results list.


Janetcook's picture

To Paul's recommendation of the Debra Wink posts above I would add the following as well:


plevee's picture

There is an excellent free downloadable Ebook at which should give you loads of information.


lblue's picture

I've had Dr. Woods' first book and 2 of his cultures for over 10 years.   It's still my go-to book for sourdoughs.  ;p 

G-man's picture

The Search function has answered every question I've had, and if I couldn't find it there the community has always been quick to respond when I asked. I've learned more by going through old threads than I have from any book. And it's significantly cheaper and takes up much less space on my already overloaded bookshelves.


cardigan's picture

I'd also recommend the Pineapple Juice Solution posts by Debra Wink, as noted above, along with the posts and discussion offered here:

If you're interested in the inner-workings, another good starting point may be  _The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens_ by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott. It's not so much a book of recipes but rather an in-depth discussion of methods, including a section on the "Biology of Fermentation." I'd give it a look at the library first...

- Susanne