This is my favorite book on baking bread.
Like other books, it contains a lot of tasty recipes.
Unlike others though, the largest part of the book deals with what happens „behind the scenes“.
Reading this book, you’ll learn a lot about chemical and biological processes, ingredients like grains and sprouts, as well as milling, vitamins and minerals, fibers and a lot of other topics around sourdough bread.
The author, Vanessa Kimbell, has a very interesting background.
She spent some time in France where she worked in a traditional bakery.
After she returned to the UK, she continued working as a baker.
When she became ill and couldn’t digest any wheat anymore, she had to give up baking and followed a gluten-free diet for many years.
At some point, she returned to France to show her then husband her former French home. There, she couldn’t resist the smell and ate some freshly baked bread, expecting the worst.
Interestingly, it seemed as though her problems were gone and she could eat as much bread as she wanted to without any problems.
Back in the UK she bough a loaf of bread, ate some and promptly fell ill again.
It was then that she realized that while she had no problems with the French bread, while the commercial bread from the UK was indigestible for her.
This led her to take a scientific approach to the matter and to find out what was causing this and what the differences were.
One result of these efforts is this book which not only is a collection of recipes but also answers many questions and helps you understand what sourdough actually is and why it’s far better for you and your body than commercial bread made with baker’s yeast.