As a kid I didn’t believe something from the air made such great smelling bread. Forty years later as a pathologist working in a Saudi Arabian hospital, I knew I was very near the birthplace of that great bread. With my wife, Jean, we searched the Middle East and Europe looking for sourdough cultures in ethnic bakeries that had never used commercial yeast. When we discovered one, we begged, bought or swiped some dough and took it to the laboratory of the Riyadh hospital where I worked which was a very good place to study, experiment and bake with it.
When we returned to the United States with a refrigerator full of ethnic sourdough cultures, we developed a method to dry them without harming their viability. We chose the name Sourdoughs International and now about 20 percent of our orders go back to a little over 75 different countries. Together, we wrote our first book, World Sourdoughs from Antiquity to guide both novice and experts through the fermentation process of authentic sourdough baking. My background includes a PhD from Cornell University with studies in nutrition and Jean has a degree in Pharmacy from Oregon State University. Our research is always underway to test new cultures, new ingredients and new ideas. We have written three additional books as new information or methods have been acquired. The second edition of World Sourdoughs from Antiquity includes a chapter on our trip to Egypt with the National Geographic Society to learn how the pyramid builders in Giza made some of man’s first leavened sourdough bread to feed 30,000 pyramid builders. (Vol 187, No1, January 1995). Revised Classic Sourdoughs is our most recent book.
We believe Sourdoughs International will continue to be a source for authentic sourdough cultures and information on how to use them for home bakers around the world.