The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Two books to come back to

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

Two books to come back to

Two books that I placed holds on months ago came into the the library this week. Given that we are heading into the busy holiday season there is no way that I am going to be able to read them cover-to-cover or bake many of the recipes from them. But I thought I'd post about them both so I remember to come back to them and so that other folks who've read them can share their thoughts.

The first is Country Breads of the World. At first I thought this book was going to be a bit too snooty for my taste, but it has grown on me. There are series of profiles of different bakers, main European, who each share some favorite recipes and baking tips. Some of the bakers I don't relate too, but many others I do. The recipes are all over the map, from soda breads to rye breads and from Indian flat breads to Scandinavian breads. Beautiful photos and nice legible text too. Similar in look and feel to Artisan Baking Across America but with a stronger European focus and, IMHO, a better range of recipes.

The other book I got ahold of is The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress Free Strategies for Busy People. I like the way the recipes are organized, with recipes that you can knock out in under an hour in one section and other recipes that you can split into stages in another. The recipes appear to be more along the lines of cakes and muffins than yeasted breads, though there are 8 or 9 yeasted recipes. I'd like to come back and read this more for the technique (how to fit complex baking into a hectic schedule) than for the recipes themselves.

Do other folks have these books? If so, what are your impressions of them?

Liam's picture
Liam

I'd have to say that my all time favorite bread book is Bread Alone.  It has enough of the science, enough passion; enough stories and anecdotes about other bakers and really good no fail recipes to keep me happy.   Rose Berenbaum's Bread Bible is also quite reliable.  I'm told that my baguette; Chiabatta; and Puglese made using her recipes are to live for!  I find her overly length approach to recipe writing tiresome; if I am very tired or rushed I find I often miss or mix up things. Having so said, the recipes do produce divine bread. 

I have two of Bernard Clayton's earlier bread books which I did use extensively, but I never managed to produce THE  bread; maybe it was me, maybe it was because I used ordinary flour (vs organic) or tap water (vs spring water) but I found I was continually searching for other recipes.  It also must be said that I am not a huge fan of crust, so ladder, leaf and fancy cutwork shapes leave me cold.  They would only appeal if I was to eat all the of bread while it was fresh;  I lived alone then, it would have been a disaster for my waistline

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Thank you for reminding me about this lovely book, sadly neglected since the BBA came into my life. I have to admit I haven't tried any of the yeast recipes yet, but the Ginger Crackle cookies are wonderful and I use the Never Fail Pie Dough for fruit galettes. (Check out the picture opposite page 256.) I like the fact that the recipes are given in cups, ounces and grams and they are clearly written and easy to follow. I am glad I have this book - and I plan on making the Buttery Pull-apart Dinner Rolls next weekend, A.