The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Elizabeth David book

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Elizabeth David book

Can anyone give me some information on Elizabeth David's book "English Bread and Yeast Cookery"? I seem to remember reading a favorable comment here and would like to buy a copy, but I would like some opinions first. I gather it is out of print and my library doesn't have a copy for me to do my usual check. Not that it costs a fortune but I don't want to buy a dud. Any input gratefully received, A.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 I purchased her book some years ago and for some reason  I just couldn't get on with it, don't ask me why but I just didn't like it, so gave it to a friend in North Carolina, I think he likes it.  qahtan

Aetheling's picture
Aetheling

The Elizabeth David book is the first bread book I ever bought and still remains my favourite. Her writing style is wonderful. Many of the recipes are very interesting, including many historical ones which she has adjusted for modern cooking. Even if you never cook from it, is a wonderful read. She has a lot of very useful information about bread, yeast etc. I often dip into it even though I have owned a copy for nearly 25 years. You won't find anything much about artisan breads, but if you like to read about bread, and bake some of the recipes, get a copy! I've used for years for baking various basic tin loaves. Her potato bread is especially good.

Heather

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I would say just the same thing Heather did. I've had my copy a long time and love to take it out to read now and then. Lots of bread history and a good well researched book.                        weavershouse

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I think it is a wonderful book! Full of history of bread making as well as recipes - the research must have taken her ages! I should think there is something in there for just about everyone...

 

Andrew 

JERSK's picture
JERSK

    Elizabeth David is just one of the greatest fod writers ever. Recipes may be out of date, but reading is always inspiring. If you can find "An Omelet and a Glass of Wine" get that too. It's a collection of her articles and is funny and inspirational.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I have the book and it's a favorite too. I guess I say that about almost all my books 8>)


 
 
 
AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Many thanks for all the reviews - I knew TFL members would be the people to ask. I love cookbooks with lots of reading, one of the reasons I keep re-reading Dan Lepard's book. So now all I have to do is find a copy, and the other one too, An Omelet and a Glass of Wine. Thanks for taking the time to comment, A.

Aetheling's picture
Aetheling

 AnnieT,

You could try http://www.abebooks.com/ This is a very good site for finding second hand books on the net. I'm sure you'll be able to find copies of both Elizabeth David books at reasonable prices.You can search according to the country you live in or do a world wide search. I also love "An omlette and a glass of wine" It's a great read as are all her books 

 

Heather

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

There are far more than just those two - French Provincial Cooking for a start is fabulous. Try to read them all - her take on life is amazing and the recipes are really good. SUCH a good read - for anyone interested in food generally. And excellent writing.... 

 

Andrew 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Thank you, Heather and Andrew. I tried my local independent bookstore first but ended up ordering several of her books on line, probably more than I should have. Figured they will be my birthday gift to me as it's a big one this year, A.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

And enjoy it!!!

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I was going to say don't I wish, but really I wouldn't change a thing. Just wish I had started all of this baking nonsense when I was younger - so many breads, so little time! Thanks for the good wishes anyway, and I will, A.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

AnnieT, I'm assuming the books long since arrived! How did you get on with them? Since your thread I've been dipping into several of her books again and am hooked all over again!

 Hope the birthday went well!

Andrew 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Andrew, the books are great - the birthday not so much since my loving family were on the road home from San Diego and totally missed it! Told them I hope I make it to 80 and they'd better be there. I am reading South Wind Through the Kitchen and have An Omelet and a Glass of Wine for my bed reading, so of course there is a bit of overlap at times. I can't imagine why I hadn't heard of her books before now, having grown up in England. I know my mother wouldn't have approved of the amount of wine consumed so maybe she boycotted them. Come to think of it, I don't remember any cook books in our home and my mother was an excellent cook. Very interesting to read her (ED's) comments on food shortages and woeful imitations of classic dishes, like Quiche Lorraine for instance. I know I will also read these books over and over for the great writing. Glad you are enjoying them again, A.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

 I liked An Omelet and a Glass of Wine for bed reading too. It was a great read. When you're finished with the ones you have you might enjoy her biography Writing at the Kitchen Table, so interesting, no recipes. Or, Is There a Nutmeg in the House, very good also.

                                                                                                        weavershouse

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Weavershouse, I do also have Is There a Nutmeg in the House and English Bread and Yeast Cookery. I didn't know about Writing at the Kitchen Table but I will check to see if it is available. Last night I was reading about syllabubs and fruit fools and hoping I can find some gooseberries this year. Something to look forward to as the wind howls and the power goes out - twice this afternoon and evening. All part of the fun of living with lots of trees which tend to fall into power lines. At least my bread was baked, A.