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I Do The Speed Limit
- Publié sur Amazon.com
When I finally turned the last page in this book, I wished to myself that this had been published years ago. I wished it had been my first bread baking book; I learned so much from it. This is a wonderful book for both new—and experienced—bakers.
But, at first glance, I was a bit discouraged… While I approached this book with enthusiasm and looking for new tips and recipes--I do love my baked bread to turn out perfectly—I was dismayed by what I read in the first few pages. While I thought I baked “great” tasting bread, the author was telling me that it could not be great tasting unless I invested in the best flours—definitely NOT from-the-grocery-store-flour. Did I love my bread baking enough to order top quality flour online? And pay premium prices, and shipping charges, too? Mulling over those questions, I kept reading, with my enthusiasm dampened, surely, but I did keep reading.
I guess what I’m saying is this: This author pays particular attention to details and top quality ingredients. And, I think that needs to be said, because there are those of us willing to spend the extra effort—and the extra $$--to locate and buy top quality, and those of us who are not. (And I’m in no way judging anyone here; depending on the situation, I, personally, can be found on either side of the fence. I’m just trying to explain what side of the fence the author is firmly planted in.
According to the author, you have to be willing to go beyond your local supermarket to buy your flour. Then, in “Sources” I saw that she does recommend King Arthur flours and I know I can get that at my local grocery store. So, if you are not lucky enough to live in an area where you can find a local source for your flours, at least you can fall back on King Arthur, which is more readily available.
I scrutinized the first chapter that detailed ingredients, equipment, and how-to: Its 20 pages provided a wealth of info—both for a novice bread baker and those who have baked bread for years.
The best tip in this book for me falls under the category “know your oven”: If a loaf of bread is over-baking / getting too dark, or under-baking, deal with it by tenting or leaving it in longer. BUT, the next time you make that recipe, consider lowering or raising the oven temperature. So, the tip—for me—is: Use temperature changes, not time changes to deal with over- and under-baked bread. (A gem of a tip for me.)
But the tips and advice do not stop with the last page of the first chapter, they continue through each recipe that follows, from easier yeast breads (12 of them), on to enriched breads, (with butter), (8 of them), 12 pre-fermented breads (with a starter), so that by the time you reach the biggest chapter--28 naturally leavened breads—you will have the wherewithal to do a good job with them. In addition to the bread recipes there is a final chapter on crackers, breadsticks, pizza dough and flatbreads. You will also find a few recipes for foods to serve with the breads you make: Egg salad, baked beans, and more.
Advice on, and suggestions for, using different vessels for baking was very worthwhile and enlightening.
Each recipe chapter begins with techniques and equipment needed: The way the information was presented was a very helpful, like an invisible guiding hand. Same with the blocks of recommendations, called “Courage in the Kitchen.”
The stories sprinkled throughout lend the book a sense of personality, friendship and camaraderie. I read every one; they were interesting and enlightening, and told the history of the baker and family and bakery.
Pictures are soooo helpful: You will find examples of yeast rising in the bowl, the finger test, six pictures of shaping a boule, ten photos of shaping a batard, dough in the mixing bowl, 10 pictures on braiding, how to form a baguette, etc. And the photographer did a great job of focusing in on exactly what one needs to see. This is so important, because there are so many variables in bread-making, and being able to see what your hands need to feel is like watching over your teacher’s shoulder.
Measurements are given in grams, ounces, and Imperial (cups, teaspoons, tablespoons). And, she gets down to it: For instance, in the Arborio Rice Bread, measurements are given for both the uncooked rice and water, and then for the rice after it is cooked.
**I received a temporary download of this cookbook from the publisher. I have been working with the recipes and scrutinizing its pages for several months now. This is a book I will purchase for myself, and will look forward to passing it down to the next baker in the family.