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The River Cottage Bread Handbook (2009)

by Daniel Stevens

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249293,576 (4.1)4
In the third of the River Cottage Handbook series, Daniel Stevens explains the ins and outs of baking, and inspires us to abandon ready-sliced loaves for a world of delicious breads baked at home. Starting with a brief history of breads and bread culture, Daniel Stevens examines the key ingredients in baking (flour, yeast, salt, water and fat), explains the science behind the seemingly alchemic processes, and advises on the right kit to get started. He then shows how to make yeast and non-yeast breads, as well as enriched doughs and home-started sourdough, and includes 60 recipes, covering everything from the simple white loaf and familiar classics such as ciabatta, naan, pancakes and pizza bread, to fresh new challenges like potato bread, rye, tortilla, croissants, doughnuts, bagels and trenchers. The handbook includes easy-to-understand diagrams, instructions for building your own bread oven, full-colour photographs throughout, and is completed by a directory of equipment and useful addresses. With a textured hard cover and an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Baking will join Mushrooms (Handbook No.1) and Preserves (Handbook No.2) as an indispensible household reference.… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
This is a nice book in some ways. I loved the tone of the introduction, some of the information, and the range of recipes offered. Then I tried 2 recipes this weekend. I have been baking bread for a couple of years now, and I was a little suspicious of the proportions suggested. Sure enough, these recipes call for way too little liquid and way too much salt, resulting in tough, unpalatable breads.

I think it might be all right if you upped the liquid proportion appropriately and cut the salt in half, or to even less, but meanwhile, I am disappointed. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Description: The River Cottage farm, established by British food personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to promote high-quality, local, and sustainable food, has inspired a television series, restaurants and classes, and a hit series of books. In this new addition to the award-winning collection, River Cottage baking instructor Daniel Stevens shares his irrepressible enthusiasm and knowledge to help you bake better bread. From familiar classics such as ciabatta and pizza dough, to new challenges like potato bread, rye loaves, tortillas, naan, croissants, doughnuts, and bagels, each easy-to-follow recipe is accompanied by full-color, step-by-step photos. There’s even an in-depth chapter on building your own backyard wood-fired oven.

Thoughts: I'd been wanting to get my hands on this book for a while so was thrilled when I received it as a Christmas gift from my sister. I pulled it out today because I thought I would make a quick loaf. I started reading to get a feel of the book and never got around to making that loaf! This book is wonderful!

Dan's writing shows his obvious passion for bread, every minute detail of making bread. I've made bread a couple of times in the past from other "recipes" but I've never felt like I took a whole class in the pages of a cookbook. Dan devotes the first sections of the book to everything you ever wanted to know about the process, from the differences in flours to suggested tools and even how deciding on the shape of your bread will affect the final product. But it's never heavy handed or overly technical. It was engrossing and enlightening.

And that's all before I've even made my first loaf. Can't wait to get started!

http://www.librarything.com/topic/130721#3182520 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 12, 2015 |
Showing 2 of 2
The head River Cottage baker, Daniel Stevens, who put together The River Cottage Bread Handbook, spends over 40 pages on mastering the basic loaf. His kneading explanation was so clear I didn’t need to constantly refer to the photos; and it taught me some new tricks.
 

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There is nothing in the world as satisfying to eat as home-baked, handmade bread.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the third of the River Cottage Handbook series, Daniel Stevens explains the ins and outs of baking, and inspires us to abandon ready-sliced loaves for a world of delicious breads baked at home. Starting with a brief history of breads and bread culture, Daniel Stevens examines the key ingredients in baking (flour, yeast, salt, water and fat), explains the science behind the seemingly alchemic processes, and advises on the right kit to get started. He then shows how to make yeast and non-yeast breads, as well as enriched doughs and home-started sourdough, and includes 60 recipes, covering everything from the simple white loaf and familiar classics such as ciabatta, naan, pancakes and pizza bread, to fresh new challenges like potato bread, rye, tortilla, croissants, doughnuts, bagels and trenchers. The handbook includes easy-to-understand diagrams, instructions for building your own bread oven, full-colour photographs throughout, and is completed by a directory of equipment and useful addresses. With a textured hard cover and an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Baking will join Mushrooms (Handbook No.1) and Preserves (Handbook No.2) as an indispensible household reference.

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