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Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads [Hardcover]

Bernard Clayton , Donnie Cameron
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 25 2003

First published in 1973, Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Breads immediately became a modern classic; under his guidance, a generation of home bakers was introduced to the seductive pleasures of baking and produced their first loaves. But new products and equipment revolutionized the kitchen, and these changes inspired Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, which first appeared in 1987. With an electric mixer, a food processor, or a bread machine, and with faster-acting yeasts, anyone could produce home-baked loaves in a fraction of the time bread-baking once took. The availability of a wide variety of flours and specialty products, once found only in health-food and gourmet stores, opened up a world of possibilities. Clayton revised 200 of the original recipes and added 100 more with these new ingredients and equipment in mind.

Now America's best-loved bread-baking authority returns with the 30th anniversary edition of the New Complete Book of Breads, the definitive version of this baking classic. Clayton has written a new introduction, added a glossary, updated the sections on ingredients and equipment, and gone through every recipe, correcting and refining each one. The inviting new design keeps Clayton's explicit, easy-to-follow instructional format and makes the book easy to use.

In these pages, home bakers will find an extraordinary range of variety, nearly enough to supply a new bread a day for a year. There are wheat breads -- Honey-Lemon, Walnut, Buttermilk; sourdough breads; corn breads; breads flavored with herbs or spices or enriched with cheese or fruits and nuts; and little breads -- Kaiser Rolls, Grandmother's Southern Biscuits, English Muffins, and Popovers, to name a few. For the baker who observes the holidays with a fresh loaf there are Challah and Italian Panettone.

Offering classic recipes while making use of modern kitchen technology, this comprehensive volume is an indispensable reference for the novice or experienced home baker looking to make the best bread with ease.

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Product Description

From Amazon

In the 1970s, Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Breads became the bible for bread bakers everywhere. In the years since its publication, however, new equipment such as dough-mixing attachments and food processors, and new products such as fast-acting yeast and specialty bread flour, have revolutionized the kitchen. A new era requires a new book, and Bernard Clayton has obliged with his New Complete Book of Breads. Here you'll find 200 of Clayton's original recipes from his earlier book, all revised with modern equipment and products in mind. In addition, Clayton includes 100 new recipes gathered during the course of his research and travels as well as his interactions with friends and readers. Whether you're hungry for breads, rolls, muffins, popovers, seasonal favorites, or exotic delights destined to become favorites, you'll find them all in the New Complete Book of Breads. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

No other cooking process can compete with bread baking for sensory satisfaction. The mixing of powdery flours; the living, rising yeast; the tactile pleasure of kneading; the house-filling aroma of baking; and the savor of the final loaf offer a full range of stimuli. Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads updates a baker's classic, and any library that missed the first edition or finds its copy in tatters will want to add this new edition. Clayton comprehensively addresses the home baker's craft, covering white, bran, whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, buckwheat, and sourdough exemplars. Festive, cheese, herb, and flat breads round out this encyclopedia. Chemically leavened quick breads, such as cornbread and biscuits, are also covered. There's even a chapter on baking for dogs! Estimated preparation times for each step of the recipes help bakers avoid sequencing errors. Both the book's breadth and the instructions for storage and troubleshooting add to its reference value. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book full of recipes that work Feb. 14 2002
Clayton's book came out long before the latest round of fancy sourdough and other artisan bread books, but it is every bit as good as they are.
He does not spend hundreds of pages fawning over artisan bakers. He just assumes, rightly, that you and I can just go ahead and bake very good bread.
Recipes include hand, mixer and food processor versions; I have no trouble following any of the methods for any of the recipes.
And the recipes WORK! Not true for all bread books.
So if you just want to bake, rather than worship bread and a few famous bakers, get this book and get going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really wonderful book Oct. 22 2001
By D. Wolf
Clayton's book is a highly useful text that lets you produce all kinds of wonderful breads. I've been using it successfully for several years.
The book's greatest value is the broad range of recipes that it offers.
It has, however, a couple of weaknesses. As one reviewer pointed out, the mingling of procedures for mixer or food processors, is rather confusing. Also, a few of the quantities given in the recipes need to be examined. Fortunately I've baked enough and can feel my way through the problems.
Don't let either of these shortcomings discourage you from getting this book. I still haven't found a better all-around book on the topic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Easy Bread Recipes for the Rest of Us. May 25 2004
The subject of bread baking seems to attract large, authoritative titled books, as this is the third 400 or more page book on bread which claims to be either complete or a bible. As the other two books (both entitled 'The Bread Bible' by Beth Hensperger and Rose Levy Beranbaum) were published in the last five years and Mr. Clayton's first edition of his book was published thirty years ago, Bernard Clayton has a distinct claim to have commanded this cookbook niche for the longest time, thereby having ample opportunity to correct, improve, and augment. From the author's new introduction, I see he has been doing that faithfully for the last thirty years.
In a sense, Mr. Clayton is very old school, as he was in a position to consult not only with Julia Child, but also with Craig Claiborne and James Beard, both of which have left us for tables on high. The augmentation of thirty years' effort gives us a volume which weighs in at 685 pages at an exceedingly reasonable $35. Kudos to Simon and Shuster for giving the volume the price of most cookbooks which rarely exceed 300 pages.
While Mr. Clayton arose from an 'old school' background, the general technique behind his bread recipes is very modern and will be very welcome to the inexperienced home baker. The heart of his technique for yeast breads is to use the newest incarnation of commercial yeast, typically called 'Rapid Rise'. I believe this yeast was specifically developed to work with bread machines. The fact that 'Rapid Rise' yeast can be added to dry ingredients without being proofed in warm water and sugar or flour is what distinguishes it from the older 'Active Dry' yeast from producers like Red Star and Fleishmans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this book when it first came out and I haven't purchased a loaf of bread, buns, ..., since. The recipes are specific enough so that the beginner (as I was when I started) can succeed immediately and yet Clayton's many variations on general themes help one to sense the "plot" of a recipe and adapt it to available ingredients and techniques to produce a desired result. Now, with experience and Clayton's book as a reference close at hand, I produce all of the "regulars" from memory, with a wide range of variations for any occasion. The book provides practical guidance on technique, feel, etc., without becoming pedantic or overly fussy. A huge variety of bread and similar products from all over the world. The only "bread" book most cooks will ever need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is quite a good book. Nov. 25 2002
By A Customer
Before I bought this book I had only made bread once. It turned out well so I was motivated to try out more recipes. I pretty much got this book because it was one of the biggest books I could find. I find the recipes easy to understand and many have had great results. So far I have only baked one bread recipe that I would not make again. For the most part I have been able to find everything needed for these recipes. My husband and I especially like the marbled bread in the vegetable section. Even though I am far from an expert in the kitchen I have found this book very enjoyable and usefull.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly as good as the original Nov. 12 2001
If you can't get your hands on Clayton's original "The Complete Book of Breads" which came out in the early '70s (I've had mine equally long), this is a good second choice. While updating the methods with fancy kitchen gadgets, such as food processors, Clayton still remembers those of us who do it all by hand. Although his original is still my favorite, I've made many excellent breads from this book and don't bother with anyone but Clayton anymore when it comes to breads. In addition, it's well written and, with Clayton's innocent sense of humor, a pleasure to just sit down and read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE bread book... Sept. 5 2001
I've been baking breads for over 20 years and this is still the book I turn to the most. There are many recipes here that I continue to make over and over and I still turn to it to find a recipe that I have not yet tried. I'm quite amazed at the breath and dedication that Bernard put into writing this book. If you have never baked before this is the book for you and if you have been baking bread for years, this book will quickly become a staple in your kitchen.
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