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Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible introduced readers to a newly illuminating baking-book approach--a precisely detailed yet accessible recipe format emphasizing baking science. The Bread Bible follows the same plan, offering 150 recipes, arranged by type, for a great variety of baked goods--from muffins, popovers, and English muffins to sandwich loaves, focaccia, rolls, hearth breads, rye bread, challah, and more, with a particularly vivid (and passionate) stop at sourdough loaves. Instruction is abetted by 32 pages of photos plus 300 step-by-step illustrations that depict, for example, bagel forming, in exact, imitable detail. In addition, an introductory section, "The Ten Essential Steps of Making Bread," includes a particularly lucid discussion on the way yeast works plus an invaluable comparison of kneading methods. Like the book's final look at ingredients, these "mini-texts" provide information uncommon to most home bread books, rendered in simple language that allays fears of putting one's hand in the dough.
All this is impressive indeed, and readers bitten by the bread-baking bug will welcome the ultra-thorough Beranbaum approach. The less committed may find her technical demands too painstaking (her baguette recipe requires two starters, for example; though simpler loaves are, of course, offered) or even impractical (ingredient quantities using grams are sometimes given in minute fractions, requiring a special scale). The frequent inclusion of alternate mixing methods and equipment options can also make the formulas unwieldy. On the other hand, features like Pointers for Success and Understanding often yield exciting discovery as well as rewarding results. In short, this Beranbaum bible answers virtually every bread-making question, as well as providing exemplary formulas. It's the real deal for those willing to bake along with Rose. --Arthur Boehm
As in her seminal The Cake Bible, which won an IACP prize, Beranbaum doesn't just offer recipes here; she dissects them, explains how they work, then puts them back together again with a number of variations. The front matter to what Beranbaum terms her "bread biography" contains perhaps the best explanation anywhere of how yeast works and a description of the sponge method used for almost every yeast-risen bread. Each recipe also includes a "Rose ratio," which shows at a glance the percentage of water, yeast, flour and fat in each bread. The author's discussion of the pros and cons of various kneading methods (bread machine, by hand, etc.) is invaluable. After all this information, bakers will be eager to get to the recipes, which are equally rewarding. Beranbaum covers everything from a Chocolate Bread made with cocoa nibs to a Traditional Challah. Recipes are arranged by type of bread, with groups including sandwich loaves and dinner rolls and brioche breads. A chapter on artisanal hearth breads includes Heart of Wheat Bread, with wheat germ for extra crunch, and New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread with an apricot glaze. Every time Beranbaum seems about to go overboard with too much information, she steps back from the brink, as in the excellent introduction to sourdough, where she thoroughly explains how sourdough works, then provides a simple box with eight rules for making a starter. Beranbaum could have a second career as a scientist, but luckily for home bakers she seems intent on creating a library of seminal cookbooks instead.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The bread bible has raised my bread baking to new heights,excellent reference book!Published 6 months ago by John Floyd
Its a nice book, BUT she really over complicates baking. I would not really recommend this book to anyone unless they are just interested in all the science behind baking.Published 9 months ago by Sarah
I love everything about this book, the baguette was the best baguettes I've ever made and tasted! I definitely do not agree with the previous review regarding the heart of wheat... Read morePublished 10 months ago by RF
Wow what a great book! Certainly not for someone looking for quick and simple recipes but for anyone looking to learn more advanced techniques this book is great. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kelly Picard
I did like how comprehensive this one is and I know I am being harsh with a 2 star rating, but the rating comes along the title and the large expectations I had prior to purchasing... Read morePublished 22 months ago by RMG
My husband fell in love again! He is very pleased with "his bible" ... lol. I am more than pleased with his creations....Published on March 15 2013 by M. Angela
The book has great recipes and easy to follow instructions. Everything came out picture perfect! Try this if you are inot baking bread you will not be sorry!Published on March 5 2013 by kjmac
Love the book. It is like cooking with a friend in my kitchen who knows all the stuff I don'tPublished on Dec 9 2012 by Istvan Hlinyanszky