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The Tassajara Bread Book [Paperback]

Edward Espe Brown
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Aug. 22 1995 --  
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Book Description

Aug. 22 1995
Good bread needs more than just flour and water, milk, or eggs. It requires nurturing and care.

In this twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the international best-seller that started a generation of Americans baking, Ed Brown shows how to make—and enjoy—breads, pastries, muffins, and desserts for today's sophisticated palates. And in a new afterword, he reflects on the widespread influence of the book and offers five new recipes.

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Product Description


"The bible for bread baking."—Washington Post

"Rarely has such a book of such simplicity underscored so well the joy of culinary discovery."—Bon Appetit

"This was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself, back when it was first published. To this day, I consider The Tassajara Bread Book to have been a major influence not just on my cooking and baking, but on my attitude and philosophy about food in general. Thank you, Ed Brown, for this lasting gift."—Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

About the Author

Edward Espe Brown began cooking and practicing Zen in 1965. He was the first head resident cook at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center from 1967 to 1970. He later worked at the celebrated Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, serving as busboy, waiter, floor manager, wine buyer, cashier, host, and manager. Ordained a priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, he has taught meditation retreats and vegetarian cooking classes throughout North America and Europe. He is the author of several cookbooks and the editor of Not Always So, a book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He is the subject of the critically acclaimed 2007 film How to Cook Your Life.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Having a Trusted Friend By Your Side... Jan. 9 2002
I have for years relied on a bread machine to indulge my desire for home-baked bread. No more. This book is a revelation, a gem.
If you scrupulously follow the introductory instructions for the basic Tassajara bread, you will be able to make any kind of bread from scratch, by hand, guaranteed. Just now I have two gorgeous loaves of millet bread in the oven, and this is just my second time making bread by hand. Thea author, Edward Brown, tells you precisely how the dough should look, how it should feel, and how to know when you are finished kneading. You simply cannot go wrong.
I have the other "bible" of bread making, James Beard's book, and, much as I adore James Beard, I prefer the Tassajara method of bread-making. There is less guesswork, and less seems to go wrong.
And I love the spiritual side, the bliss-out and enjoy-the-moment side to the book, as well. I will never, ever part with this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Bible for Bread Baking" Nov. 7 2000
The Washington Post calls this book the bible for bread baking, and they are right on. This book is the best bread baking book I've come across. It gives techniques on actually making and baking a wide variety of breads. If you're looking for a way to make bread that comes out crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, this book will help you. It's even beyond a bread baking book because it includes 118 recipes-everything from breads and rolls to pastries, muffins, and desserts. The recipes are easy to follow and ingredients are available at grocery stores-perfect for the at-home cook. The whole wheat pancake recipe is one of the many stand outs- absolutely mouth watering. If you're interested in baking breads among many, many other bread related recipes, I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand! A 15 year old can make bread! June 11 2003
By A Customer
Since I'm out of school and too young to get a job, this summer I've spent most of the time going through cookbooks and baking. The other day my mom showed my this book. The book intrigued me, the whole Zen stuff. The next day I made the bread all by myself! It was delicious! And easy! I was so excited that the bread turned out well I made muffins as well. One hint though. The last time the bread rises, it sits in the oiled pan andd rises for about 20 minutes. You flip the dough over and cook. Well, I did all that, but it wouldn't come out of the pan when done! You have to oil it again and then put the dough in and cook.
Buy this book, the bread is delicious and easy to make! Most of all it makes the breadmaking process enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal starting book Oct. 1 2003
When I decided I wanted to learn to bake bread I was told by a friend that this was the book I needed. I bought it, read it, and I think they were right. The book goes over everything, and has a wide variety of things to make.
In addition to being a great book on bread, it also prompted me to buy the Tassajara Recipe Book, which is another great purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tassajara is the best method. Oct. 22 2002
The Tassajara brings out the finest in all breadbaking techniques. Following the directions are easy, and the end results have been without fail! I grew up watching my dad bake bread, and when the day came in 1978 that I needed to bake on my own, his gift to me was the Tassajara Bread Book. I've carried it with me through a(failed) marriage in which I never baked a loaf of bread, but when I wanted to read or imagine a loaf of bread, I could bring out the Tassajara and there it was! Whenever I find a recipe for bread to try now, I check Tassajara first and adapt to Ed's method. It works everytime, making the most delightful bread I've ever created.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only bread book you need Feb. 11 2002
By jumpy1
If you want to live simply but not blandly, this is the only bread book you need. Written in a gentle voice, this book encourages all to bake wholesome, delicious breads - sweet and savory - and love every bite. Now, I have many bread cookbooks and I do love all of them - from Elizabeth David to Amy to Laurel - but I cannot stress how much pure enjoyment and encouragement I've gotten from this modest tome. Reading his words and following his advice (which is open and even inexact at times) has always led me to greater independence and faith in my own instincts and never fails to turn out wonderful results!
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5.0 out of 5 stars More of a "cooking book" than a "cook book". Aug. 7 1998
My ex-husband has "my" copy of the original 1970 version of *The Tassajara Bread Book*, so a few years ago I just had to run out and get the "Revised & Updated Edition" published in 1986. More than merely a book of recipes, it is a truly bonny bread book with marvelously detailed instructions and diagrams as was the original, but I must say Edward Brown's recipe for Tibetan Barley Bread alone is worth the price of this book.
*The Tassajara Bread Book* is more of a "cooking book" than a "cook book". says *The Tassajara Bread Book* is "a great introduction to baking bread" because "this is a great basic how-to book". As with bread itself, "basic" is simply some flour mixed with enough water to form a dough; anything else we do to it merely makes it "civilized". I do not know how "civilized" Janet's baking is, nor do I know how much time she has just for bre! ad making, but for those of us who lead hectic lives always on the go but still want to minimize the amount of preprocessed and junk foods we eat *The Tassajara Bread Book* is top drawer.
My only dissatisfaction is that Edward Brown's *The Tassajara Cooking Book*, an excellent companion to this one, seems to be out-of-print at this time. Of course, my ex-husband has "my" copy of the original 1970 version.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Bread "Bible"!!!
I once owned the original publication of this book and then gave it to a friend who was new to bread-making. So now I have the latest version. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Deborah Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the time to cook
I have seen the documentary : How to cook your life ?" and I was touched by the humanity of the zen monk, Edward Epse Brown. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2010 by gigi
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilled to see this is still in print
I've relied on Tassajara's simple, homey, and mouthwatering recipes for nearly a decade. This book is also indispensable for its illustrated guide to braiding a six-strand challah... Read more
Published on March 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars It started here ...
With this book...making bread was my introduction to baking and cooking. I was taken by the book 25 years ago and more so today. Mr. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by John Horrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Tassahara Bread Book
This is one of my favorite bread books. I especially enjoy the section on things to put on my freshly baked bread.
Published on Oct. 12 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars One of two cookbooks I'd take to a desert island
I bought this book in the early 70's, before I graduated from High School, and learned to bake from it and from two lovely ladies. Read more
Published on April 1 2001 by Bryan Curry
5.0 out of 5 stars My old reliable
I am an avid cook; and I work mostly from scratch, but Ed Brown's book (1970 edition) is my favorite resource for bread, quick breads, and desserts. Read more
Published on July 18 2000 by Ronald Thomas
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