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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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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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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 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the time to cook Oct. 1 2010
By gigi
I have seen the documentary : How to cook your life ?" and I was touched by the humanity of the zen monk, Edward Epse Brown. In the midst of our busy lives, we forget to take the time in what we are actually doing. While doing a task, we are already thinking of the next thing we have to do. As we all know we are rarely in the present time.

In "The Tassajara Bread Book" we are taught to concentrate on one task, making bread from good basic ingredients and being grateful to eat. This book is not a simple recipe book, the "how to" it is more of a reminder of our presence in time, to be here and now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilled to see this is still in print March 4 2004
By A Customer
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 (or any other braided loaf). I still have to look at the pictures every time I do this.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It started here ... Dec 5 2001
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. Browns' recent book Tomato Blessings, Radish Teachings" is equally impressive for me. Make a loaf ... see where it will take you. Namaste. john
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