If you havent heard of Panera Bread or come across one in your neighborhood, thats likely to change soon. With 669 bakery-cafés in 35 states and 145 more to come this year, Panera Bread has been expanding rapidly since its founding in 1981, giving consumers across the nation a taste of artisan breads. As Peter Reinhart acknowledges in his introduction, to enjoy artisan bread in the current carbohydrate-phobic climate, much less bake ones own, verges on heretical. But the Panera Bread Team, banking on the cafés name and Americas continuing obsession with the yeasty loaves, offers this simple cookbook, which is surprisingly short on bread recipes. The first few chapters do describe how to bake artisan breads at home using real bakers formulas, but they omit any discussion of kneading, assuming instead that the baker will be using a mixer. A smattering of basic and advanced bread recipes follow, including Country White Bread, Kalamata Olive Bread and Vegetable Wheat Bread. Taken in combination with the earlier bread-making tips, the recipes will be fairly easy to follow for anyone with baking experience, but they are not for absolute beginners. The rest of the cookbook is friendlier to bakers who dont want to tackle making the actual bread used in the recipe. Dishes like Eggs Goldenrod with Hot Hungarian Paprika call for slices of the Country White Bread, but the authors allow that purchased multi-grain bread can substitute. And even the carb-averse will be able to stomach the Fandango Salad, an "exclusive Panera Bread menu favorite" made up of walnuts, greens, raspberry vinaigrette, cheese and Mandarin oranges. Anyone looking to recreate Paneras signature breads will be disappointed by this compilation, but those more interested in the café side of the restaurant should find plenty here to satisfy.
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Panera Bread freshly bakes more bread each day than any other bakery-cafe in the country. Every day, at every location, expert bakers handcraft each loaf from scratch, using all-natural ingredients to deliver fresh, authentic artisan breads to hundreds of neighborhoods nationwide.