The Panera Bread Cookbook: Breadmaking Essentials and Recipes from America's Favorite Bakery-Cafe Paperback – Nov 9 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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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About the Author
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.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The other chapters on Sandwiches and Soups and Salads, etc., are decent, but are dominated by recipes that I would not expect to be in a Panera Bread book. The few recipes from Panera Bread include the Tuscan Chicken Sandwich, Asiago Roast Beef sandwich, and Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. The recipes that are stunning but definitely not expected in this type of book are: Boiled shrimp and Tomato Bahn Mi wiht Lime Mayonnaise and Avocado, Curried Egg Salad Croissant with Daikon Sprouts and Roma Tomato, etc. When purchasing this book, I did not expect to search out 'speciality' indgredients (daikon sprouts, Hungarian Paprika, etc.). Many supermarkets do carry these, but many do not. So just be forwarned before purchasing the book.
In short, the recipes look good, but were definitely not expected! I was expecting a book with lots of bread recipes, soups, salad, sandwiches, and desserts, like those at my local Panera Bread. However, I obtained a book with a broad spectrum of recipes that look good, but was not what I wanted.
My advice: Flip through the book at a bookstore before buying! Happy Eating!
I was disappointed to find out there are only a few sandwich recipes I can figure out on my own. Also the book more gives recipes as to how to use bread such as making cinnamon cereal which is more like cinnamon croutons. One recipe for a bagel fondue requires 6 bagels, but no recipe for baking your own bagels. Another recipe for a chicken sandwich requires a crossiant, but no crossiant recipe is contained in the book. I guess Panera wants you to buy the bagels and crossiants at their store or instead forgo baking at all and just buy their baked goods.
There are no recipes for Panera's baked goods in the book. Nor is there a section on creating those baked goods. The book contains bread recipe adaptions for the home cook and using the quicker rise method. The bread recipes include white, wheat, rye and sourdough.
However, anyone desiring to learn how to bake their own bread would be better off with Daniel Leader's Bread Alone, Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentence, Amy's Bread original edition and other serious bread books.
Another observation was the use of grapes for the sourdough starter with no suggestion to use organic grapes. I have tried this method with organic grapes, organic raisens and organic figs. Regular grapes probably don't have much yeast if being subjected to pesticides.