The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes Paperback – Aug 15 2004
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Weighing almost as much as a small child, Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible contains 300 recipes, plus slice after slice of baking wisdom. Hensperger certainly knows her bread: she is the author of several other yeasty numbers, including the mouthwatering Bread for All Seasons and the feisty Breads of the Southwest. Her Bible features simple, basic breads, such as White Mountain Bread, French Bread, and an Old-Fashioned 100 Percent Whole-Wheat Bread, as well as fancier breads such as Brown Rice Bread with Dutch Crunch Topping and a tangy Anadama Bread with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese. Not forgotten are scones, biscuits, pizzas, croissants, waffles, muffins--and even coffee cakes. As can be expected from such a hefty, all-encompassing volume, many breads demand the skills of agile and able bakers. Crescia al Formaggio, an aesthetically pleasing savory cheese bread, requires scrupulous time-keeping and copious amounts of elbow grease and patience. Of course, the rewards are high. Happily, many other loaves can be whipped up in a bread machine, and are equally satisfying. An Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread using Irish oats makes everything good with the world with its rich, nutty texture. Hensperger's sweet treats are also a delight--the Blueberry Gingerbread works wonders with vanilla ice cream, and won't take up your whole day slaving over a hot stove.
Although The Bread Bible would have benefited from color photographs to tease the taste buds, Hensperger's latest ode to bread will still prove invaluable for both new and seasoned bakers. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Longtime San Francisco resident, cooking instructor and author (Bread for All Seasons) Hensperger offers a compelling and innovative collection of bread recipes for contemporary home bakers. With a significant nod to classic yeast breads, her extensive repertoire includes basic white, whole-wheat and rye loaves, sour starters, savory main-dish breads, even dessert and quick breads?just to name a few. Staunchly adhering to her philosophy that "breadmaking is nothing more than a series of sequential steps executed in a predictable order," she presents step-by-step instructions with great finesse and clarity. Where applicable, Hensperger provides useful addendum notes, divulges invaluable "Baker's Wisdom" baking tips and offers creative recipe variations (e.g., Cornmeal Brioche and Basic Pizza Dough). Taking into account busy schedules and state-of-the-art baking equipment, Hensperger devotes two end chapters to breads made with food processors and bread machines. For those who feel daunted by the prospect of baking bread, Hensperger encourages and inspires with a "breadmaking is for everyone" ethos and easy, vibrant prose infused with obvious passion for her craft.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Not only have I yet to make a bad loaf (one set of very impressed parents and many adoring friends later)-- I really appreciated the finer points of baking that are detailed in the side bars and the "alternatives" that are provided in the recipe itself -- unlike other books, you don't have to flip pages to figure out the different things you can do with the recipe. I also have learned from her the different ways to experiment and to be creative - something that you don't always feel comfortable with since bread recipes are not the best type of recipe to experiment with.
This book is an excellent compendium of many different bread styles and types, and thus, its shortfall may be that it is too dense a read for someone who wants pretty pictures a la ....
This to my mind is the best cookbook I've bought since Deborah Madison's. Beth emphasizes simple, elegant baking that focuses on the ingredients.
She offers great recipes for the food processor and the bread machine. Most of the recipes, in fact, can actually be made in the food processor -- she offers advice to help you convert a "by hand" recipe to a "by machine" one.
My husband particularly loved her "Artichoke, Pepper, and Eggplant Pie." The recipe is easily made in a food processor; you can use frozen artichoke hearts and canned tomatoes (Muir Glen gives the best results).
I made the dough in the food processor, left it to rise, washed out the work bowl and then used it to chop the onion, peppers, and eggplant. Then I tossed all the vegetables in a pan to saute for 15 mins. 20 mins. prep in all and I didn't even get my counter dirty!
Usually rolling out dough can be difficult -- the dough doesn't always want to roll out. But this dough was so easy to work with!
I draped the bottom crust in the pan, filled it with the vegetables, added some eggs and cheese to help the whole thing hold together and folded the top crust over. Popped it in the oven and in an hour I had the most beautiful rustic-looking Tuscan-type vegetable pie.
It really was gourmet-cookbook picture-perfect, but so so simple. My husband really thought I had gone out and bought it at Dean & DeLuca!
The flavors were fresh, balanced, and clean, as if it had been made right from the garden, while the dough was light and crisp, not soggy. My husband had thirds.Read more ›
This occurrence is actually a rare good fortune, as it gives us a chance to compare two essays of exactly the same subject and pick that effort which does the better job on the subject. Both authors appear to have ample credentials for the chuzpah required to write a book with such a pretentious title. Ms. Hensperger has written five other books on bread baking and Ms. Beranbaum has written three other large, well received books on baking, two of which are also 'bibles' on their topics.
Ms. Hensperger gives us 473 pages of text and 21 pages of index at $32.50 while Ms. Beranbaum gives us 608 pages of text and 21 pages of index for $35.00. Ms. Hensperger gives us 25 very useful introductory pages on equipment, flour, and general techniques. Ms. Beranbaum gives us 62 pages of what I considered to be a model of culinary writing on the ten essential steps to making bread. This is the first sign that Ms. Beranbaum is aiming at a much more sophisticated audience than Ms. Hensperger.
Ms. Hensperger gives us no color photographs or diagrams illustrating techniques. The few line drawings seem to be primarily for decoration. Ms. Beranbaum's book provides four sections of full color photographs of the baked products essayed in the book. She also provides many pages of expertly done line drawings illustrating baking techniques such as the 'business letter fold', layering foccacia with herbs, and making sticky buns. Other line drawings give very good pictures of baking equipment.
Ms.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you're wanting a cookbook that has nearly every bread recipe known to man, this might be the one. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2010 by Janelle
I really enjoy this cookbook; I cook the banana bread recipe from this every time I get 3 mashy bananas. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by N. Farrior
I've had great success with the recipes I've tried from this book. The Oatmeal Potato bread was hearty, delicious, and nutritious, and the Sweet Vanilla Challah is still getting... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2002
What more can a person say? Everything you wanted to know about bread is here. My family loves bready things and this book supplies it all. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002
Although the recipes sounded good and turned out correctly, the flavor was ordinary and a let down. I wouldn't buy this book if you are looking for extraordinary.Published on Nov. 16 2002 by Amanda
The first two recipes I've wanted to try have had errors. One didn't call for milk in the ingredients, but did in the instructions. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2002
A very good selection of recipes. 2 minor quibbles (which, I should point out, I have with many cookbooks):
1: In recipes, please don't tell the baker to use... Read more
This book is an excellent source for all of the breads that the beginning bread baker would like to bake. Read morePublished on March 19 2002 by Vivian M. Dimmel
I own ten bread books, among them, those from famous artisan bread bakeries and I bake at least once a week. This is by far the best bread cookbook I own. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2001