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The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes Paperback – Aug 15 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; New edition edition (Aug. 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811845265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811845267
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #313,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the rare books that takes the novice baker to the heights of artisan bread making in an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow step by step approach. More importantly, Beth's tips will help allay the most common enemy of novice bakers - their fear factor.
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 ....
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Format: Hardcover
For one thing the title is misleading. I flat was not impressed. The author self backpated all her credientals and travels. Fine, Bread Bible, where is 'Trouble Shooting Section' in it? Beginners will have batches that flop. Reading Bread Bible won't encourage beginners to keep trying. Mundane bread recipes was also my opinion. I suspect a great many recipes were merely copied from an earlier book the author wrote. I practically find as many or more recipes in my off the shelf cookbooks that cover the spectrum of cooking in the kitchen. Not just bread baking. As I progressed trying a recipe here and there E.g. Starter and/or Sourdough Starter No Bible of passing on knowledge here when Starter is commercial yeast. That one disappointed me. I love my Starters. There must be 20 different ways to create Starter not using any yeast or commercialized product. No mention in Bread Bible, to sterilize clean any container for Starter either. Not even one recipe version for San Francisco's famous Sourdough bread. I am very close to tossing this book in the trash. I never reach for Bread Bible when it comes to ideas for bread recipes to make.
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Format: Hardcover
Beth Hensperger writes excellent recipes -- common sense, easy to follow, no errors. And the results are incredible!
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.
For example...
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first of two books by the same name 'The Bread Bible' written by Beth Hensperger and published by Chronicle Books in 1999. The second book with this title, written by Rose Levy Beranbaum and published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2003 I have reviewed earlier, before I discovered this title.
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.
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