he author starts the book by noting, “There is an apparent mystique to bread making that deters many people from having a stab at it” and I really agree, though I have made many ‘stabs’ at it in the past. Typically, I get a brick (especially from breadmakers) or I get something tasteless despite adding herbs, etc. For once, here is a book that explains why results didn’t turn out as hoped – as well as giving recipes for the most common types of breads. From salt, to sugar, to different yeasts and flours.
This is a great bread resource. There aren’t any fancy photographs and only a few illustrations. But the writing is friendly, easy to follow, and very informative. Author Jane Eastoe takes the time to explain why ingredients are needed and why some don’t work well with others (e.g., mixing the wrong grains can take away taste or consistency).
The book breaks down as follows: Introduction, Ingredients Explained, the Science and Stages of Bread Making, Techniques, Recipes, Glossary of Terms, Contacts (mostly in the UK), Bibliography, and Index.
In addition to typical loaves, there are also pastries, buns, and something called a bara brith. But the recipes include a wide selection, including crumpets, English muffins, malt loaf, chelsea buns, and various UK regional loafs/cakes (including a ‘lard cake’ that looks very interesting).
I appreciated that the directions made specific use of different types of yeasts available and how you have to handle them differently. As well, using one flour type over another often meant adding more water to prevent ‘brick syndrome’ or chewy bread. The tips in here are all the things that I was missing when making bread and not getting the results like the recipes expected.
In all, the large type font, friendly tone, great tips and information, and recipes full of great stock bread types (and not odd arty breads) make this a great resource.
I purchased the Kindle edition and it read perfectly.