Bernard Clayton, Jr.'s, The Complete Book of Breads was published in 1973 and immediately became a modern American classic. With it, Clayton established himself as an expert and has maintained his position as an authority whom other food professionals turn to. Under his guidance, a generation of home bakers produced their first loaves and have since gone back time and again to old favorites. For fourteen years The Complete Book of Breads has stayed in print. During that time, Clayton discovered that France alone offered a book's worth of material and so produced The Breads of France. With The Complete Book of Pastry, he again offered the reader definitive instruction along with splendid recipes.
In the years since the publication of The Complete Book of Breads new equipment and products have revolutionized the American kitchen. With a heavy-duty mixer equipped with a dough hook, or even a food processor, a home-baked loaf can be produced in a fraction of the time previously required, and with little effort as well. The availability of fast-acting yeasts, bread flour, and other specialty products once found only in health and gourmet food stores has also broadened the possibilities. These changes were part of the inspiration for the much needed New Complete Book of Breads: 200 of the recipes from the original book appear here, all revised with the modern cook, modern equipment, and marvelous products in mind. For each recipe, Clayton gives instructions for using either the mixer or the food processor and also takes into account the shorter time needed for fast-acting yeasts.
Beyond the updated recipes, he also includes 100 new recipes, which are the result of ongoing research, further travels, and the generosity of fans and friends. In the author's own words: "All of the recipes reflect what has happened in the kitchen in the past two decades. New flours, equipment, yeasts, and techniques have been introduced to make home bread-making easier and faster -- with no loss of quality."
The New Complete Book of Breads offers an incredible range of variety, nearly enough to supply a different kind Of bread for a year of baking days. Here are wheat breads -- Honey-Lemon, Walnut, Buttermilk; a variety of sourdough breads; all manner of corn breads; breads flavored with herbs and spices or enriched with cheeses, and all the favorite "little breads" -- Kaiser Rolls, Mother's Biscuits, English Muffins, and Popovers. For the baker who observes the seasons and the holidays with a fresh loaf, there are Challah, Barm Brack, and Panettone; there are also delectable breads rich with nuts and fruits, such as Cherry-Pecan, Italian Olive, and Honey-Pineapple.
For fourteen years the original Complete Book of Breads has been thought of as the comprehensive and definitive work by readers and food writers alike; for professional bakers, it has been an important reference. But for its author, it may have been just the beginning of something else, for the New Complete Book of Breads has truly been in progress since then. Bread, the staff of life, is indeed a lively subject, and Bernard Clayton, Jr., has proved to be its most accomplished author.