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Bread Alone: Bold Fresh Loaves from Your Own Hands Hardcover – November 19, 1993


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Hardcover, November 19, 1993
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Bread Alone: Bold Fresh Loaves from Your Own Hands + Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers + Simply Great Breads: Sweet and Savory Yeasted Treats from America's Premier Artisan Baker
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (November 19, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688092616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688092610
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Here is a wonderful collection of delicious recipes and bread lore. Leader, a former New York City restaurant chef, runs Bread Alone, a popular Woodstock, New York, bakery well known for its breads baked in wood-fired brick ovens. Blahnik is a food writer and editor. Leader is an example of the dedicated artisans described in Joe Ortiz's excellent The Village Baker ( LJ 12/92); as he became increasingly fascinated with bread-making, he traveled to Europe and throughout the United States to uncover the secrets of the craft. The results are his traditional and "tradition-based" breads such as Country-Style Loaf with Herbs and Onion, Sourdough Rye, and Pain au Levain with Olives and Rosemary. The recipes are extremely detailed, and the accounts of Leader's adventures in the world of bread bakers are both readable and fun. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Daniel Leader is the owner and baker of the Bread Alone Bakery in New York's Catskill Mountains. Dan's food career began when, nine months short of his undergraduate philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin, he realized his need to work with his hands as well as his mind. He enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, graduated at the top of his class, and, worked as a chef for some of New York City's hottest restaurants, La Grenouille and the Water Club. Then, after eight years of cooking food "too fancy to eat," he became obsessed with the idea of creating something wholesome, timeless, and beautiful. Great bread and Bread Alone were born. Dan lives in Boiceville, New York, with his wife, Sharon, and four children, Liv, Nels, Octavia, and Noah.


More About the Author

Daniel Leader was one of the first champions of artisanal bread baking in this country; he founded Bread Alone Bakery in New York's Hudson Valley in the early 1980s. Now a classic, Leader's "Bread Alone", won the IACP award for best baking book in 1994. In 2008, Leader won his second IACP award for Local Breads.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are creative and very detailed to follow.
Janis L. Adams
What this book does is tell you the steps you need to follow, techniques to use (particularly kneading), how the dough should look and feel at different stages.
"sbgantz"
Daniel Leader's passion for traditional breads is contagious in this book.
Michael Pearce

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Louis Spisso on February 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have tried for years to replicate the Artisan breads of Baltimore and Washington bakeries in my kitchen oven. Although the breads were fine tasting, they never had the tough, chewy, delicious crust of those breads I favored and bought as often as I could. Daniel Leader, author of Bread Alone, presents the "secret" of Artisan bread making. The first recipe I tried resulted in the crust and crumb I have tried for years to produce! Not only does Mr. Leader show the home baker, through step by step process of making Artisan bread, he laces his recipes with personal stories of his trips to France, learning from the French Boulangers and their sometimes personal stories. Not only is the book well worth it's recipes, it makes for enjoyable reading. This book goes beyond the recipes found in Baking with Julia, a very good book. Bread Alone shows step by step how to build the chef, the poolish and the slow fermentation of the dough to produce that wonderful tastey crust, so elusive in other books.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By "sbgantz" on January 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I agree with some of the negatives pointed out by the other reviewers. The excruciating detail can become repetitive, we do not all have access to the exact ingredients, nor the patience to deal with the precise temperature requirements. That said, this book allowed me, an amateur, to make some amazing bread. I follow the instructions fairly closely, but use common sense where appropriate. I have not yet used a thermometer, and yet have produced some great regular and sourdough loaves, bagels, pitas, etc. What this book does is tell you the steps you need to follow, techniques to use (particularly kneading), how the dough should look and feel at different stages. This book provides everything you need to learn the basics of bread-making (except patience, of course).
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book has many good features, and I've made some great breads with it. But it is very annoying to run accross silly errors that a half way decent editor should have caught. The worst mistakes are in proportions, which are obviously very frustrating (particularly if you've spent money on the expensive flours Leader incorrectly suggests are crucial). Other reviewers are correct that the number of pages could have been drastically reduced. Frustrating is the fact that while there is an enormous amount of repetition, some important aspects are given only cursory treatment: e.g., how to form the loaves, how to make breads from straight dough. Also annoying is his suggestion that you reuse plastic wrap. The fixation on temperature is too much as well. When my house is warm, it's warm, and when it's cool it's cool, and the bread does fine in both, although it moves faster the warmer it is. My book fell apart very quickly, too.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely sure fire book for baking artisan bread. Each section of the book has a core of recipes that followed will result in wonderful bread. The only thing you need to watch is the amount of flour that a recipe calls out. Depending on density it varies wildly, but to give him credit he does say to weigh it, but you need to experiment with the correct texture and feel. I have probably 10 books on breads, but this is the one I use and the one I can't live without.

Also it has an absolutely surefire Pain de levain recipe with about 6 variations of the same recipe, and two of the best baguette recipes I have tried. No other recipe has given the results that this book does. The sourdough starter is sure fire also.

If you want to learn how to bake good bread using only flour, water, salt, and starter/yeast this is it.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Fromartz on November 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you're interested in making serious artisan bread, this book gives you the basic essentials in terms of ingerdients, method and recipes. Other reviewers gripe about his level of detail but let's be honest. Anyone can make bread with yeast, all purpose flour and a couple of hours to spare. But this is not that kind of bread. Leader goes through the steps of what it takes to make great bread, and temperature (yes, 78 degrees) as well as proportion and timing are crucial in artisan sourdough breads. So if you want easy, this is not for you. Buy a bread machine. If you want a thorough run-down on what it takes to make great artisan breads, I can think of no better place to start. And the product is great. From here, however, I would proceed to Nancy Silverton's "Breads from the La Brea Bakery." She makes Leader look like a simpleton in comparison.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Shirley G. Fien on November 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I discovered "Bread Alone" about five years ago and have been baking from it almost weekly over the period. I have greatly enjoyed creating breads using this book. My life has been made greater for the experience. However.....I agree with all the negatives so well discribed in other reviews. The 300 plus pages could be reduced to 50 with no loss of information. Many of the instructions are ambiguous,repetitious and confusing. There are mistakes. One specific example, pg 290 "Rose Levy Jewish Rye". Omitted the addition of fluid for the "Final Dough". The book should be edited.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Launay on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book because I had tried to bake bread in the past and the results were disapointing. I found this book extemely helpful and it has become my baking "Bible". I know it can sometimes be tedious, but if you try to follow the instructions as close as possible, the results are absolutely delicious! I have even started ordering organic stone ground flour and the flavor and texture of my bread has improved as the author said they would. Buy this book if you are serious about baking delicious bread.
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