Japan is about the only nation not represented in Betsy Oppeneer's Celebration Breads
. And guess what? In Japan they don't celebrate holidays or special events with bread. Everywhere else, well, it's another story. And who better to tell that story than Betsy Oppeneer, longtime cooking teacher, author of Breads from Betsy's Kitchen
, The Bread Book
, and Betsy's Bread
. There was a time in Europe when eggs and sugar were so costly none but the wealthy could use them for anything but special events, usually holidays like Easter or Christmas. Or there are special breads linked to events like the Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Oppeneer has scoured the world for breads closely linked to this spirit of celebration, of special event. And what she found, in many cases, was a disappearing world where new generations were failing to carry on traditions and old recipes were fading out of mind and history. Celebration Breads
acts as something of a bridge between what has been and what can be.
Always the careful, thorough teacher, Oppeneer begins her book with chapters on ingredients, special equipment, the how-tos of doing it by hand, by heavy-duty mixer, by food processor, or bread machine, and tips and techniques. She divides her recipe chapters by region: Africa, the Americas, the British Isles, Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Russia and Asia, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. You'll find flat breads like Egyptian Zalabya and yeast breads like Chelsea Buns. There are sweet breads and savory breads. Big breads and little breads. And in each of the more than 75 recipes Oppeneer is right there at your shoulder, enjoying new discoveries and old friends right along with you. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
With recipes for more than 75 savory and sweet breads, Oppenneer's book offers home bakers accessible, homey recipes with wonderful histories about the celebrations associated with each entry. The author, a culinary teacher and consultant, lists the basics, such as ingredients, equipment and the steps to making bread (whether by hand, heavy-duty mixer, food processor or bread machine). From there, she organizes her book according to geographic region (Africa, The Americas, British Isles, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, etc.). Her choices sometimes surprise: under Morocco, she places the Yom Kippur celebratory dish, Sephardi Bread, which is filled with a mixture of coriander seeds and almonds; the holiday is celebrated in Canada with Montreal Bagels. For a wedding celebration, Oppenneer recommends Irish Soda Bread ("bread was broken over the bride as she entered her new home and became the woman of the house"). From Norway for Christmas comes Julekake, made with cherries and almonds and served with brown goat cheese. This solid book's stories are as warm and pleasing as fresh-baked bread.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.