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Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread Paperback – September 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elinor Klivans is the best-selling author of many cookbooks, including Cupcakes and Chocolate Cakes. She lives in Camden, Maine.

Susie Cushner is a food and travel photographer living in New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811865703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865708
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elinor Klivans is a notable cookbook author and food writer who has published articles for Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Pleasures, and the Washington Post, among others. A former pastry chef, she is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and lives in Camden, Maine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anne Garrett on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because I love to bake bread, I'm not generally seeking faster or easier methods. But because I also love Elinor Klivans' cookbooks I couldn't overlook this one, and I'm so glad! Within a week of my book's arrival I made Lots of Cheese Bread twice and Anytime Butter Twists once. They work perfectly and taste so wonderful that they justify the cost of the book on their own (though, of course, I can't wait to try the lemon leek bread, cinnamon buns with cream cheese glaze, tomato, basil and onion focaccia . . . you get the idea).

The chocolate-hazelnut babka and cinnamon babka are fabulous too, though I'm not sure I'd call them fast breads. The dough comes together in short order; but it does take a little time later to mix two fillings and the crumb topping and to fill and shape the coffeecakes. (That would be true particularly for one who is new to baking bread or rolls.) One of the things the book does well is to show that such breads and coffeecakes can be made in stages over two or more days, so that they needn't be daunting, day-long projects. And the taste is more than worth every bit of effort.

Along with numerous fast yeast breads, the book includes some scones, biscuits corn and other quick breads. There are also a few sandwiches and other recipes for using the breads. The book is absolutely correct about the Lots of Cheese bread making the very best ever grilled cheese panini. I kind of wish I didn't know that.

As usual, Mrs. Klivans gives detailed instructions, making the book ideal for novice bakers, while supplying recipes for any taste or occasion. There are never quite as many photos as I'd like, but there are more than enough to whet my appetite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Baker on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
The recipes involve yeast which I love baking with. There is also a focus on sweet breads and comfort breads like sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, brioche, parker house rolls and butter twists. Some might say that that the breads a not really "fast" as they require overnight rising. However, the hands-on time is minimal and therefore, they really can be considered "fast" in my opinion. These breads also allow you a lot of flexibility because they can rest in the fridge for a few days, giving you plenty of time to build them into your schedule, no matter how busy you are. I used Elinor's brioche recipe but instead of shaping it into a loaf I rolled it out thin and sprinkled sugar on it they rolled it up - cinnamon bun style - then cut it into pieces and twisted each piece to form a pastry of its own. They were beautiful. The delicate flavor of butter took centre stage, accompanied by a slight crunch from the caramelized sugar. They were so flaky and light. I can't wait to make more of the recipes from this book. There are so many I've already bookmarked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Autamme_dot_com on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Making bread is one of those things that many home cooks want to do, dream to do and yet not so many actually do. A number of excuses are always given, with time being one of the most common, followed by a perception of difficulty.
Here author Elinor Klivans hopes to overturn all objections and get people baking, albeit with a twist. The recipes are not necessarily those you might find in a `Baking 101′ book - no variations upon a variation here, but many different, inviting types that can look deceptively complicated but the reality is a lot different.
Split into distinct chapters of superfast breads; corn breads; refrigerated breads; buns, rolls & small breads; loaves & rounds and finally bread dishes & bread toppings. No prior knowledge is expected as the reader is first treated to a great introduction that looks at the baking art, its common constituent ingredients, the methodologies involved in baking and a little overview about the types of bread. Not all bread is equal, after all, despite it sharing some common ingredients.
The first chapter dealing with `superfast' breads is particularly interesting as it can draw the reader in and have them trying different recipes without lengthy preparation and waiting for yeast to rise. Once you start seeing the possible results from your own hands it can be easy to become hooked and then.. well.. you might be baking all of the time (with a waistline to match?)
There are many colour pictures showing the finished results but sadly not every recipe has its own picture. This is quite a big omission when you consider the target audience of the book and it is always nice to see a picture of an unfamiliar recipe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flavia R. on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Elinor Klivans, whose books are usually rich, filled with easy and creative ideas. This book was no different and did not let me down.

The proposal of Fast Breads is to provide recipes that can be prepared fast. Notice that "fast" refers to the time you take preparing the bread dough, which excludes rising time, and measuring/gathering the ingredients. The breads in this book all take from 5 to 15 minutes to mix, apart from a handful of recipes, that will take 20 minutes to mix, and the Babka, which takes 30 minutes (including dough, filling, and crumbs for 2 Babkas).

The book is comprised of 6 chapters:

1. Superfast breads
The fastest breads in the book, most of which can be prepared by hand.
- Butter Drop Biscuits, Very Big Popovers, Savory Lemon-leek Loaf, Bottoms-up Cinnamon-Caramel Pinwheels, Toasted Pecan & Chocolate Chunk Scones, Cherry & Almond, Whole-wheat Scones, Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Christmas Morning Belgian waffles

2. Corn Breads
- Bacon & Cheddar Corn Bread, Buttermilk Corn Bread, Southern Corn Sticks, Apricot Corn Muffins, Hush Puppies, and Spoon Bread

3. Refrigerator Breads
This chapter contains breads that are refrigerated after mixing. Most of those doughs can be in the refrigerator up to 2 days before going to the oven, and they must be refrigerated for at least a minimum time (say, for example, overnight). This gives you the freedom of preparing the dough at one moment and bake it at a different time. You can even bake only part of the dough one day, and bake the rest of it in the next day.
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