Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only cookbook I'd grab in case of fire!
These recipes are so clearly written and easy to follow that I have not had a failure yet and I've tried nearly two thirds of the recipes in the book to date. This book opened a whole new world of baking and cooking for me. Peasant breads I had never heard of are now part of my family's daily diet and are met with rave reviews from even the pickiest eater. The...
Published on October 1, 1998 by partisan@iomet.com Kathy Bungard

versus
52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bread Anthropology 101
As a travel log and exposition on the anthropological significance of flatbreads, this book is endlessly fascinating; as a bread book, it is less sucessful. Note that this book has both yeasted and non-yeasted varieties.

There are some things that are very good. The explanation for making bread in a home kitchen for the beginner is one of the better ones I...
Published on November 22, 2004 by jerry i h


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only cookbook I'd grab in case of fire!, October 1, 1998
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
These recipes are so clearly written and easy to follow that I have not had a failure yet and I've tried nearly two thirds of the recipes in the book to date. This book opened a whole new world of baking and cooking for me. Peasant breads I had never heard of are now part of my family's daily diet and are met with rave reviews from even the pickiest eater. The food in this book is not only simple it is certaily healthy eating as well. I've had many cookbooks, this is the one I've had to get a second copy of, because I wore the first one out. It sits on my counter for daily use and hasn't seen a bookshelf yet. Please, Jeffrey and Naomi, more cookbooks like this one. Love their travel tales almost as much as recipes. Bon appetit!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flatbreads and Flavors, April 12, 2002
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
I love this book. I have had it for nearly a year and I use it several times a week. I made Afghan Homestyle Naan and the Uigher bread with cumin and onions yesterday, and have the recipe for injera souring now to try for the first time. I was first introduced to flatbreads while studying Arabic in the Middle East 5 years ago, and I was delighted to find this book that has so many of my favorites, plus many new ones to try. There are a wide variety of breads in this book, along with plenty of delicious accompaniments. I personally use a baking stone to replicate the tannur breads and have found it to work pretty well, although nothing can compare with a flatbread hot off a saj or out of a tannur. I agree with the authors that bread are a fast food- I have a one-year-old and a two-year-old, and I find flatbreads are one of the most convenient things to make. My boys love the breads. I highly recommend this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook and travelogue in one, March 6, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
This cookbook features recipes for a wide range of flatbreads from many regions of the globe along with meat and vegetable accompaniments. The authors provide nonintimidating instructions, and most of the ingredients called for are not difficult to find. The book is attractively designed, and the many photographs add their own interest to the engaging and informative text. "Flatbreads and Flavors" would make a thoughtful gift for someone who enjoys baking bread.
Also recommended: "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen," by Sonia Uvezian. This is by far the best volume in its subject area and one of the greatest ethnic cookbooks ever written, offering fascinating text and hundreds of splendid recipes. The illuminating essays on the region's flatbreads as well as recipes for flavor-packed dishes that utilize them are reason enough to purchase this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The recipes are fantastic and it reads like a novel!, July 22, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
Traveling around the world with the authors is only a small part of the joy this book brings. The detailed recipes are described step by step, enabling even novice bread makers to create a marvelous array of flat breads that are both delicious and appealing to the eye. It is the bible of flatbreads and should be part of every bakers library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Treatment of a Broad Culinary Topic. Buy It!, April 1, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
`Flatbreads & flavors, A Baker's Atlas' is Canadian culinary photographer / writers' pair Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's second book, which is easily more useful to the average foodie and reader than their last two expensive culinary travelogues, `Mangoes & Curry Leaves' and `Hot Sour Salty Sweet'. While this book covers a broad geographical range, like the `big' books, it maintains its high level of quality and focus by concentrating exclusively on the subject of flatbreads and dishes that are most commonly served with these flatbreads in their `natural habitat'.

While Alford and Duguid seem to have inherited the style of the great culinary travelogue, `Honey from a Weed' by Patience Gray, they have their own twists on this style which makes it all their own. One difference is that while Gray does a fair amount of reflection on the whys of local techniques, her observations are not systematic. They are more in the line of archeological observations. Since Alford and Duguid in this book, are dealing with the single technique of baking flatbreads, this focus give them the opportunity to give us an excellent tutorial on bread baking technique, including the use of modern appliances in the making of traditional flatbread recipes.

The authors take their `Atlas' approach seriously, as each chapter addresses a particular geographical region and opens with a map locating the center of traditional production for each type of bread. The eight regions are:

Central Asia, primarily Iran, the `...stans', and Tibet with lots of yoghurt and kebabs.

China, Vietnam, and Malaysia with dipping sauces, pancakes, and roll-ups.

India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka with chutneys, curries, and lentils galore.

Eastern Mediterranean, or `flatbread central' with pitas, matzos, Bulgar wheat, and dips and wraps.

Morocco, Tunisia, and Ethiopia, with mostly accompanying dishes.

Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, the home of Lavosh

Europe, from Italian pizza to Scottish oatcakes

North America with tortillas, crackers, and salsas.

While this would seem to be a rich subject, the authors don't spend much time reflecting on why flatbreads are so important in some parts of the world and less important in others. In Asia, it seems that it is the only kind of bread they make, while in Europe, it's definitely a sidelight. I hypothesize that flatbreads are important where there fuel for ovens is scarce and the native peoples are or were at one time primarily nomadic.

It is just a bit surprising to see how many different bread recipes use yeast. One would think yeast requires a nearby brewing industry, but natural sourdough type yeast is free for the asking and a lot easier to manage on the road than chemical leaveners, when the nearest 7 - 11 is 7000 miles away. But, all the recipes have been modernized and none actually use natural sourdough yeasts. All yeast doughs are made with `active dry yeast', the kind you have to bloom in warm water, but which will keep for years in their little foil packets. The other side of the coin is that there are a fair number or yeastless recipes, especially India's skillet breads, where the leavening is the action of heat and water in the dough, very much like unleavened matzos, except that matzos is made in an oven. So, if you can't tolerate yeast and you are tired of buttermilk biscuits and Irish soda bread, this book may be a great ticket to enriching your range of tolerated breads.

One thing this book does not do is be a complete source on those flatbreads which are so dear to our French / Spanish / Italian backgrounds. If your primary interest is with Pizza, go to Peter Reinhart's `American Pie' or some other treatise on pizza by your favorite Italian cookbook author. If your primary interest is in tortillas, get Diana Kennedy's `From My Mexican Kitchen'. But, if you like these things and want to find the their flatbread cousins, this is your book.

This book is simply all around excellent, and certainly deserves its James Beard Cookbook award. It makes me wish Alford and Duguid would stick to their single subject surveys instead of boosting their photographs business with the richly pictured , `Mangoes & Curry Leaves' and `Hot Sour Salty Sweet'. Their other books on rice and home baking are similarly delightful and should be in every foodie's library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bad title but splendid and original classic, April 29, 2005
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
This is one of those cookbooks that is as good to read as it is to cook from, though it is true that availability of ingredients can be a problem. But that shouldn't be a criticism of the book itself. ?Both the recipes for breads, and the recipes that aren't for breads are excellent, and I really like the way that they are interspersed. All have the stamp of veracity to them, though their ingredients lists can sometimes seem too trendy to be what people eat at home anywhere. It is good to read here of the adaptations that have been made so that these mostly peasant foods can be made in a western kitchen. The mix of travel lore and excellent pictures works wonderfully too, even to this jaded well-travelled reader (and I usually dislike photos in a cookbook). I think that part of the success of this element is that the authors aren't fixated on themselves. Indeed, there's a lovely sense of personal modesty in this book that is refreshing in this age of cookbook-writer stardom.

I like this book so much that I have bought it for friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bread Anthropology 101, November 22, 2004
By 
jerry i h (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
As a travel log and exposition on the anthropological significance of flatbreads, this book is endlessly fascinating; as a bread book, it is less sucessful. Note that this book has both yeasted and non-yeasted varieties.

There are some things that are very good. The explanation for making bread in a home kitchen for the beginner is one of the better ones I have seen: it is thoroughly and simply laid out. Many of the flatbreads were rather problematic, and either tasted like cardboard or were hard to form and roll out; plus, some of the recipes do not give a clear indication of when the baking time is done. The non-bread recipes are the authentic peasant dishes that come from market places, food stalls, street vendors, and homes in third world countries, rather than the Michelin-rated hotel in the capitol city of that country. As such, the Asian chapters constitute one of the best oriental food cookbooks I have seen in recent years.

On the other hand, there is much here to criticize. For every bread recipe, there are at least two (and often more) non-bread recipes that are suppose to be served with that bread. In some chapters, the bread recipes are hard to find. Many of the recipes are inedible herbed chutneys or salsas. Some of the tools and ingredients are hard to get, even in a large city with a substantial ethnic population, and there is often no equivalent listed. Some of the dough make-up techniques are not easy and require practice. The authors have only done a fair job translating the peasant recipes for the Amercan kitchen.

Basically, this book is a fascinating account of Eurasian travel by the authors, eating and baking their way through several foreign countries. Their passion and dedication to their subject come through every page. There are many interesting accounts of eating flatbreads in different and diverse cultures. It is a reasonably valuable collection of hard to find flatbread recipes. It has chapters on basics, Steppes, Indochina, Indian subcontinent, Middle East, Caucasus, old Europe, and north America.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stories, bad recipes, July 28, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book is very interesting to read, you get a lot of background information on where certain types of bread are made and the people that make it. The authors seem to really enjoy meeting people and talking with them about food.

That being said, I have made a number of the recipes in this book and none of them were good. I have a lot of bread cookbooks and I am a fairly experienced bread baker and just reading some of the ingredient ratios had me scratching my head. Sometimes the dough is too dry, sometimes too wet. The instructions become vague in crucial areas, such as describing the texture your dough should be at certain points or how things should look when they are done. The resulting products are often tough, tasteless and chewy. I even tried adjusting a few of the recipes and they just didn't taste very good, which is too bad, because the descriptions sound so nice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mmmm, Pita, I mean Pizza, December 30, 2003
By 
Peter A. Farrell (San Mateo, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flatbreads & Flavors (Hardcover)
This book has many exotic recipes from the authors' travels in Asia, Arabia, Africa and the Americas. When I lived in Africa, I fell in love with chapatis and mandazi, but I always considered them too hard to make myself. Same for pita bread, which I eat every day. I'm not an expert bread maker, but I just made the Baladi Breads (Middle Eastern whole wheat pitas) from this book. They came out exceptionally soft and delicious on my first try. Some didn't puff up completely, but as the authors suggest, practice makes perfect. I had so much dough left over after making 8 pitas that I decided to make pizzas with whole wheat crust. They came out delicious, too! I can't wait to try some of the obscure dishes from far reaches of the globe like Armenia and Hunza.
I highly recommend this book. If a few more recipes turn out just as great, I'll come back and give it 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bread Book, August 12, 2012
I know of no other bread book like this. First, it has excellent bread recipes for everyone. There are many extremely simple, quick, and delicious recipes, three of my favorites being "Rye Hardtack Rings," "Finnish Barley Bread," and "Pueblo Sunflower Seed Breads." My brother, who has never baked a loaf of bread in his life, was able to make the latter from the book. As for the first two, they are tasty and compact, perfect for the backpacking trips I like to take them on.

The book contains a good range of difficulty levels, with a few requiring a fair amount of expertise, but many requiring little more than a basic knowledge of how to bake. Surely the reviewer who claimed that only a seasoned baker would find the book helpful did not try many of the recipes. The only recipe I would caution about is the "Hunza Sprouted Wheat Bread," but that's because sprouted wheat breads are an art unto themselves and certainly not for amateurs. During the summer months in most parts of the U.S., wheat berries will probably sprout in a third of the time that the authors seem to think they require.

Second, the book offers an impressive variety of recipes for dishes that traditionally accompany the bread recipes. One reviewer seems to find the inclusion of these recipes "deceptive." If one exercises due hermeneutical restraint, however, it is not difficult to see that the title "Flatbreads and Flavors" need not imply "A Comprehensive Index of Every Single Flatbread Ever." In fact, I think that the "Flavors" side of the book adds both a much needed spice to the book, rounding out and accompanying the delicious breads it suggests; it is also is a form of respect for the people and the communities from whom these authors have learned so much. Without some contextualization--and here I find the stories especially worthwhile too--this book would risk looking too much like yet another drive-by cultural plundering job, dishing up the exotic fruits for the foodies back home. Here the story "Cultural Change" is particularly interesting, and, in fact, I think any serious breadbaker should read this story. I can't understand why someone would criticize this book for not being a soulless instruction manual. Isn't that what the internet is for? I think a mild dash of literary experience actually improves one's skills as a baker.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Flatbreads & Flavors
Flatbreads & Flavors by Naomi Duguid (Hardcover - March 20, 1995)
Used & New from: $1.50
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.