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Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day Paperback – November 4, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donna Currie is a passionate home baker who blogs at Cookistry (www.cookistry.com). She also writes a bread-baking column for Serious Eats (www.seriouseats.com ) and is a food writer for the Boulder Daily Camera and the Whole Foods Market cooking blog.

 

Two of her creations, Bunny Bread and Birdie bread, were featured on MSNBC’s food site, www.bites.today.com. Donna lives in Colorado.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627103953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627103954
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If Donna Currie became a type of food, she would choose to be bread because the kneading would be so relaxing. Or that's what she thinks.

And avid baker of breads, she also concocts cocktails, creates desserts, and cooks creative dinners, and blogs about it on her blog, Cookistry.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Martinelli on November 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
The author of Make Ahead Bread educates the reader about yeast. The organism is very sturdy, it turns out, and altering the temperature in which you store your dough can give you more leeway in when you have to cook it. The author explains how you can work the bread-making steps around your schedule, rather than be a slave to the dough.

The subtitle of this book is 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day. The recipes are wonderful, actually, and cover all the sorts of bread one could ever dream of making--and savoring straight from the oven! The book is roughly 200 pages of education, recipes, illustrations and encouragement.

These are the sections in the book:
Preparation (and ingredients)
Loaf Breads
Buns, Ross & Breadsticks
Flatbreads
Pastries
Leftover Bread
Butters & Spreads

The author's goal is this: This book takes the process of bread making and fits it into a busy schedule by dividing the process into two or more parts.

The text includes instructions for making a sourdough starter. I should warn the reader, however, from my own experience, that bread making is unpredictable because one works with a live organism: yeast. Hard and fast rules don't apply, which the author admits. The author's experience with yeast is valuable, and she shares it readily.

All the standard breads are here, plus Pita, Tortillas, Focaccia, Naan, and Pizza dough. The author also instructs us on techniques for various classics like: dinner roles, knots, and English muffins, crescents, sticky buns, and swirls. There are some recipes with unusual ingredients, such as Nutella hazelnut-chocolate spread for Nutella Swirl Rolls.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By alli_g on December 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
While I'm not a bread baking expert, I'm not new to the craft either. I've been making various kinds of breads, including rolls, bagels, pizza crust, and pretzels, for the past few years. Sometimes I use my stand mixer, and sometimes I knead by hand. Sometimes I use my bread machine, and sometimes I use the oven. From time to time I try a new recipe and it doesn't come out quite as I hoped (whole wheat bagels would be a great example), but in general I know how to work with yeast dough.

I had really high hopes for Make Ahead Bread. The concept is great, especially for people who aren't home for hours at a stretch to keep an eye on dough that rises two or three times. In this cookbook, the recipes are mixed one day, go through a first rise, shaped, refrigerated overnight or until you have time to bake, and then baked. I have had great results from breads that included a long, slow rise in the fridge so couldn't wait to try these recipes. They sounded delicious and the photos of the finished breads look gorgeous. Unfortunately, the recipes I tried did not work out at all.

First, I tried the Pumpkin Loaf recipe. I followed the directions to the letter, using the correct type of flour and yeast. This recipe actually takes three days -- two days of prep/rising in the fridge and a final day of baking. On baking day, I took the dough out of the fridge to find that it hadn't noticeably risen. During baking, it barely rose at all, resulting in a small, rather flat loaf. It did taste really nice, but it was too dense and looked very unappealing. I felt it was a waste of time and ingredients.

In case the first recipe was the result of an unknown mistake on my part, I next tried the White Wheat Loaf.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sandra H. Simmons on October 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of receiving an advance copy of a portion of the cookbook from the publisher. The book is beautifully photographed and the recipe I chose to use for a blogging project (the blueberry lemon rolls) had a wonderful dough that turned out perfectly thanks to Donna Currie's clever recipe (the dough had some secret ingredients which I'm convinced ruled my baking success that day!)

I love the format of the recipes, allowing the cook to make part of the recipe one day, part another, etc. For cooks who question their ability to bake bread, or other recipes containing yeast, this two and sometimes three step approach is a real life saver.

Having been a follower of Donna's work on her blog Cookistry and her articles on Serious Eats, I knew I'd love the book. But I loved it even more than I thought I would. If you are a wannabe baker or an accomplished one, my bet is that you too will love it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Make Ahead Bread is a beautifully presented and friendly book about making different types of bread - from basics to more adventurous recipes. Although there are many bread cookbooks on the market, this is presented to help make the entire process more efficient and without having to take up huge chunks of time. As the title suggests, it definitely isn't about instant gratification when you start - you may not be eating that bread for days. But as you stack recipe after recipe, you'll be eating tonight's bread that you made earlier in the week and it'll taste all the better for not having taken up 4 hours of your day for one loaf. You can spread out the bread making into shorter, more manageable chunks.

The book breaks down as follows: Introduction; Get ready to bake bread; loaf breads; buns, rolls breadsticks; flatbreads; Pastries; Leftover bread; Butter and spreads; Metric equivalents, Volume to weight conversions, Resources, Index.

This cookbook is ideal for beginner or intermediate cooks. There aren't in-depth discussions of flour types, artisan grains, or any of the new trends. Rather, we have all the basics one needs to get cooking and them some interesting recipes to try. I liked that there isn't a lot of flowery purple prose in the introduction (1 page only!) or throughout the book. We don't have to learn about the author's kids going to school or see her personal restaurant spammed throughout. It's very focused and cleanly written with some humor thrown into the discussions to make it friendlier. It is also beautifully photographed, though most recipes do not have images (considering it is only bread, they aren't as necessary as other cookbooks).
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