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The Tassajara Bread Book Paperback – February 15, 2011
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“A baking Zen priest after [our] own heart!”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“This was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself back when it was first published. To this day, I consider The Tassajara Bread Book to have been a major influence not just on my cooking and baking, but on my attitude and philosophy about food in general. Thank you, Ed Brown, for this lasting gift.”—Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook
“I feel a special fondness for this book, which helped launch me on my way to baking bread. Edward Brown’s warmth shines through on every page, the recipes remain wonderfully unusual (I love the three-layer corn bread, which I’ve never seen elsewhere), and the overall experience is one of brilliant simplicity.”—Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything
“Like thousands of cooks of my generation, I have in my kitchen an ancient volume of The Tassajara Bread Book, its cover gritty with flour, its spine cracked from use, its pages stained with molasses, and dog-eared with decades of perusal. It is the book that taught me how to make bread and its simple wisdom has been present in every loaf I have baked. I will recommend it with enthusiasm to a new generation of cooks.”—Steve Raichlen, author of The Barbeque Bible
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Top Customer Reviews
1) Clear, very detailed instuctions on all the nuts-n-bolts tecniques that seem so intimidating, like how to knead the dough properly (well described and well illustrated)
2) Wonderful array of variations on the basic bread recipe
3) breakfast pastry section will really wow anyone coming over for brunch
4) Said it before but I'll say it again: Anyone who wants to learn to bake bread will succeed. Really, anyone.
5) Bread machines simple do not turn out anything as good as the 'real deal'.
Hard-to-find book but WELL worth the search.
It is now more than three years later. This is the book that I give to people as a gift quite often. I suggest it to people interested in learning to bake bread. I even suggest the book to people with stress problems since I've found that hand kneading dough can be quite therapeutic.
There are a lot of great bread books out there, and a literal mountain of bad books. This one doesn't dwell on the science of bread, or dedicate pages to explaining how modern flour is inferior to old flour, or to rallying against modern yeast as opposed to traditional sourdough. The author merely gives some relatively simple insutrctions which, if followed, will produce praiseworthy bread.
If you want to learn to bake bread, I suggest never using a food processor or stand mixer for it. At least in the beginning. Mixing by hand provides familiarity with the materials and the techniques. Save the gadgets for after you know how to bake bread. This book is purely about hand mixing and hand kneading.
If you scrupulously follow the introductory instructions for the basic Tassajara bread, you will be able to make any kind of bread from scratch, by hand, guaranteed. Just now I have two gorgeous loaves of millet bread in the oven, and this is just my second time making bread by hand. Thea author, Edward Brown, tells you precisely how the dough should look, how it should feel, and how to know when you are finished kneading. You simply cannot go wrong.
I have the other "bible" of bread making, James Beard's book, and, much as I adore James Beard, I prefer the Tassajara method of bread-making. There is less guesswork, and less seems to go wrong.
And I love the spiritual side, the bliss-out and enjoy-the-moment side to the book, as well. I will never, ever part with this book.
The Tassajara Basic Yeasted Bread is discussed in detail. Chapters on yeasted bread, yeasted pastry, unyeasted bread, sourdough, pancakes, muffins and quickbreads, and desserts follow. Recipes stress the use of natural foods and grains. Most recipes include alternate ingredient suggestions.
I first used this cookbook to make the Tassajara Basic Yeasted Bread. I never before had made bread. The whole wheat dough was stiff. Mixing the dough was extremely hard work. Kneading the dough was agony. Making this bread taught me respect both for bread and for anyone who makes bread.
I recently rediscovered this cookbook while seeking a cornbread/muffin recipe that did not use shortening. I made muffins substituting molasses for honey and adding marjoram. My muffins were excellent both alone and with bean dishes.
Cooking is vastly underrated. One who cooks economically and maintains a clean, safe household is free to "Be All That You Can Be", an accomplishment that would make an Army drill sergeant or a Zen master proud. Mr. Brown's writing reflects that pride.
Mr. Brown instructs not only in the making of food for the body, but also for the soul. Every time I open his book, it takes me back to those heady days of spiritual searching. Although I am no closer to Enlightenment, the work of the yeast and the energy of a day's baking makes the product vastly more satisfying than any commercial loaf.
If I am ever stranded on a desert island, I would want this book along, even if I had no supply of flour!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have loved this book for many years and was happy to see it on Kindle. if you want to bake bread this is the book for you. Read morePublished 3 days ago by ADRIAN
wonderful cookbook. i've learned so much from it already. if you can buy this, then do.Published 9 days ago by Samira Ghazi-Tehrani
I got my first copy of this book in the 1970's and it has remained my favorite ever since. This is not a book for people who want to dump ingredients into a machine and have... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Stella
I found The Tassajara Bread Book in the early 1970's during a trip to San Francisco. After baking for a time, I sold bread and other goodies to folks who did not have time to... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I've just started reading this book, but it definitely resonates with me. Thank you!!Published 18 days ago by Jeffrey D. Perry
Great book for bread makers and I wouldn't be as successful a bread maker without it.Published 3 months ago by SmallTownPeeps
Loved this book 40 years ago and since long gone after many moves, purchased another one and yes, it truly is the bible to bread making as well as other yeast and non-yeast... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Arteest59