According to Charles Van Over, a food processor, an instant-read thermometer, and a baking stone are the only equipment essential to making the best bread you will ever eat. You also have to be willing to make a leap of faith, following his precise method meticulously: the bread dough must be made in a food processor that is run for exactly 45 seconds, and you have to use flour and water that produce dough with a temperature of 75-80° Fahrenheit. Check the book for the other six rules of Van Over's system and see if you agree that the results are stunningly good.
To assure clarity, the recipes provide U.S. measures by volume and weight as well as by metric measures. This versatility makes the book transportable around the globe, though its recipes are designed to work with American flour and other ingredients. The type is large and easy-to-read, which is most helpful when following the many steps involved in making bread. Color photos provide inspiration, while progressive shots in black and white demonstrate important steps in some of the recipes. You'll find directions for making bagels, sourdough, and breads enriched with milk, butter, or eggs, including Alsatian Kugelhopf and Cheddar Pepper Brioche with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, as well as Van Over's baguette, Semolina Bread, and a Presentation Loaf that is specially inscribed or decorated. If you have ever made bread with poor results, The Best Bread Ever will help you break through to the results you dream of.
From the Publisher
"This will give those unfortunate millions who do not live within whiffing distance of Charlie van Over's kitchen a taste of the real thing. For some years now I have been trading commodities such as wine, caviar, and rare spices from the East for a few crusts of his truly wonderful bread. Everyone eats bread--but anyone who really cares about what they eat will want this book."
--Morley Safer, 60 Minutes
"I have been addicted to Charlie van Over's wondrous bread for twenty years and, as a restaurant critic, his baguettes have been the touchstone by which all others are judged."
--Bryan Miller, former New York Times restaurant critic
"Charlie van Over's bread technique has changed my life--making bread has become an easy, enjoyable routine, and my bread has become the best in town."
--Mark Bittman, award-winning author of Fish