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The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes Paperback – October 14, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811845265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811845267
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Weighing almost as much as a small child, Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible contains 300 recipes, plus slice after slice of baking wisdom. Hensperger certainly knows her bread: she is the author of several other yeasty numbers, including the mouthwatering Bread for All Seasons and the feisty Breads of the Southwest. Her Bible features simple, basic breads, such as White Mountain Bread, French Bread, and an Old-Fashioned 100 Percent Whole-Wheat Bread, as well as fancier breads such as Brown Rice Bread with Dutch Crunch Topping and a tangy Anadama Bread with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese. Not forgotten are scones, biscuits, pizzas, croissants, waffles, muffins--and even coffee cakes. As can be expected from such a hefty, all-encompassing volume, many breads demand the skills of agile and able bakers. Crescia al Formaggio, an aesthetically pleasing savory cheese bread, requires scrupulous time-keeping and copious amounts of elbow grease and patience. Of course, the rewards are high. Happily, many other loaves can be whipped up in a bread machine, and are equally satisfying. An Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread using Irish oats makes everything good with the world with its rich, nutty texture. Hensperger's sweet treats are also a delight--the Blueberry Gingerbread works wonders with vanilla ice cream, and won't take up your whole day slaving over a hot stove.

Although The Bread Bible would have benefited from color photographs to tease the taste buds, Hensperger's latest ode to bread will still prove invaluable for both new and seasoned bakers. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime San Francisco resident, cooking instructor and author (Bread for All Seasons) Hensperger offers a compelling and innovative collection of bread recipes for contemporary home bakers. With a significant nod to classic yeast breads, her extensive repertoire includes basic white, whole-wheat and rye loaves, sour starters, savory main-dish breads, even dessert and quick breads?just to name a few. Staunchly adhering to her philosophy that "breadmaking is nothing more than a series of sequential steps executed in a predictable order," she presents step-by-step instructions with great finesse and clarity. Where applicable, Hensperger provides useful addendum notes, divulges invaluable "Baker's Wisdom" baking tips and offers creative recipe variations (e.g., Cornmeal Brioche and Basic Pizza Dough). Taking into account busy schedules and state-of-the-art baking equipment, Hensperger devotes two end chapters to breads made with food processors and bread machines. For those who feel daunted by the prospect of baking bread, Hensperger encourages and inspires with a "breadmaking is for everyone" ethos and easy, vibrant prose infused with obvious passion for her craft.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Beth Hensperger, a New Jersey-born who now considers herself a California native, has been educating, writing, and demo-lecturing about the art of baking bread and cooking for thirty years. In the last few years, she has shifted focus from baking bread to countertop appliance-driven cookbooks that embrace the use of seasonal ingredients, merge convenience with cooking from scratch, and modernizing the home kitchen: the bread machine, the rice cooker, the microwave oven, and now a four-volume compilation specifically for use with the electric slow cooker, stressing care in preparation and personal creativity.

Hensperger's writing career began when she was chosen as the guest cooking instructor for the March 1985 issue of Bon Appétit. Now she is the author of over twenty cookbooks, including the best-selling Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook series, which includes Not Your Mother's Recipes for Entertaining, Not Your Mother's Family Favorites, Not Your Mother's Weeknight Suppers, and NYMSC Recipes for Two along with the blockbuster first volume, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. Also from The Harvard Common Press are The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, and The Best Quick Breads. She is also the author of The Bread Bible, winner of the 2000 James Beard Book Award in Baking, and nominated twice for an IACP Cookbook Award.

Hensperger wrote a food column, "Baking with the Seasons," for the San Jose Mercury News (which was nominated for a James Beard Award in newspaper journalism) for over 12 years until the newspaper downsized.

She is a contributor to dozens of national and online cooking & lifestyle magazines, such as Food and Wine, Rachel Ray Magazine, Prevention, Veggie Life, Working Woman, Family Circle, and Cooking.com, as well as being a sought after radio interviewee speaking on cooking, baking, and entertaining. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Visit Beth's website at BethHensperger.com and her weekly blog at notyourmotherscookbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommend this book to any baker new or not.
keith
Although this book has no pictures, the instructions are very easy to read and follow.
Pipigurl
I've tried several of the recipes in this and have been very pleased every time.
Flour Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 158 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the first of two books by the same name `The Bread Bible' written by Beth Hensperger and published by Chronicle Books in 1999. The second book with this title, written by Rose Levy Beranbaum and published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2003 I have reviewed earlier, before I discovered this title.
This occurrence is actually a rare good fortune, as it gives us a chance to compare two essays of exactly the same subject and pick that effort which does the better job on the subject. Both authors appear to have ample credentials for the chuzpah required to write a book with such a pretentious title. Ms. Hensperger has written five other books on bread baking and Ms. Beranbaum has written three other large, well received books on baking, two of which are also `bibles' on their topics.
Ms. Hensperger gives us 473 pages of text and 21 pages of index at $32.50 while Ms. Beranbaum gives us 608 pages of text and 21 pages of index for $35.00. Ms. Hensperger gives us 25 very useful introductory pages on equipment, flour, and general techniques. Ms. Beranbaum gives us 62 pages of what I considered to be a model of culinary writing on the ten essential steps to making bread. This is the first sign that Ms. Beranbaum is aiming at a much more sophisticated audience than Ms. Hensperger.
Ms. Hensperger gives us no color photographs or diagrams illustrating techniques. The few line drawings seem to be primarily for decoration. Ms. Beranbaum's book provides four sections of full color photographs of the baked products essayed in the book. She also provides many pages of expertly done line drawings illustrating baking techniques such as the `business letter fold', layering foccacia with herbs, and making sticky buns. Other line drawings give very good pictures of baking equipment.
Ms.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Erin O. Clayton on September 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is just wonderful! I have been baking bread by hand for several years now and have thouroughly enjoyed it, but this book has helped me to stretch beyond the recipe and try some new things. In the past 2 weeks, I think I have made 7 recipes out of this book. I just can't seem to stop. The Bulgur Oatmeal bread, I think, is the best bread I have ever tasted. Absolutely AMAZING! I also made the Sesame Burger Buns, Whole Wheat Long Rolls, Vienna Bread, Pain Campagne and Farm-Style White Bread with Cardamom. I have probably 200 cookbooks and this is my new favorite! A must read!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE this book. It has lots and lots of recipes for whole grain breads, white breads, rustic breads, quick breads, flat breads, etc, etc. However, what sets her book apart from other "comprehensive" books is the quality of the recipes. I am constantly picking up my copy of the Bread Bible to try something new, and I haven't been disappointed in the results yet. She also gives great pointers on ingredients and methods, and tells you how to convert "by hand" recipes to recipes for either the food processor or bread machine. The book doesn't have photographs in it like some, but frankly, if they had to make room for photos there wouldn't be so many great recipes, so that suits me just fine. It's beautifully designed and easy to read. It's a pleasure to own this book.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Happy Girl on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book seems to have some errors. I am an experienced bread baker. After having made a black bread by the author (which I got off the internet - and found it delicious) I bought the book. At first I attributed the poor quality doughs to the weather, improperly measuring flour, me in general, but then I used another book for a couple bread recipes and LO the bread turned out well. So back to the drawing board with this book. I weighed the flour this time. Still problems. Too sticky (sourdough). Then I decided to make the Hungarian Nut Rolls and discovered an actual mistake. Apparently you only have to proof the yeast and do not have to actually put it into the bread. I have read it and reread it several times. The yeast addition to the bread is MIA. I did not notice it when I preread (three times) the recipe before embarking. I think my mind assumed it. It almost did as I was making the bread. It was only my wariness of the recipes that forced me to be ever so exacting with her recipes that lead to the discovery.

I hate writing bad reviews especially for cookbooks because I know how hard it must be to edit them, but you cannot publish something called a "bible" of something and have so many errors. I can only imagine a person just starting to bake dealing with these problems. It is untenable. I am not saying all the recipes are faulty (they are not and some are quite good), but this many problems (IMO) are just unacceptable. There are better bread books out there. My go to seems to be Beatrice Ojakangas.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Jones on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is by far, the easiest, most delicious bread recipe book I have owned. Without getting overly technical it gives recipes and tips for making wonderful home cooked bread. I don't have a bread maker, but there are plenty of those recipes as well. I made the mountain white bread first and it made wonderful sandwiches for lunch. Next, I made banana bread that was so moist and delicious I've already had requests for more.
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