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The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking Paperback – October 12, 1985

106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Original, thorough and comprehensive...Should help to demystify the process of baking with whole grains.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Here at last is a readable source of information heretofore available only to professional bakers.”
—East West Journal

“Sets a new standard with clear, easily followed recipes that not only tell you ‘how,’ but ‘why.’”

“We get lots of requests for 100 percent whole-grain bread machine recipes. Thanks to Laurel, we can fulfill these requests. What a wonderful, well-researched book! There are many delicious and varied recipes, and best of all some really innovative ideas on how to make whole-grain bread machine baking easy and successful. This will definitely be added to our baking library.”
—Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway, authors of Bread Machine Magic

From the Inside Flap

The original, classic cookbook devoted to baking honest, delectable and nutritious whole grain breads. In a special section, the author has compiled a comprehensive and meticulous breadmaking "handbook".

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394724348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394724348
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,346,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 201 people found the following review helpful By JK on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the three bread books to which I regularly refer (I'm on my second copy!). Grinding my own grains and baking has been a hobby for twenty-five years. I've never come across a book as well suited to a beginner. I wish it had been around when I started!
There are many whole-grain baking books out there. So many of them are too radical for the average person. I've had books that state that only sourdough can be used for leavening, that baking powder and yeast are 'dishonest'. I've had books that categorically state that the only way to produce whole grain flour is by stone mill or grinder (not true). I've had books that use esoteric ingredients for bread not available to the average home cook.
Laurel eschews dogmatic arguments about whole grain baking. She acknowledges that we all have busy daily schedules with families and work. Better than any whole grain book I've seen, she illustrates that whole grain baking can become an integrated part of a working person's life. Her recipes, particularly those for daily loaves, are reliable. As she states, in the 'old' days some of our loaves would work, some wouldn't. We've learned better, and she illustrates how.
In addition to her recipes, the writing style of the book reminds me of 'Laurel's Kitchen', her all-around vegetarian cookbook. For the beginner, there is a very useful guide to the different ingredients of bread, and the different utensils and appliances available.
Several years after its release, this cookbook remains the most practical and useful guide to whole-grain cooking. Highly recommended.
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124 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Matt Morgan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the age of carb-conscious diets where bread has fallen out of vogue, it is difficult to find a good collection of recipes that follows the requirements of the South Beach or Atkins diets. This is especially painful for those who dearly love bread and are willing to switch to whole-grain breads in compliance with such diets. After searching for some time for such a collection, I discovered this title and purchased with high hopes. I have not been disappointed.

This book touts itself as a 100% whole-grain bread book, and it lives up to that claim. Every recipe is based on something other than white flour, usually whole wheat flour, but frequently rye and other good flours are used in primary roles. The authors explain, rightly, that whole grains are better than highly processed flours and that they set out expressly to bring the art of whole grain baking to the readership.

The book begins with a rather lengthy discussion of why the authors have elected to concentrate on whole grain breadmaking. This includes the health issue, but also the "lost art" argument as well. From this preface, they launch into a fascinating collection of recipes: whole wheat breads, rye breads, breads with beans in the dough, milk and egg breads, grain breads, fruit/nut/seed breads, small breads, sprout and potato breads, breads with no salt, breads with rice, and finally muffins and quick breads. After the recipe collection, the book includes a very unique section describing how to rescue failed breads, followed by discussion revolving around the ingredients, a short section about equipment and utilities, and finally bread machine bread making (with a small but decent selection of recipes).

I have tried several of the recipes in this book ,and they have all turned out quite well.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got my copy of this book a few days ago, and have already made three loaves of bread. My first (the basic get-started recipe) was okay (didn't rise quite as much as I had wanted), but then I figured out how to exactly duplicate Laurel's conditions and have had a GREAT success with the second try. I have also tried one rye recipe and am quite satisfied with those results (I will try again with the rye and am quite confident that by the second loaf, I will have even better success).
Other bread books almost always include white flour in their recipes. This one DOES NOT. The bread is not cottony like white bread; it is far more substantial. If that is what you are looking for, BUY THIS BOOK and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS as closely as humanly possible. If you do that, you will get GREAT results.
I am on SUGAR BUSTERS which advises against consuming any white flour products at all. I used to make bread many years ago, and decided to try again to get really 100 percent whole-grain bread. This was the ONLY book I could locate that would tell me how to do that.
The directions are detailed and long, but they tell you EXACTLY what to do, and they also tell you why. Read through the directions before you start. Whole wheat requires different techniques than white flour, and whole rye has its own special requirements, as well. This book tells you exactly how to work with each different kind of whole-grain flour to make really good breads. The research behind the book is obvious and impressive.
I probably will not use very many of the special recipes in the book such as French bread, rolls, muffins, etc; I really only wanted a way to make reliably good whole-wheat and whole-rye bread for everyday consumption. I am TOTALLY SATISFIED with what I got.
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