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The Panera Bread Cookbook: Breadmaking Essentials and Recipes from America's Favorite Bakery-Cafe Paperback – November 9, 2004

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If you haven’t heard of Panera Bread or come across one in your neighborhood, that’s likely to change soon. With 669 bakery-cafés in 35 states and 145 more to come this year, Panera Bread has been expanding rapidly since its founding in 1981, giving consumers across the nation a taste of artisan breads. As Peter Reinhart acknowledges in his introduction, to enjoy artisan bread in the current carbohydrate-phobic climate, much less bake one’s own, verges on heretical. But the Panera Bread Team, banking on the café’s name and America’s continuing obsession with the yeasty loaves, offers this simple cookbook, which is surprisingly short on bread recipes. The first few chapters do describe how to bake artisan breads at home using real baker’s formulas, but they omit any discussion of kneading, assuming instead that the baker will be using a mixer. A smattering of basic and advanced bread recipes follow, including Country White Bread, Kalamata Olive Bread and Vegetable Wheat Bread. Taken in combination with the earlier bread-making tips, the recipes will be fairly easy to follow for anyone with baking experience, but they are not for absolute beginners. The rest of the cookbook is friendlier to bakers who don’t want to tackle making the actual bread used in the recipe. Dishes like Eggs Goldenrod with Hot Hungarian Paprika call for slices of the Country White Bread, but the authors allow that purchased multi-grain bread can substitute. And even the carb-averse will be able to stomach the Fandango Salad, an "exclusive Panera Bread menu favorite" made up of walnuts, greens, raspberry vinaigrette, cheese and Mandarin oranges. Anyone looking to recreate Panera’s signature breads will be disappointed by this compilation, but those more interested in the café side of the restaurant should find plenty here to satisfy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Panera Bread freshly bakes more bread each day than any other bakery-cafe in the country. Every day, at every location, expert bakers handcraft each loaf from scratch, using all-natural ingredients to deliver fresh, authentic artisan breads to hundreds of neighborhoods nationwide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140008041X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080410
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 159 people found the following review helpful By SexySTEMEducation on November 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Publishers Weekly review was correct in stating there no authentic Panera "Bread" recipes in this book. The only authentic items are a few sandwich and salad recipes (and these recipes are not very hard to figure out after eating the product at the restaurant). The bread recipes in the book are basic, such as white, wheat, rye, etc.

The other chapters on Sandwiches and Soups and Salads, etc., are decent, but are dominated by recipes that I would not expect to be in a Panera Bread book. The few recipes from Panera Bread include the Tuscan Chicken Sandwich, Asiago Roast Beef sandwich, and Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. The recipes that are stunning but definitely not expected in this type of book are: Boiled shrimp and Tomato Bahn Mi wiht Lime Mayonnaise and Avocado, Curried Egg Salad Croissant with Daikon Sprouts and Roma Tomato, etc. When purchasing this book, I did not expect to search out 'speciality' indgredients (daikon sprouts, Hungarian Paprika, etc.). Many supermarkets do carry these, but many do not. So just be forwarned before purchasing the book.

In short, the recipes look good, but were definitely not expected! I was expecting a book with lots of bread recipes, soups, salad, sandwiches, and desserts, like those at my local Panera Bread. However, I obtained a book with a broad spectrum of recipes that look good, but was not what I wanted.

My advice: Flip through the book at a bookstore before buying! Happy Eating!
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Llda Schellhase on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Like the bread and was disappointed when I read that only the basic breads were in this book - wanted the actual Panera Bread Recipes. Changed my mind about buying it for this reason.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I checked this book out from the library hoping to find the recipes for many of the breads Panera makes and markets. No such luck. Like previous reviewers state, the only authentic Panera restaurant recipes are for a few sandwiches and soup items. Still the focaccia bread recipe was very good as was the sourdough (though this recipe is available on Panera's web site). I don't think I'll buy the book because I can get recipes similar to the basic bread recipes the book offers just by surfing the net.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Hoffman on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
As with most cookbooks, I checked this one out from the libarary before buying it. Am I ever glad that I did! Hoping to recreate the onion soup, along with other menu items, at home, I dove into the book. There were no Panera Bread recipes from the menu that I recognized. Save your money and buy another cookbook with real recipes!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By perrymasonary on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I checked this book out of the library to see what it was about. I was hoping it had some of the recipes for the menu items Panera offers in their stores such as the soups and pasteries. Peter Reinhart gives a nice introduction, but that does not save this book.

I was disappointed to find out there are only a few sandwich recipes I can figure out on my own. Also the book more gives recipes as to how to use bread such as making cinnamon cereal which is more like cinnamon croutons. One recipe for a bagel fondue requires 6 bagels, but no recipe for baking your own bagels. Another recipe for a chicken sandwich requires a crossiant, but no crossiant recipe is contained in the book. I guess Panera wants you to buy the bagels and crossiants at their store or instead forgo baking at all and just buy their baked goods.

There are no recipes for Panera's baked goods in the book. Nor is there a section on creating those baked goods. The book contains bread recipe adaptions for the home cook and using the quicker rise method. The bread recipes include white, wheat, rye and sourdough.

However, anyone desiring to learn how to bake their own bread would be better off with Daniel Leader's Bread Alone, Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentence, Amy's Bread original edition and other serious bread books.

Another observation was the use of grapes for the sourdough starter with no suggestion to use organic grapes. I have tried this method with organic grapes, organic raisens and organic figs. Regular grapes probably don't have much yeast if being subjected to pesticides.
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Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have mentioned the bulk of the recipes in this cookbook are NOT recipes to make items off the Panera Bread menu. If you buy the book with this end goal in mind you will probably be disapointed as there are not many and they are likely the recipes you could have figured out on your own.

That said, there are still a lot of very good recipes in this cookbook that make use of bread or are designed to compliment bread. I have tried several recipes including the Salad of Ciabatta, Celeriac, Grapes, Walnuts, and Apple that is a really fun and unique take on a bread salad. The recipe for the Turkey Bacon Bravo sandwich is also very good and tastes just like the sandwich on the menu. However, even with strong recipes like these it doesn't come close to my favorite cookbooks for sandwiches, salads, and baked breads. Instead I would highly recommend books like Raising the Salad Bar: Beyond Leafy Greens--Inventive Salads with Beans, Whole Grains, Pasta, Chicken, and More, which offers some really unqiue and easy to make salad ideas.

Overall I highly recommend browsing this book at the library or a bookstore before purchasing it. It does contain a lot of delicious recipes, but not very many copycat recipes for the items on its own menu.
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