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Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads Paperback – October 3, 2006
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No other cooking process can compete with bread baking for sensory satisfaction. The mixing of powdery flours; the living, rising yeast; the tactile pleasure of kneading; the house-filling aroma of baking; and the savor of the final loaf offer a full range of stimuli. Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads updates a baker's classic, and any library that missed the first edition or finds its copy in tatters will want to add this new edition. Clayton comprehensively addresses the home baker's craft, covering white, bran, whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, buckwheat, and sourdough exemplars. Festive, cheese, herb, and flat breads round out this encyclopedia. Chemically leavened quick breads, such as cornbread and biscuits, are also covered. There's even a chapter on baking for dogs! Estimated preparation times for each step of the recipes help bakers avoid sequencing errors. Both the book's breadth and the instructions for storage and troubleshooting add to its reference value. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In a sense, Mr. Clayton is very old school, as he was in a position to consult not only with Julia Child, but also with Craig Claiborne and James Beard, both of which have left us for tables on high. The augmentation of thirty years' effort gives us a volume which weighs in at 685 pages at an exceedingly reasonable $35. Kudos to Simon and Shuster for giving the volume the price of most cookbooks which rarely exceed 300 pages.
While Mr. Clayton arose from an `old school' background, the general technique behind his bread recipes is very modern and will be very welcome to the inexperienced home baker. The heart of his technique for yeast breads is to use the newest incarnation of commercial yeast, typically called `Rapid Rise'. I believe this yeast was specifically developed to work with bread machines. The fact that `Rapid Rise' yeast can be added to dry ingredients without being proofed in warm water and sugar or flour is what distinguishes it from the older `Active Dry' yeast from producers like Red Star and Fleishmans.Read more ›
However, this book shines for the American kitchen, in which you might not be using all the latest gadgets or have re-created a stone hearth. The recipes work well with the flours available in the grocery store and health food store, whereas you might need to mail order high-ash French-style flours from catalogs if you are working towards artisan breads.
The section on holiday breads like Panettone, Pandoro, challah and stollen are especially good. There is a Finnish bread that I especially admire.
So I find I still pull this book off the shelf when I want to make good bread, but don't want to agonize over getting crackly crusts, gel-like crumb or other artisan features of specialty breads. Easy, reliable and plenty of variety here.
From flat breads to quick breads to pizza doughs to every variety of yeast bread, Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads will never let you down. How could it? Your spirits will rise along with your bread.
I wrote the above review in 1997 - it's now 2003, and this book is still the break baking book I use the most. I've now moved to a country (Switzerland) where it's possible to buy great bread from any bakery, even from the supermarket. Yet I still turn to this book at least once a week for old favorites. Some that I have made more times than I can remember include scones (from mixing to eating in 30 minutes!), Old Milwaukee Rye Bread, Basic White Bread, Rosemary-Garlic Bread..the list goes on. Some I've yet to master after numerous tries - like the salt-raising breads. And I still haven't tried the dog biscuits. :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This gentleman,s bread book are the bestest of all. Intriguing, easy to read, easy to follow, and will now blame him for the weight gain that I see in the future. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elaine Anderson
The directions were confusing at times in terms of separating using Kitchen Aid type machine and by hand. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John
I am looking forward to trying more than just the corn bread recipe - which is outstanding!Published 5 months ago by Mary S.
Purchased as a gift, This is a wonderful bread book and I am going to purchase myself a copy.Published 6 months ago by Suzanna L. Roberson
This is the second one I bought like this....going to give it as a gift....I have one that I really like.... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer