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Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads Paperback – October 3, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the 1970s, Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Breads became the bible for bread bakers everywhere. In the years since its publication, however, new equipment such as dough-mixing attachments and food processors, and new products such as fast-acting yeast and specialty bread flour, have revolutionized the kitchen. A new era requires a new book, and Bernard Clayton has obliged with his New Complete Book of Breads. Here you'll find 200 of Clayton's original recipes from his earlier book, all revised with modern equipment and products in mind. In addition, Clayton includes 100 new recipes gathered during the course of his research and travels as well as his interactions with friends and readers. Whether you're hungry for breads, rolls, muffins, popovers, seasonal favorites, or exotic delights destined to become favorites, you'll find them all in the New Complete Book of Breads. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 30th Anniversary ed. edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287098
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The subject of bread baking seems to attract large, authoritative titled books, as this is the third 400 or more page book on bread which claims to be either complete or a bible. As the other two books (both entitled `The Bread Bible' by Beth Hensperger and Rose Levy Beranbaum) were published in the last five years and Mr. Clayton's first edition of his book was published thirty years ago, Bernard Clayton has a distinct claim to have commanded this cookbook niche for the longest time, thereby having ample opportunity to correct, improve, and augment. From the author's new introduction, I see he has been doing that faithfully for the last thirty years.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I should have a kind of loyalty to Bernard Clayton, Jr.'s bread book. It's big, it's complete and it has just about any bread including crackers. (Like author Clayton, I love crackers.) But recent bread books,especially those artisan books, surpass The "New Complete Book of Breads" for getting that European effect, especially for free-form wheat breads like ciabatta and Tuscan bread.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I recently told someone I bake all our bread from scratch--no bread machine for me. He looked at me in amazement and asked, "Then how do you do it?!" "Just the way your grandmother did," I told him. With Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, anyone can bake flawless loaves of bread. Clayton has thought of everything, from explaining the many different types of flours and their differing attributes to formatting every recipe for hand mixing, electric mixer and food processor. I was given a recipe for Irish soda bread that listed the ingredients by weight, not volume, and Clayton even has a conversion table. I have made his recipe for Rudi's stone-ground wheat bread every week since I bought the book; the bread is so wonderful, my husband and I are addicted to it. But I have made perhaps ten other bread recipes, and without exception they have been delicious and professional looking. Clayton doesn't resort to tricks but uses techniques that are guaranteed to produce perfect results. I find the process of bread baking exhilarating: by mixing a few simple ingredients together I produce a living, changing dough that appeals to every sense: the resilience of the dough as I knead it, the excitement of seeing the dough rising in the bowl, the irresistible smell of the loaves as they bake, the crunch of the crust--and the taste of a fresh chunk of bread, hot from the oven, that makes me weak-kneed with pleasure every time.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I have baked primarily the mixed grain and whole grain wheat breads from this book with success each time. Good explanations with directions for utilzing stand mixers, food processors or the old fashioned "by hand" methods of mixing and kneading. Packed full of information and recipes. Color pictures would be nice, but it's such a great source for such a variety of breads, I don't hold that lack against it. A must for the home breadbaker from the very father of bread making.
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Format: Hardcover
Of all the bread baking books I have (and I have a lot) this is the one I actually *use* the most. I have made more than 30 of the recipes, and they consistently come out very well. The book covers a huge variety of breads, from the so-called quickbreads that can be assembled in a matter of minutes to complicated ones that may take a week or more from preparation to final result. There are classic French breads, wholemeal breads, small breads-chances are, if you want to make it, it's in here.The instructions are very clear, even if there are no illustrations or photographs. After many failed attempts, I was able to make perfect croissants for the first time from this book! Finally, the book if presented with a great sense of humor-you'll love reading the recipe for dog biscuits, even if you don't have a dog.
.........
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. :)
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