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The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine Paperback – April 30, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,198 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unlike electric ice cream makers and pasta machines, the bread machine hasn't really enjoyed wholehearted acceptance in the culinary world. There are hordes of enthusiasts, no question about it, but many who consider themselves serious bakers look upon the machine with a skeptical eye. However, the newer generation of machines turns out excellent bread, and after being bombarded with know-how by this James Beard Award-winning writer, even the most reluctant may be inspired to give it a go. The book opens with an excellent orientation to both the machine and the basics of bread making. Step-by-step instructions are given for a few basic loaves. (Less helpful is a "what went wrong" section, which displays a firm grasp of the obvious.) The 300-plus recipes are so far-ranging it's hard to believe a bread exists that isn't included here. There are white breads and sourdoughs, all manner of whole wheat and grain breads and breads featuring nuts and dried fruits, cheese and savory flavorings. There are crusty ciabattas, a sturdy Irish Potato Brown Bread and a variety of challahs. Hensperger also includes dozens of sweet breads, including croissants, coffee cakes and traditional holiday confections. There are recipes for pizza and flatbreads, as well as selections from a variety of traditions, from Alsatian kugelhopf to Zuni Indian bread. She even offers instructions for using bread machines to make pasta, jams and chutneys. By the end, Hensperger (The Bread Bible, etc.) will have convinced readers that it's time to overcome any qualms and get to work. The bread machine is here to stay. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hensperger's smaller quick breads book includes 100 recipes from her earlier Art of Quick Breads, now out of print, as well as 50 new ones. In addition to quick loaves, both sweet and savory, there are waffles, dumplings, biscuits, popovers, and a variety of other easy baked goods, along with some tasty accompaniments, such as the Fruit Salsa for her Hopi Blue Corn Hotcakes. For most collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 643 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; Later Printing edition (April 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155832156X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558321564
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book last Christmas after receiving a machine for a gift. I made a few recipes from the owner's manual and experienced quite a few flops. I refused to be defeated and knew there must be a book out there that would help me make good bread (with the machine that I had begged for). THIS is the book!
I read all the reviews that precede 2002 and got the book right away. I love the way Hensperger explains ingredients, the science of bread and how the machine works. We use our machine at least 3-4 times a week. Some of my favorites from the book include the Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns (I will never buy storebought again!), the Garlic Foccacia, the Orange Bread with White Chocolate, Apricots and Walnuts, and for sandwiches my family loves the Instant Potato Bread and the Maple Buttermilk Bread, both of which turn out light and fluffly.
I remember reading a review that discussed the different ways to measure flour. For some reason, if I do it Hensperger's way, I always have to add more flour. So, I just scoop it without aerating the flour first.
Another review mentioned that you "have to" use SAF yeast. I haven't found this to be true. I have used the SAF, but have also used fast-acting and bread machine yeast. Both have turned out fine. All of the ingredients have been at a local supermarket (I live in a small town - 23,000, on the Central Coast of CA) except the specialty flours like barley, spelt, semolina, etc. Those I have found at a health-food store.
I can't say enough good things about this book! My copy is tattered and stained and I am enjoying working my way through all the recipes. It is a book I definitely can't live without
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Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Beth Hensperger's, and have baked my way through others of her bread books, and so was very excited when I discovered this book. Several of the breads I have made have been fantastic -- the Whole Wheat Cuban Bread and the Spelt Bread, for example. But I've had many problems when baking from this book (I bake twice weekly, and experiment once a week), which suggests that some of the recipes weren't tested, they were just "written" or adapted from convetional recipes. I'll mention two, the Honey Wheat Berry Bread and the Sennebeck Hill Bread. If you follow the instructions for the 2-pound loaf, in both cases, you'll have a bread that will rise way beyond the capacity of the largest machine -- I have a Zo, with a huge capacity. I was lucky enough to be in the kitchen at the time, and rescued the breads by taking the pan out, putting a greased heavy duty aluminum collar around the baking pan, secured with paper clips, and baking in the oven. That's not what I expect from someone as skilled as Hensperger. And I don't want to have to be in the kitchen when using a bread machine. So be forewarned.
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Format: Paperback
Baking is my thing, even though I must cook everyday foods to survive. Because I have limited shelf space, and because I want to simplify my life, I only keep those cookbooks I use and treasure. This is one of those books. I love the recipes in this book!! They are accurate and produce consistent results. If you like glossy pictures in your cookbooks then this book is not for you, but if you want easy and tasty recipes then this is the best book in the market.
In reading some of the negative reviews I would like to comment that perhaps the fault does not lie in the recipes, but in the cook. Successful baking requires quality ingredients, careful measuring and correct temperature. Of all the ingredients used in bread baking the most important is of course the flour. Not all flours are created equal, they vary in protein content and moisture. Protein helps give structure to the dough, a soft spring wheat, low protein, flour (White Lily, Wondra) is good for cakes, a high protein winter wheat flour (most bread flours) is good for breads. The moisture content of the flour determines the amount of liquid to be added to the recipe. I have found Gold Medal and Pillsbury flours have a higher moisture content than other flours and require slightly less liquid. So try the same recipes using a different flour, and check the dough before the machine goes into the bake cycle and adjust accordingly..... too wet, add flour; too dry, add liquid. Lastly, always use the same brand of flour and learn to work with it. I use King Arthur flour exclusively for consistent results.
I know some of the info in this review is not necessarily about the book in question, but the info may be helpful to someone having difficulty in achieving consistent results in the baking process.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book for Christmas, and have been having lots of fun with it. I first made a country-style bread that combined whole wheat and bread flours with a touch of maple syrup, and it was yummy. I'll be trying one of the Italian semolina bread recipes this weekend for an Italian dinner party. But my favorite so far has been the Vienna bread. It is best while still warm from the machine (slathered with butter, if you're feeling naughty). It is fairly dense for a white bread, makes great sandwiches, and keeps well for several days. I haven't yet tried any of the biga (starter) breads, but I am looking forward to them. I wish the book contained a cinnamon-raisin bread recipe that was *not* gluten-free; I'll have to improvise.
The instructions in this book are clear and very easy to follow. I also appreciate knowing which recipes are suitable for use with the delay timer. While some ingredients are hard to find, plenty of the recipes call for readily available items. I've discovered that the vital wheat gluten required in most recipes is available at my local Safeway, as are Red Star yeast and semolina flour.
The fact that vital wheat gluten is *not* the same as wheat gluten flour is mentioned in the book, but not emphasized strongly enough. Also, I have to remember to add salt along with the liquid ingredients, although the recipes list salt with the dry ingredients, because my bread machine manual states that salt can interfere with the action of the yeast if it comes in contact with the yeast too early. Perhaps this is a possibility unique to my machine (a Breadman Ultimate). I agree with an earlier poster who complained that recipes using the Dough cycle (for breads to be baked in an oven) call for unplugging the machine at the completion of the cycle; this seems unnecessary.
Overall, I am pleased with and inspired by this book, which contains a great amount of useful information and a slew of easy and delicious-sounding recipes! Thanks, Beth!
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