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Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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“The book [Ali] and her mom built out of the genius master recipe is a glorious thing—with close to 40 spinoff recipes for different types of bread, plus dozens of ways to use leftover slices and crumbs in all sorts of meals.” –Food52.com
"The book is brimming with creativity, and packed with tips at every turn that will troubleshoot whatever dough panic questions arise.” –Phoebe Lapine
“Bread Toast Crumbs is dedicated to showing off the bread’s versatility: the first third of the book features the master peasant bread recipe, along with a ton of variations, from whole grain versions to cinnamon swirl loaf to olive and other savory breads. The second third features toast or bread-based fare (sandwiches, bruschetta), while the final third features recipes that you can make with all of your bread ends and crumbs (soups, pastas with buttery crumbs, that kind of thing).” –Gena Hamshaw
“This is an inspiring, creative collection for new bakers and those who want to leave kneading behind.” —Publishers Weekly
"Alexandra’s book makes you want to kick over everything and spend your days in the kitchen baking simple, no-knead loaves and turning them into the best parts of every meal. Bread Toast Crumbs. The title tells you everything except how creative, practical and delicious the recipes are."
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Dorie's Cookies
"Such a fun book that I kind of wish I had written myself. Alexandra has combined creative and easy to make recipes with great know-how so anyone can make fantastic bread at home."
—Jim Lahey, author of My Bread and My Pizza
"From crusts to crumbs, from home-style, multigrain loaves to zippy shakshuka rounds, Bread Toast Crumbs presents a wide range of breads, and is the perfect guide for bakers wanting to explore the world of possibilities for making their own loaves, and using every slice and crumb that doesn't get gobbled up right away."
—David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen
"I am a bread baker's granddaughter. Needless to say, Ali's familial connection to bread and all of its nostalgia hits close to home. In Bread Toast Crumbs she makes the daunting feel doable: Homemade bread can be no big deal! I love all of her inventive ideas for ways to use bread (her 'Crumbs' section especially appeals to my can't-waste-a-thing heart). This book will be in heavy rotation in my house."
—Julia Turshen, author of Small Victories
"Does anything shout love and comfort louder than home-baked bread? Actually, yes—all of the recipes in this stunning collection do. Alexandra’s recipes are sure to inspire yeast-o-phobes and experts alike and her book is a wonderful reminder that breaking bread with people we love is literally one of the simplest and most meaningful things we can do for our families."
—Jenny Rosenstrach, author of Dinner: A Love Story
"After trying Alexandra’s mom’s once-secret peasant bread recipe, I never wanted to start another week without it. These are the lovable, crazy-simple, and un-mess-up-able loaves that will start a new home baking revolution—and her brilliant recipes for using up every last crumb will sustain it."
—Kristen Miglore, Creative Director of Food52
"As a self-professed carb enthusiast, Alexandra's beautiful book speaks to my heart. Her approachable voice gives even the most novice of bakers (myself included) encouragement that they, too, can bake and bake beautifully. Bread Toast Crumbs not only provides straightforward and inventive recipes for bread, but it gets you thinking creatively about ways to incorporate it into every meal, in every way. Simply put, I love it."
—Colu Henry, author of Back Pocket Pasta
"I will turn back to these pages for both the variety of beautiful loaves and the suggestion of what to make to put on top of or between its slices. Bread Toast Crumbs is a real keeper."
—Sara Forte, author of Sprouted Kitchen and Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon
"I can't go a single day without bread, so what a treat it was to find this beautiful book celebrating one of my favorite foods to both make and eat. It's chockablock with approachable yet sophisticated recipes that deliver mouthwatering results, from vinaigrette toasts to meatloaf made with buttermilk-soaked bread, and even breadcrumb-studded chocolate bark—a brilliant riff on the age-old snack of bread and chocolate."
—Luisa Weiss, author of Classic German Baking
"Bread Toast Crumbs is part useful expertise, part gentle advice, and all heart. This book is a new essential volume for the home bread baker, and a great testament to the worth of taking something good and using it to its absolute fullest."
—Alana Chernila, author of Homemade Pantry
“As someone who loves to bake bread, eat toast, and cook for my family and friends, I am excited about this book. It's approachable (no-knead!) and has gorgeous photos. Alexandra has so many clever ideas on how to take that bread a step further for dishes I'll make on weeknights or to entertain.”
—Erin Gleeson, author of Forest Feast
“The message is simple: homemade bread is easy and versatile, so don’t waste a single crumb! The structure of this book is so creative and useful, and the flavors sophisticated yet simple. I seriously want to be every. single. recipe.” –budgetbytes.com
“The selection of recipes are a perfect balance to make any cook happy—breads that are totally approachable and recipes to utilize those bread recipes are a huge bonus.” –eatyourbooks.com
About the Author
After graduating from Yale, Alexandra (Ali) Stafford moved to Philadelphia, where she attended cooking school and worked in catering and restaurant kitchens. She launched her blog, Alexandra’s Kitchen, and began writing about food. Today, she writes a biweekly column for Food52, “A Bushel and a Peck,” and contributes to the Baking Steel blog. Ali lives near Schenectady in upstate New York with her husband and their four young children.
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The recipes are divided into 3 sections- bread (no knead bread with 2 short rises), toast (recipes that include the already baked bread), and crumbs (recipes involving bread crumbs or leftover bread). I have not made any recipes from the toast or crumbs sections because the bread is eaten before then. Even if I never make it to the second and third sections of the book, the book is a good value and worth buying. The photographs are stunning and yes, your bread can look as good as the pictures!
Though the book emphasizes short rises, the breads really benefit from longer rises. The first rise is 1-1.5 hours and the second rise is 10-20 minutes. I have found that extending the first rise to 3 hours and the second rise to 2 hours creates fluffier loaves. I have made the bread as directed and also with the longer rise and I prefer the longer rises. It is currently April so rise time may shorten as the weather gets warmer.
You don't want to extend the first rise too long. I once forgot about my dough and the first rise lasted 6 hours! The yeast will run out of energy too early, thus creating a denser loaf. I usually put my dough in the microwave over the stove to allow the dough to rise in a draft free area and also keeps me from having to cover the bowl. Also, her website states to use 2 teaspoons of yeast while the book says to use 2 and a quarter teaspoons. To keep from sullying an extra measuring spoon, I measure out 2 teaspoons of yeast then add a touch more. I also use salted butter for greasing the bowls. For savory recipes, I have been putting a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on top of the dough with some maldon sea salt sprinkled on top. Alexandra has written that the EVOO will taste bitter when baked at high temperatures, but I have not found this to be the case in my kitchen. It really enhanced the flavor of the kalamata olive bread and I will trying baking the bread with olive oil in the dough instead of a neutral oil that was in the original recipe (I used safflower oil).
The author also has written cooling times for the bread. Yes, the bread smells amazing when it comes out of the oven. You should absolutely follow her guidelines and wait on cutting that first piece. The bread is fluffier and softer if you wait at least the recommended time. Personally, I find the second loaf to be better tasting that the first loaf and I think it is due to the longer cooling time. I usually start the first rise at 9 am, then the second rise at noon. I bake at 2 pm and let the bread cool until 7 pm. I have started the bread at 4 pm and sliced the first loaf at 7 pm. I would say the bread made with the shorter rise time is 90% as good as the bread made with the longer rise time.
One of the best variations of the peasant bread recipe is found on Alexandra's website and not in the book. The book recommends baking the bread in 2 one quart Pyrex bowls (I bought mine off of Amazon). The website has a faux focaccia variation that is amazing and not in the book! There is a focaccia recipe in the book, but it is more complex than the faux focaccia recipe on her website. It is worth trying out the faux focaccia recipe. In addition, the book has the same brioche recipe on 2 different pages. I guess this was to keep from turning pages back and forth. However, there are many recipes that reference notes on other recipes that require page turning.
The FAQ/troubleshooting section in the back of the book is excellent. Alexandra gives guidance on overnight rising and slowing down the yeast when necessary.
In conclusion, the book is a good introduction to bread baking. I have some experience baking bread but the book has really rekindled my interest in baking bread. I am planning on teaching others how to make the peasant bread master recipe. Also, you do not need a bread machine for this book. I don't own one and I recommend this book for bakers that have always wanted to bake bread.