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Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread Paperback – September 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elinor Klivans is the best-selling author of many cookbooks, including Cupcakes and Chocolate Cakes. She lives in Camden, Maine.

Susie Cushner is a food and travel photographer living in New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811865703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865708
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,356,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because I love to bake bread, I'm not generally seeking faster or easier methods. But because I also love Elinor Klivans' cookbooks I couldn't overlook this one, and I'm so glad! Within a week of my book's arrival I made Lots of Cheese Bread twice and Anytime Butter Twists once. They work perfectly and taste so wonderful that they justify the cost of the book on their own (though, of course, I can't wait to try the lemon leek bread, cinnamon buns with cream cheese glaze, tomato, basil and onion focaccia . . . you get the idea).

The chocolate-hazelnut babka and cinnamon babka are fabulous too, though I'm not sure I'd call them fast breads. The dough comes together in short order; but it does take a little time later to mix two fillings and the crumb topping and to fill and shape the coffeecakes. (That would be true particularly for one who is new to baking bread or rolls.) One of the things the book does well is to show that such breads and coffeecakes can be made in stages over two or more days, so that they needn't be daunting, day-long projects. And the taste is more than worth every bit of effort.

Along with numerous fast yeast breads, the book includes some scones, biscuits corn and other quick breads. There are also a few sandwiches and other recipes for using the breads. The book is absolutely correct about the Lots of Cheese bread making the very best ever grilled cheese panini. I kind of wish I didn't know that.

As usual, Mrs. Klivans gives detailed instructions, making the book ideal for novice bakers, while supplying recipes for any taste or occasion. There are never quite as many photos as I'd like, but there are more than enough to whet my appetite.
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Format: Paperback
The recipes involve yeast which I love baking with. There is also a focus on sweet breads and comfort breads like sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, brioche, parker house rolls and butter twists. Some might say that that the breads a not really "fast" as they require overnight rising. However, the hands-on time is minimal and therefore, they really can be considered "fast" in my opinion. These breads also allow you a lot of flexibility because they can rest in the fridge for a few days, giving you plenty of time to build them into your schedule, no matter how busy you are. I used Elinor's brioche recipe but instead of shaping it into a loaf I rolled it out thin and sprinkled sugar on it they rolled it up - cinnamon bun style - then cut it into pieces and twisted each piece to form a pastry of its own. They were beautiful. The delicate flavor of butter took centre stage, accompanied by a slight crunch from the caramelized sugar. They were so flaky and light. I can't wait to make more of the recipes from this book. There are so many I've already bookmarked.
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Format: Paperback
Making bread is one of those things that many home cooks want to do, dream to do and yet not so many actually do. A number of excuses are always given, with time being one of the most common, followed by a perception of difficulty.
Here author Elinor Klivans hopes to overturn all objections and get people baking, albeit with a twist. The recipes are not necessarily those you might find in a `Baking 101′ book - no variations upon a variation here, but many different, inviting types that can look deceptively complicated but the reality is a lot different.
Split into distinct chapters of superfast breads; corn breads; refrigerated breads; buns, rolls & small breads; loaves & rounds and finally bread dishes & bread toppings. No prior knowledge is expected as the reader is first treated to a great introduction that looks at the baking art, its common constituent ingredients, the methodologies involved in baking and a little overview about the types of bread. Not all bread is equal, after all, despite it sharing some common ingredients.
The first chapter dealing with `superfast' breads is particularly interesting as it can draw the reader in and have them trying different recipes without lengthy preparation and waiting for yeast to rise. Once you start seeing the possible results from your own hands it can be easy to become hooked and then.. well.. you might be baking all of the time (with a waistline to match?)
There are many colour pictures showing the finished results but sadly not every recipe has its own picture. This is quite a big omission when you consider the target audience of the book and it is always nice to see a picture of an unfamiliar recipe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the years I've accumulated many bread books. Each one seems to tout a "new" technique to bake the same breads that have been around for ages. And I like that--up to a point: Lately, I'm losing track of what book to look in to bake a certain bread. By the time I find the recipe, I could have had the bread dough formed and rising; not good when I'm trying to make a bread during a busy afternoon. This book, on the other hand, is a nice convenient go-to for a quick dinner bread. I have found that I am baking more bread since I picked up this book. It is just a matter of convenience.

So, I think this particular bread book--while an older book--is a nice choice for someone who just wants to bake a bread now and then to go with dinner. This is not the best book for fanatical bread bakers. But there are some very nice, "keeper" recipes in here for old, and new, favorites: Decent, fairly easy recipes that you'll be able to turn to time after time without much bother. There is a nice variety of breads also.
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