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Flatbreads & Flavors Hardcover – March 20, 1995
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An amazing cookbook that travels to the furthest reaches of the world to celebrate flatbreads with over the recipes for a myriad of breads, including Afghani naan, Mexican tortilla, French fougasse, Middle Eastern pita, and Armenian lavash. Hungry for something to go with all that bread? The authors include another 150 recipes for traditional accompaniments. How about a Scandinavian smorgasbord, tomatillo salsa with arbol chiles, Nepali green chile chutney, Ethiopian beef tartar, or Yemeni stew?
More than sixty recipes for flatbreads of every kind range from Mexican tortillas to pizzas from Italy and chapatis from India. Splendid and unusual breads mark an exceptional cookbook which goes way beyond just placing recipes in logical format: explanations of recipe origins and cultural influences make for a detailed, in-depth guide. -- Midwest Book Review
These people have really gone and done it! They've brought the real excitement of these flavors and textures back home. -- Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
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The introduction has a great section on the development of the book as well as techniques for creating flat breads. There are different tips for tools, mixing, kneading, proofing, rising, baking, storing, freezing, and drying. The authors are extremely detail oriented, which leads to great results, and each recipe contains an introduction to how the recipe was discovered and adapted. This makes each recipe into a great narrative that leads to the feeling of a travel around the world through baking.
This is quite a large book and I have not been able to make all of the recipes- but each that I have tried turned out wonderfully. Even with some adaptation, the details that authors provide lead to great results. The first recommended recipe is for a simple pita bread which should hook anyone on homemade flat breads. Their recipes have such great details that give you instructions for exact amounts, order of addition, how the dough should feel, and cooking time down to the second. This pita recipe gave me amazing results with almost all of them puffing up. Each recipe also has great ideas for food to pair with with your flat bread which makes for exotic and interesting meals.
I found the high-tech crackers recipe to be particularly interesting. Such an easy recipe with such a personal relationship to the author that is so adaptable. You will make this recipe at the beginning (even though it is the very last in the book) and continue to make them to snack on. What is interesting is that as your skill increases, you will start to make your own methods and flavors for almost all of them.
If you are a fan of pita, naan, pizza, tortilla, or anything else in the world of flat breads- this book is highly recommended.
Like some of the other reviewers, I wish that ALL the recipes were for bread, but the travel journal prose gives to the bread, faces and ways of life that in turn give the bread life, not to mention a wider view of humanity. The vegetable and meat dishes are extra. Making/baking bread is an art that takes years of practice. I don't know if this book is the best place for a new baker to begin, but prove me wrong.
A note on yeast: The authors say they are not "anti-sourdough" starter, but acknowledge the convenience of commercial yeast and so recommend it for most of the recipes. I would like to encourage bakers to investigate sourdough starters. I've had one in continual use for over 15 years! It raises the dough a little slowly, but oh so steady! You have same day bread, and it never fails to make perfect bread. The authors say sourdough starters are less reliable, but with refrigeration, I think that is not the case. You can grow your own at home in less than a week with just flour, water and some attention. Good luck!
Other readers say they discovered some wonderful recipes in this book -- maybe it's a good idea to try those first. As for me, once burned twice shy.