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The Handmade Loaf: Contemporary Recipes for the Home Baker Paperback – February 15, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As fresh and as mouth-watering as a loaf straight from the oven... the author's own step-by-step photographs are genuinely educational." Jenni Muir, The Independent Review "(Lepard's) supreme skill is his empathy with people who bake, from grandmothers using ancient ovens to cutting-edge chefs." Sheila Keating,The Times Magazine "It oozes knowledge, curiosity and love for its subject... I doubt a better book will be written on the subject for a few years to come." Tom Jaine, The Guardian

About the Author

Dan Lepard is the most talked about baker in Britain. He has baked for some of the country's top restaurants, including Locanda Locatelli, Zafferano and Alastair Little. He co-wrote Baking with Passion, the Baker & Spice Baking Book, published in 1999.For more information on Dan Lepard and the latest breadmaking trends from around the world, visit www.danlepard.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (February 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845333896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333898
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been baking my own bread for over 20 years & have used everything; cuisinart, kitchenaid, bread machine & keading till I drop. Lepard's mininal, intermittent kneading beats them all, hands down AND makes the best bread. Moreover, he tells you how to raise a starter that doesn't involve wasting pounds and pounds of flour or finding a vineyard with organic, unsulfured grapes. The recipes are secondary. This is a gem of a book.
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I gave this book four stars because I can't imagine going without it, but I would also check out an updated version from the library to see if there were major changes, and buy that one instead, if he were to revise it.

About me as a baker:

I have three books with bread recipes and frequently use online bread recipes. I've been baking for about six years now and bake at least weekly, often daily. Up until I bought this book, along with Hamelman's _Bread_, I had only baked yeast breads and had never used 100% whole wheat or rye (though I had done partially whole wheat breads). I bake by hand and I have only a glass Pyrex bowl, cookie sheets, a spritzer, a whisk, and a wooden spoon at my disposal. My goal when I bought these books was to learn to cook sourdough and with a variety of different grains, as well as to increase my general skill at bread baking.

What I liked about the book:

1. His instructions on how to build a sourdough starter are invaluable and worked perfectly for me. The pictures were a wonderful tool and hard to find elsewhere. You can see what it's supposed to look like as you go. He is very descriptive and clear.

2. His choice of recipes (breads from all over Europe and parts of ex-Soviet Asia) is delightful, in my opinion. Most, but not all, of the breads are sourdoughs, which are what most hand bakers in Europe and Asia use. There are some yeast breads including the good old Quick White Loaf. Between the 100% Rye, the Mill Loaf, the Rye with Coriander loaf (that literally got my husband's eyes misted over with memories of his school days in the Soviet Union), Brown Butter Picklets, and so on, I have staple and special breads to try and enjoy for the rest of my life.

3.
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I've had this book for almost two years - this was THE book that got me into serious bread baking. Once I made my own starter following his method, and got used to the rhythm of feeding it, I never looked back.

his method of minimal kneading is well explained, the photos are gorgeous, the book is a pleasure to read.

A must-have for any person really interested in bread baking.
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This book is a great eye-opener for the home baker in the US.
****Please note, this is a RE-WRITE after owning this book for about 9 months.

I love this book. The author went to the trouble of tracking down all these old ways of bread making and transferring their method into "by weight" and has made it as easy as possible to replicate their methods at home.
I have had GREAT success with the author's method for creating starters.
I had particular fun making the 100% sour rye bread. The gelatinized rye flour really works well for getting it to rise. What a great flavor-sliced thin and toasted, with good Brie!

My first review was totally unfair to the author and to the book distributor in the UK. My impatience with receiving my book quickly does not reflect at all on the book itself, a wonderful collection of easily reproducible recipes. It is obvious a great deal of hard work and attention to detail was required to produce this work.

If nothing else I have made Dan's method of kneading for several seconds, then letting the dough rest / repeat / my method. I have gone from depending on my Kitchen-aide to actually just getting my hands messy and using good technique. Thanks for all the tips, Dan, that I have made into my own repertoire!
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[...]
I asked the instructor what was the best book he would recommend and he said it was this book. It seems like every artisan baker has their own recipes, specific ingredients, and techniques that they swear by, (I guess that is why they call it "Artisan" Bread, (as there is no one way that fits all). But this author opened my eyes to methods that I truly did not know before and shows those methods with stunning photos and stories.
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By sy on October 12, 2012
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Dan Leperd takes us to faraway places in forgotten times to bring us a treasure trove of authentic regional recipes. We are offered a tantalizing view of (before industrialization's) simple procedures used in bread making. I mean, where else will we find a recipe for "Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf?" (p.57) Excellent book to enjoy with a cuppa while planning out what recipes you want to try first.
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i like this book because Dan goes a long way towards demystifying the whole breadmaking process, even saying that anyone can make bread and they dont need a special oven or a particular type of oven, that you should just get on with it.
The variety of breads in the book is fantastic too, its one that you won't tire of easily, and you will find a style of bread to go with many different foods and occassions.
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