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Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
1) die-hard artisan bread-baking fanatics (or perhaps not quite fanatic). If you say "hmmm... this describes me pretty accurately, as you pick dried dough off of your forearms), you definitely need this book. No sense having an incomplete home artisan-bread-baking library. It also contains recipes I have not encountered in other books. There is bound to be at least one or two recipes that will enter into your rotation.
2) Arm-chair bread-bakers. If you don't bake bread everyday, but enjoy eating it (or perhaps you used to be a fanatic and no longer have time), this book is still for you. In addition to numerous recipes, the descriptions of bakeries, bakers, bread, and other experiences makes for a very good read (if you enjoyed American Pie or any of Maggie Glezer's books, you will probably like this one as well). Likewise, if you are interested in travel or the slow food movement, this book could be of interest to you.
3) Beginning bakers. This could be an acceptable first book for people just getting introduced to the world of artisan bread baking-- I would probably recommend Peter Reinhart's books instead of or, if you want as much knowledge as possible, in addition to Leader's. It probably makes more sense to have fundamental baking knowledge before diving into a multi-step sourdough recipe, for example. If you are prepared for some trial and error, the recipes themselves are very clear... there are just some things that cannot be understood perfectly without a little bit of prior experience. Leader does have a very helpful introduction with basic techniques and equipment.Read more ›
How much does 1-1/2 cups of water weigh? Answer: In this book, it depends on which recipe you are making.
On pg 67 & pg.144, 1-1/2 cups weighs: 340grams/12oz.
On pg. 96 & pg.126, 1-1/2cups water weighs 350g or 12.3 oz.
Move on to pg. 170 and 1-1/2 cups water now weighs 375g/13.2 oz.
Why does the weight of water matter when all these pages call for 1-1/2 cups water? Easy. The author, Daniel Leader has clearly stated on several website/boards that he gave the original recipes in Metric measurements only. He didn't even want to add volume measures (cups, teaspoons,etc.) but his editor insisted. Someone other than the Daniel Leader also did all the U.S. weight and volume conversions. Too bad that someone had no basic understanding of arithmetic principles!
I could spend a lot of time listing all the measurement inconsistencies in this book. Still, that wouldn't leave enough time to mention the blatent errors---for example, pg. 283 has a recipe that calls for 22 cups of water (yes, twenty-two). The weight of 22 cups of water is: 300g/10.6 oz.
After a browse through this book, I began to develop a real love/distrust relationship. The book is very attractive--and very flawed.
Other reviewers have suggested that maybe you could just use the metric table for the recipes.Read more ›
It is a crime to get people to buy a book and invest all the time and energy it takes to create the recipes and have them be just plain wrong.
Leader and his publisher should be ashamed, doubly so for not correcting the errors and communicating them. On the Blog: The Fresh Loaf ([...]) Leader himself (and his wife) somewhat acknowledges these errors, promises to fix them, then never follows through.
What could have been a great book delivers a consistently lousy result. If readers wanted lousy results, they would not need a book to create them.
Leader has failed an author's basic responsibility, "proof your work!" In writing, as in baking, "proofing" is an essential step toward providing a satisfying end product. Leader gets two stars for effort, but no stars for providing a baking book that is half baked.
Despite the above reservations, if you are capable of working around the editing issues, the resulting breads are excellent. The author is clearly knowledgable and enthusiastic about bread; I just wish he and the publisher were more careful in copy editing the book. I have shared a few (corrected) recipes from this book with friends, but I wouldn't recommend they purchase it themselves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a great story book as well as baking , I love the recipes and how clear they are to follow. Taste great, good info.Published 3 months ago by Jill C. Jolley
Great info. The starter worked exceptionally well. I am working on the other recipes in the book ...Published 5 months ago by ANTHONY C BOMBACI
This is the latest addition to my numerous other books on sourdough, and has easily earned five stars.
Daniel Leader's books are excellent and this is one of his best, IMHO. Read more
I bought this for my sister and law and she absolutely loves it.Published 7 months ago by Serena320
I think Mr.Leader is my favorite baker/author out there. I have made many of the recipes in this book successfully. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Steve
A good book on making various artisan (home make) breads. Very good instructions and breads.Published 16 months ago by Luthern64