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Savory Baking from the Mediterranean: Focaccias, Flatbreads, Rusks, Tarts, and Other Breads Hardcover – August 7, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Anissa Helou has brought back wonderful recipes...and presents them with engaging charm...” (Claudia Roden, author of Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon)
“...a comprehensive look at a fascinating subject.” (- Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of Cucina del Sole)
“...Hurray for [Anissa’s] regional research. My copy bristles with many markers; my fingers yearn to plunge into the doughs.” (Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker, Celebrating Italy, and Italy in Small Bites)
“Anissa has done it again; I wouldn’t have believed it possible... Her newest contribution will inspire many bakers. (Mark H. Furstenberg, Founder of Marvelous Market and The BreadLine and co-owner of Ma-Mi Bistro and Bakery)
I love the spirit of this book. (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse)
“Helou has created a paean to the foundation of Mediterranean food.” (Publishers Weekly)
“...unlocks the mysteries of all these lovely little breads...” (NPR.org)
A New York Times Best Book of 2007“If Western notions of ‘the Mediterranean diet’ are moving from naive cliches to better understanding, writers like Anissa Helou have had a lot to do with the change...” (New York Times)
Top Customer Reviews
Many tomes on bread emphasize travels and personal anecdotes. This is not the case with this book. There is a brief (14 pages) intro at the beginning that has some personal insights and thoughts, but that's almost all there is for personal reflections - immediately after the introduction, it plunges in to the formulas.
Each recipe has a description, but these descriptions tend to be brief and specific. There are occasional personal notes attached at these points, but the author does not consume a lot of effort in these write-ups. Instead, she gives a short bit of background or history regarding each formula before giving the formula itself.
There are some top-notch recipes in this book! I did get what I wanted in terms of flatbreads - there are mutiple recipes for focaccia, and all of them are very different in terms of the final result. Emphasis is on authenticity, and with each region there is a different "standard" - the author does a splendid job of pointing out the differences.
Where I am in uncharted waters, though, involves some of the recipes included that use meats and fish. The book includes several recipes that call for anchovies - I likely will never try those, simply because I prefer anchovies on the side. Regardless, some breads are an entire meal unto themselves, and this is in line with the traditions of the region.Read more ›
A few of the recipes seem to wander off to the very edge of what I would call savory baking, with meats and fish and other ingredients. You could consider this a bonus or not, as your temperament dictates.
No other book covers all of this ground, so this is the one you need.
The recipes are straight forward and easy to follow. Some are simpler than others but not so complex that you get lost in translation. The imagery included is nice as it is a glimpse into the founding world of these styles of baking.
I've played around with several of the recipes and haven't had any troubles. The only thing that has confused me is the explainations of some of the rolling and shaping techniques. Other than these few small kinks, it is a very easy book to follow and grow off of. I had no experience with breads and savory baking before this book came along.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this book, interesting, but don't use it, partly because the spices in a lot of the more interesting recipes are too hard to get and the recipes are not interesting enough... Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Wyatt W. Jones