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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Tassajara Bread Book Paperback – February 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The bible for bread baking.”—The Washington Post


“A baking Zen priest after [our] own heart!”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“This was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself back when it was first published. To this day, I consider The Tassajara Bread Book to have been a major influence not just on my cooking and baking, but on my attitude and philosophy about food in general. Thank you, Ed Brown, for this lasting gift.”—Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook

“I feel a special fondness for this book, which helped launch me on my way to baking bread. Edward Brown’s warmth shines through on every page, the recipes remain wonderfully unusual (I love the three-layer corn bread, which I’ve never seen elsewhere), and the overall experience is one of brilliant simplicity.”—Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything

“Like thousands of cooks of my generation, I have in my kitchen an ancient volume of The Tassajara Bread Book, its cover gritty with flour, its spine cracked from use, its pages stained with molasses, and dog-eared with decades of perusal. It is the book that taught me how to make bread and its simple wisdom has been present in every loaf I have baked. I will recommend it with enthusiasm to a new generation of cooks.”—Steve Raichlen, author of The Barbeque Bible

About the Author

Edward Espe Brown began cooking and practicing Zen in 1965. He was the first head resident cook at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center from 1967 to 1970. He later worked at the celebrated Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, serving as busboy, waiter, floor manager, wine buyer, cashier, host, and manager. Ordained a priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, he has taught meditation retreats and vegetarian cooking classes throughout North America and Europe. He is the author of several cookbooks and the editor of Not Always So, a book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He is the subject of the critically acclaimed 2007 film How to Cook Your Life.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Reprint edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590308360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590308363
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you want to live simply but not blandly, this is the only bread book you need. Written in a gentle voice, this book encourages all to bake wholesome, delicious breads - sweet and savory - and love every bite. Now, I have many bread cookbooks and I do love all of them - from Elizabeth David to Amy to Laurel - but I cannot stress how much pure enjoyment and encouragement I've gotten from this modest tome. Reading his words and following his advice (which is open and even inexact at times) has always led me to greater independence and faith in my own instincts and never fails to turn out wonderful results!
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This book is THE BEST for anyone with zero experience baking bread - or rolls, or bagels, or breakfast pastries -- this book covers EVERYTHING.

Best stuff:
1) Clear, very detailed instuctions on all the nuts-n-bolts tecniques that seem so intimidating, like how to knead the dough properly (well described and well illustrated)
2) Wonderful array of variations on the basic bread recipe
3) breakfast pastry section will really wow anyone coming over for brunch
4) Said it before but I'll say it again: Anyone who wants to learn to bake bread will succeed. Really, anyone.
5) Bread machines simple do not turn out anything as good as the 'real deal'.

Hard-to-find book but WELL worth the search.
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I wrote my first review of this book back in 2003 when I had first learned to bake bread. I didn't have much to say about it, other than I liked it.

It is now more than three years later. This is the book that I give to people as a gift quite often. I suggest it to people interested in learning to bake bread. I even suggest the book to people with stress problems since I've found that hand kneading dough can be quite therapeutic.

There are a lot of great bread books out there, and a literal mountain of bad books. This one doesn't dwell on the science of bread, or dedicate pages to explaining how modern flour is inferior to old flour, or to rallying against modern yeast as opposed to traditional sourdough. The author merely gives some relatively simple insutrctions which, if followed, will produce praiseworthy bread.

If you want to learn to bake bread, I suggest never using a food processor or stand mixer for it. At least in the beginning. Mixing by hand provides familiarity with the materials and the techniques. Save the gadgets for after you know how to bake bread. This book is purely about hand mixing and hand kneading.
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Format: Paperback
I have for years relied on a bread machine to indulge my desire for home-baked bread. No more. This book is a revelation, a gem.
If you scrupulously follow the introductory instructions for the basic Tassajara bread, you will be able to make any kind of bread from scratch, by hand, guaranteed. Just now I have two gorgeous loaves of millet bread in the oven, and this is just my second time making bread by hand. Thea author, Edward Brown, tells you precisely how the dough should look, how it should feel, and how to know when you are finished kneading. You simply cannot go wrong.
I have the other "bible" of bread making, James Beard's book, and, much as I adore James Beard, I prefer the Tassajara method of bread-making. There is less guesswork, and less seems to go wrong.
And I love the spiritual side, the bliss-out and enjoy-the-moment side to the book, as well. I will never, ever part with this book.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Brown writes from the perspective of starting as a cook's helper, learning cooking by trail-and-error, and graduating to head cook of a monastery kitchen. His writing also reflects a Zen monk's reverence for food and the ritual of cooking.
The Tassajara Basic Yeasted Bread is discussed in detail. Chapters on yeasted bread, yeasted pastry, unyeasted bread, sourdough, pancakes, muffins and quickbreads, and desserts follow. Recipes stress the use of natural foods and grains. Most recipes include alternate ingredient suggestions.
I first used this cookbook to make the Tassajara Basic Yeasted Bread. I never before had made bread. The whole wheat dough was stiff. Mixing the dough was extremely hard work. Kneading the dough was agony. Making this bread taught me respect both for bread and for anyone who makes bread.
I recently rediscovered this cookbook while seeking a cornbread/muffin recipe that did not use shortening. I made muffins substituting molasses for honey and adding marjoram. My muffins were excellent both alone and with bean dishes.
Cooking is vastly underrated. One who cooks economically and maintains a clean, safe household is free to "Be All That You Can Be", an accomplishment that would make an Army drill sergeant or a Zen master proud. Mr. Brown's writing reflects that pride.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book in the early 70's, before I graduated from High School, and learned to bake from it and from two lovely ladies. The two ladies have long since left my life, but the book is still on my kitchen shelf. I pull it out every time I bake bread. The pages are stained and torn, and the covers are held on with tape.
Mr. Brown instructs not only in the making of food for the body, but also for the soul. Every time I open his book, it takes me back to those heady days of spiritual searching. Although I am no closer to Enlightenment, the work of the yeast and the energy of a day's baking makes the product vastly more satisfying than any commercial loaf.
If I am ever stranded on a desert island, I would want this book along, even if I had no supply of flour!
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