- Hardcover: 223 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074759533X
- ISBN-13: 978-0747595335
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (355 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3 Hardcover – 2009
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More About the Author
'My team at River Cottage really know how to find and cook good, fresh food. Together we are creating a series of handbooks crammed with expert information. They will be passionate, but practical so that you can have a really useful book to hand whenever you feel the urge to forage, preserve, bake, grow or cook' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall PRAISE FOR THE FIRST RIVER COTTAGE HANDBOOK, MUSHROOMS: 'The best guide to gathering and eating wild mushrooms there has ever been' Independent
About the Author
As well as baking fresh bread every day in the HQ kitchens, Daniel Stevens leads the ever-popular Build and Bake courses, which equip students with the skills to build their own outdoor wood-fired oven. Daniel has been cooking and baking in professional kitchens for several years, in Hertfordshire, where he grew up, and more recently in Dorset, where he now lives. He has been part of the kitchen team at HQ since June 2006.
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic bread recipe is explained in great detail with information as to why you're doing each stage, and what is going on with the dough at each stage. This takes the mystery out of your loaf and helps you to understand if anything is going wrong, giving you a chance to correct it before its to late. One you've followed this through a couple of times then the basic recipe is given in a short version, much more like a normal recipe, making it easy to follow.
After the basics have been learnt then the skies the limit. There are plenty of other recipes to have a go at (not to mention the gorgeous focaccia bread) and a rather useful section on what to make with your bread that is a little past its best. There is even a section on how to make your own outdoor bread oven that has got me dreaming of outdoor feasts over the summer.
A simple to follow must have guide without the waffle about the "terrible state of the modern bread industry" that is often present in other books. Buy it now!
He covers aspects most others don't such as how to shape the loaves and the basic ratios that almost all bread recipes are based on and has the customary (and well deserved) attack on the Chorleywood process that has all but killed 'real' bread for most people.
Dan's writing conveys his enthusiasm really well and makes you want to get stuck in straight away. He also covers the more specialist breads well (such as bagels, ciabatta) and yeast free breads (like soda bread).
And then I bought the River Cottage book. Straight away I was really impressed by the no nonsense writing, clear instructions and great photos. Thought I'd try a simple white load based on the basic loaf recipe. And it turned out perfectly, I seriously cannot think of any way it could have been better. The sort of bread you see in specialist shops that I'd happily pay good money for. A crisp but chewy crust, springy but soft crumb, amazing smell and loads of flavour. Seriously impressed, and I'd recommend this book 100% even if it was this result alone. Wish I could post up a photo of it so you could see how great it turned out
The rest of the book also looks excellent, with recipes for the other breads I plan on making (brioche, bagels, sourdough) plus all sorts of other recipes (pizza, muffins, roti). There are other more involved bread books out there if you wanted to get into baking bread more seriously, but as a clear and effective first purchase, I don't think you could get better than this
However, I found Daniel Stevens book on bread making to be so accessible it was untrue. I also have several other bread books by leading lights in the new bread making canon but they cannot touch this book for ease, simplicity, common sense, and a refreshing lack of 'up-there-own-backside' attitude.
Put another way, Andrew Whitely's book on bread is a polemical and fascinating read, and an essential for serious bakers. But it just isn't an easy book, and the directions for bread making are lost amongst the artisan politics of the author. For instance he goes into great length on the ins and outs of various dough making techniques (such as the overnight sponge, poolish, sourdough etc.) but fails to direct the reader adequately on how to achieve these things. One of the first things I found in Bread: River Cottage Handbook No.3 was a simple recipe for an overnight sponge - weights and measures, technique, everything.
One of things pointed out in other reviews has been the extended sequence on a basic bread dough recipe. For me this works as it is amply demonstrated in pictures and directions and gives the reader a crash course in creating a dough, kneading, shaping, and baking. Just brilliant, simple, and informative. Stevens then goes into page-by-page detail on all manner of bread recipes - focaccia, flat bread, spelt loaf, brioche - in the same simple but informative style. You literally could buy this book, get it home and have a loaf by tea-time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband has been making loads of different breads and finds this book easy to follow.Published 16 days ago by Mel
I love this book. When I was trying to teach myself breadmaking, I tried quite a few from the library, and this is the best I've found. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Aliette De Bodard
This book is not good. Most of the recipes have not been tried and tested. The basic how to make bread recipe is obviously the selling point and is well thought out. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bert
Excellent book explaining in detail the process of bread making from start to finish :) river cottage handbooks are a brilliant series of books that's I'd recommend to anyonePublished 1 month ago by Mr Aron Stewart
strangely not used it as much as i'd hoped. still sticking with my original recipiesPublished 1 month ago by First Direct