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Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3 [Hardcover]

Daniel Stevens , Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall , Gavin Kingcome
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2009 River Cottage Handbook
First, Daniel examines the key ingredients in baking (flour, yeast, salt and water), explains the science behind the seemingly alchemic processes, and advises on the right kit to get started. He then demonstrates how to make yeast and non-yeast breads, as well as enriched doughs and home-started sourdough, and includes sixty recipes, covering everything from the simple white loaf and familiar classics such as ciabatta, naan and pizza bread, to fresh new challenges like potato bread, rye, tortilla, croissants, doughnuts and bagels. The handbook is completed by full-colour photographs throughout, including step-by-step photos, instructions for building your own bread oven, and a directory of equipment and useful addresses.

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Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3 + Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2 + Cakes: River Cottage Handbook No.8
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074759533X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595335
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
173 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bread like your Gran used to make. 12 May 2009
What a glorious book. I started to make my own bread a little over 8 months ago and had a reasonable level of success, but was always disappointed by the lost loaves that didn't quite work out. This book put an end to these problems and I can honestly say I've not had a bad loaf since.

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!
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but enjoyable 8 July 2009
This is the best book on bread I have ever come across. My bread making as improved out of sight since reading it. At a first glance this book, like the others I've seen in this series, looks too pretty to be much good. But like all the others in the series it manages to have a huge amount of substance to back up its beauty. The first 50 odd pages go through the process of bread making and the techniques involved step by step and in real detail but without being dull or pedantic. They are worth the price twice over as reading these is what has made such a massive difference to my bread - the rest is a very nice bonus. Thanks for writing such a great book. One of the highlights of what is a very, very good series.
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83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book - My bread has improved massively 13 April 2009
This book is simply brilliant. The 'basic' bread recipe takes 54 pages (yes, 54!) because goes through each stage in detail, explaining why each step is important. This section alone is worth the purchase price because it contains all the basic skills you need. I thought I made pretty good bread already, but since I got this book and read through this section, my bread has got 100 times better.

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).

Highly Recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baking brilliant 24 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the strength of other reviews, my like of the River Cottage series and my poor attempts at bread previously. All I can say is buy this brilliant book. My first attempt at bread after reading this book was a triumph and they have been ever since. The book goes through the bread making process step by step so by the time you've read the basic recipe you have so much new knowledge that you shouldn't fail to go wrong. On top of all this it looks great and reads great, I would go as far as to say the best cookery book I own.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Bread Making Book Ever! 23 Dec 2009
As an avid fan of anything HFW does I actually veered away from this series of books, as I have the early River Cottage books and had feared for the ineveitable over-kill such an industrious output usually engenders.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Me'h
It's ok but nothing that hasnt been written before in better detail and style, have a good look around before getting this just to fill Hughs pockets with even more silver spoons.
Published 9 days ago by lemonexit
3.0 out of 5 stars Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3
Well, it's OK. I enjoyed reading through it, and picked up a few ideas (I like how the author shapes his dough, for example), while I am a fan of the HFW/RC brand generally, but... Read more
Published 15 days ago by hugfosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This book stimulated a new passion in bread making. It has given the confidence to quickly make simple loaves, plus inspiration to try the more creative breads. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Mr L A Rosedale
5.0 out of 5 stars Baking bread made simple
Great book .Baking bread every day now. Inspired after first loaf was a success. Would recommend to anyone looking to ditch shop bread.
Published 1 month ago by annie waterpistol
5.0 out of 5 stars Really excellent book
It's the perfect book for a breadmaking beginner. It really helps to understand the whole breadmaking process. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda Anne Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Looking Great Practical Instructive Book.
Clear & precise instructions. Written in an informal, relaxed way. Love the texture of the book. Practical with lots of sticky flour in the air and on the work surface.
Published 1 month ago by patrick Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present
Not just a recepie book. Explains about all types of bread making and use of yeast. Easy to follow steps. Bought as a present.
Published 2 months ago by cedric100
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! A must for any baker!!!!!!
I have had this book for a couple years now and its my favourite cooking book on the shelf, next to a lot of other River Cottage books. Read more
Published 3 months ago by P
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bread book
Interesting book taking you through the basics of bread, how and why it works and then a shedload of recipes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom W
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very good intuitive book. Not much that isn't in this. Would thoroughly recommend thus book to anyone wanting to bake.
Published 4 months ago by J. Weeks
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