Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
Great baked goods at home
on 13 October 2004
The scope of this book is exceptional. It teaches you how to make your own sourdough bread without commercial yeast but home-made starters like they did in the old days. Making a bread like that is time consuming, but will have a better taste and usually stays fresh for about a week if it's a big loaf. Next, the auhtor goes on to show you that you can make nice breads with those big irrregular holes and a chewy interior with "sponges" and commercial yeast. Sometimes, italian "00" flour is needed - a strong white flour. I have had no problems substituting ordinary white flour with an acceptable amount of gluten (> 11%). It may not be the real thing or how it was intended, but this will still yield very good breads. The last chapters are about cakes, tarts and cookies.
The photographic quality of the pictures in the book is rather sensational. Nothing like the sterile food photography just for the sake of pleasing the eye. If a sourdough starter may develop a crust, then you will see a photo of a sourdough starter with a crust. Period. The photos really show what it will look like when you do it at home.
My favorites are "Dan's garlic bread" (using three whole bulbs of garlic) and all of the sourdough breads. I haven't had the nerve to tackle the fragile tart or croissant doughs yet. Highly recommended.