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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regarded, 18 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Bread Revolution (Hardcover)
A call to arms: come on and join our baking revolution is the claim and gauntlet being thrown down to the food establishment by a duo of "eco-artisan bakers".
Here in their Bread Revolution book is an interesting challenge to everybody, inciting you to rethink your views about baking and relationship to the humble loaf. Through an arty, passion-filled prose the dynamic duo seek to show that the average family could eschew the large commercial "factory bakers" and make their own bread at home.
Many people have the view that you either must have a complicated, expensive bread-making machine or must endure much manual hardship with variable results and hand-make bread. Much easier to buy so-called "artisan" bread from a large supermarket that has often been baked in bulk by a commercial partner and "finished off" in store to make it look wonderful and smell delicious. No... Instead the advice given in this colourful, information-packed book will have you believe that you can make whatever bread you want with ease (and maybe even a smile on your face). You just need to have the confidence in yourself. Oh, and a few basic ingredients: a good bread flour, yeast, water and salt. Everything else is just a variation or a build on this using things like eggs, butter & milk, sugar, nuts and herbs.
First of all the reader is given a good primer on the different doughs necessary to produce things like an everyday loaf. If it doesn't turn out as expected a number of trouble-shooting and feelings-rescuing hints are given. After you have your basic loaf you can add a garnish or a glaze to customise it, thereafter in principle you have an infinite range of possibilities that only available ingredients and your imagination can limit it too.
Throughout the book you continue to learn. Tucked in between a recipe might be a lesson about bread shapes. Elsewhere you may find a recipe for using the bread such as a Classic Welsh Rarebit. This is clearly a book that, whilst you can browse in and out, you might get the most from a sequential read at first. Little hints and tips can be found in the most unexpected of places. To be fair, whilst some of the recipes might be good in their own right, it must be questioned whether they really should appear in a book like this at the risk of diluting the overall important message. This reviewer has mixed feelings about this but if they MUST be in a book of this kind then at least it is better than they are mixed in with the other recipes and advice instead of being relegated to a ghetto position towards the back of the book.
On the whole this does not read like a regular cookery or recipe book. It just sort of flows, informally, with it haphazardly (read: carefully positioned) throwing out information, recipes and advice along the way. If you want a traditional "how to" recipe book this is not necessarily the best for you. Yet if you want a good "how to" book that inspires, educates and maybe even transforms your thoughts this could be one to place in your shopping basket.
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