I Love My Bread Machine: More Than 100 Recipes for Delicious Home Baking Paperback – 21 Sep 2017
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About the Author
Anne Sheasby is a professional home economist working across the food and drink industry. The author of more than 20 published cookbooks, she has been a consultant cookery editor on many more. Anne is a member of the prestigious Guild of Food Writers in the UK.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Right from the beginning, we get instructions such as "Bread machines come in many varieties so do you research to find which is best for you." Except that we don't get any guidelines of what would be best and what to look for; we do get what various machines do but not why one would be better than another or whether features are useful or not. As well, there's a section about bread machine recipes trouble shooting - and all we're told is to use the manufacturer's instructions - which mine doesn't cover "brick like loaves" unfortunately. I 'what went wrong' section would have been invaluable.
Also problematic were ingredients. I always find it helpful when cookbooks give us actual brands so we can track them down or order them online. For the bread machine, it suggests you use 'strong types of flour' - which I couldn't find at my local supermarket. I saw a few very expensive imported strong flours online at Amazon - but I'm wondering if it is called something else in the North America? Several terms throughout the book weren't in US wording/standards though most were correctly translated into North American measurements. I'm assuming the author is British.
The layout is clean and recipes easy to read. Some pages have two recipes while others have one. Each recipe is monocolored, with bold titles, bold faced ingredient lists, and then paragraph form steps. Perhaps about half of the recipes come with images. The steps are fairly thick paragraphs rather than numbered short steps - so they can be frustrating to go through and find where you were with each action. Many don't have serving size, tips, descriptions, or any kind of info with the recipes. The photographs that are there are professional done and often full page.
There is a large variety of recipes - from donuts and muffins to all kinds of different breads. One big indicator that this is originally a British book is that there is a whole section of teabreads and tea-time treats. A nice addition is gluten free recipes. Of note, many recipes will call for you kneading the loaf separately - it's not a 'drop the ingredients in and forget it' type of cookbook. Beside the introduction detailing bread making info, there is only an index at the back.
Sadly, the recipes I tried still came out like bricks - even with the expensive 'strong flour' I had shipped from Amazon. I guess I'll have to give up on my bread machine.
Not all of the recipes can be baked in your bread machine but the machine can be used to knead and rise the dough, allowing you to then shape it into braids or cobs or rolls and bake in the oven. There are some photos of the breads in the book, although there is not one for each recipe which I would have preferred. The introductory section of the book discusses the various ingredients and processes involved which will be useful for those new to bread making. Some trouble shooting tips for those new to bread machines might also have been a useful addition. I used an electronic copy of this book and found the format easy to use on my iPad propped up on the kitchen bench next to the breadmaker.
So far I have baked the caraway cheese loaf which turned out well and was rapidly consumed by the family and the garden herb bread recipe was also delicious and a joy to eat with homemade tomato soup. Next on my list to try is the Greek black olive bread and the lemon, blueberry loaf. Yum!
Although the book’s title indicates that this is a bread machine recipe book, I found that a large number of recipes used only the dough cycle of the bread machine. Final kneading and rise were done on the counter followed by oven baking. Oven heat settings are included in the recipe instructions for gas and electric ovens.
A number of the recipes called for powdered mustard and pepper. This is the first time that I’ve seen these ingredients called for in bread recipes. Unfortunately, as I write this using a library computer, I’m still without power at my home, the result of Hurricane Irma, and unable to test these recipes. But, I am curious as to what flavor mustard powder will add to a bread and will remedy my ignorance as soon as I am able.
As a recipe book, this volume is a success for the author. If you’re looking for a more basic treatise with explanations of the bread making process, however, then I recommend that you read Peter Reinhart’s excellent book, “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread” first.
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