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Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery Hardcover – 1 Jun 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Villard Books; First Edition edition (1 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679409076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679409076
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 2.8 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

At almost any time of the day, people are lined up on the sidewalk outside the La Brea Bakery waiting to buy its extraordinary bread. Connected to Campanile, the successful Los Angeles restaurant, the bakery has grown by leaps and bounds since it opened in 1989. Now Nancy Silverton, a onetime pastry chef at Michael's, the original pastry chef at the world-famous Spago, and today quite simply the best bread baker in the country, shares her magical La Brea Bakery recipes, painstakingly crafted during years of trial and error, here perfected and adapted for home bakers. This beautifully illustrated, ultrasophisticated cook-book is also accessible and user-friendly. Before the baking even begins, Silverton carefully and lovingly explains the wonder of bread alchemy: how to grow a yeasted starter (the secret of truly great bread), and how that starter interacts with a bread's other elements to bring about a firm yet light inside and a crispy, crusty outside. Then come the recipes, which range from the whimsical (Raisin Brioche, Red Pepper-Scallion Bread, and Fig-Anise Bread) to the practical (Baguettes, Bagels, and Hamburger Buns) to the sublime (Pumpkin Bread, Mushroom Bread, and, perhaps best of all, Chocolate-Sour Cherry Bread). Silverton even creates incomparable pretzels, croissants, onion rings, and dog biscuits (which can double as infant teething biscuits). Designed for the novice and expert baker alike, Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery is an instant must-have classic - a back-to-basics approach that will delight, inspire, and satisfy bread lovers everywhere.

About the Author

Nancy Silverton and her husband, Mark Peel, own and operate Campanile Restaurant and the La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles. She is the author of "Nancy Silverton's Pastries" from the La Brea Bakery (nominated for Julia Child and James Beard Awards) and Desserts. She lives in Los Angeles.
Teri Gelber is a food writer and public radio producer living and eating well in Los Angeles.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Award-w Laurie Ochoa is a beloved story editor known for her high standards and ability to encourage new and established writers to do their best work. During her eight years as editor in chief of the LA Weekly, she produced a literary city paper with highly regarded investigative, cultural and lifestyle coverage and led the paper to more national journalism awards than any other alternative newspaper in the country, including the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. From 1999 to 2001, she was the executive editor of Gourmet, where she and Ruth Reichl attracted a new generation of readers to the magazine,

Ruth Reichl joined Gourmet as Editor in Chief in April 1999. She came to the magazine from The New York Times, where she had been the restaurant critic since 1993. As chef and co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. In the years that followed, she served as restaurant critic for New West and California magazines. In 1984, she became restaurant critic of the Los Angeles Times, where she was also named food editor. Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published a book called Mmmmm: A Feastiary. Since then, she has authored the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs, Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. She is the editor of The Modern Library Cooking Series, released in March 2001. She has also written the introductions for Nancy Silverton s Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur (1996) and Measure of Her Powers: An M.F.K. Fisher Reader (2000). She is currently working on Remembrance of Things Paris, The Gourmet Cookbook, and a third memoir. Reichl has been honored with three James Beard Awards (two for restaurant criticism, in 1996 and 1998, and one for journalism, in 1994) and with numerous awards from the Association of American Food Journalists. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of my most treasured recipe books, and a must have for all bakers, in my opinion. As a German living in culinary exile in Britain, I had been looking for a sourdough bread recipe that works for years, to no avail, until I found this book. I have been baking sourdough bread regularly for 5 years now, thanks to Ms Silverton. Her recipe for a sourdough starter, beautifully explained, works!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nancy Silverton's bread book is wonderful, but only to those who enjoy eating (and baking with) sourdoughs. You won't find any quick, easy, straight-dough recipes - all require a sourdough starter, either white, wholewheat or rye. If you're new to making your own sourdough, you might find her methods slightly intimidating: to develop a sourdough you'll need 2 weeks, a quarter of which is spent feeding and nourishing your starter three times a day. If I were a beginner to sourdough I might easily have been put off by her meticulous methods (which I am sure can only result in perfect bread); and despite using sourdough for over a year and having become accustomed to its little whims when anything changes in temperature, I did cheat and used Dan Leader's recipe for liquid levain instead. His requires only 4 days to produce, with a feeding once a day, and I get consistent results every time.

This book also requires that you dedicate a lot of time and patience to making your bread even after you've made your sourdough. Very few breads can be kneaded, proofed and baked in the same day. Many require a sponge made using the sourdough which should ferment for 8-12 hours before mixing and kneading, and a further slow rising of 8 - 12 hours at room temperature or in the fridge. You'll need to plan carefully the day before or even two days before and work out a time schedule for your baking or you might just realise it is time to bake when you're just about ready to head off for work.

Before baking my first bread from La Brea Bakery, I did worry that a different sourdough might produce inferior results; however, substituting Dan Leader's sourdough in the same quantity produced some truly spectacular results.
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Format: Hardcover
What an amazing book! All bakers should buy a copy. I totally disagree with the previous review. Nancy Silverton does acknowledge that those of us who are not running a bakery would probably have no time to feed the starters 3 times a day and she has offered sensible alternatives. Most of the breads are sourdough and all sourdoughs take time and patience. If you have tried baking her breads, you will agree that all the effort was worthwhile.
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By Sa on 7 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the book arrived in perfect conditions,full of ideas good for how all ready know some thing about bread maker...the only dark "shadow",are the measures:cups and spoons,some time are nightmare for how work with grams!!!But I m happy about the rest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really don't know why this book was written. When it was published there were already better bread books available (The Village Baker, Bread Alone). If you found sourdough daunting before you bought this book (it is all sourdough) then you could be frightened off for life (suggestions to take your starter into the office to maintain the feeding schedule). I suppose that if you run a bakery then your life will revolve around your bread, but for the rest of us with lives that involve other activities (like going to work) then this book will not help.
I won't say that it is a bad book, but falls into the trap of taking commercial bakery practices and assuming that just scaling down quantities will work in a domestic environment.
Even the Ortiz (Village Baker) and Leader (Bread Alone) books I think have now been overtaken (for amateur bakers anyway) by others written specifically for the domestic environment (Bertinet, Reinhart, Lahey). I would explore any of these before spending money on the Silverton book.
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