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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. (9 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616080515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616080518
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 23.1 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,586,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is confined to the bread section of the book - about two thirds of the whole, since that is my main interest.

It is unclear for which audience the book is intended since most of the recipes are given for batches of three or four loaves. The introduction to bread-making appears to be for the beginner but is only intelligible to a relatively experienced home baker, and one who has a food mixer described in one recipe as a 'high speed kneading machine' - which sounds like a substantial piece of kit. Very many amateur bakers, in the UK at least, prefer to knead by hand. Much of what a home baker would find useful has been left out or glossed over and because much of the explanation is so poorly written that it is close to unintelligible previous experience is needed to interpret what is being said. The large section on sourdough is poor and chemical names seem intended to impress rather than to shed light. There are numerous non-sequiturs in poorly organised paragraphs and in the section on scalding rye flour the terms flour, bread, and dough are used interchangeably without distinction - confusing if you don't already know what is intended. Unfortunately, this introduction is essential if one is to follow the recipes for bread in the book - constant reference is made to it. There are also a couple of quantity errors which could lead to a loss of confidence.

The publisher is to blame for this mess. While the foreword is elegantly written by a stylish wordsmith the introduction to baking is written by someone of far lesser skill. The publisher has not paid attention to this deficiency, hence the missed opportunity to convey the special knowledge of the author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Need to be revised 11 April 2014
By Catherine Bridge - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a professional baker and I have made a few recipes out of this book. First off the all the measures are completely off, where it stated in a recipe that melting butter was bad adding to the dough because it made the dough denser and not airy, the recipe asks for so much flour that the dough becomes denser in that recipe. I have now modified the recipe and follow my own recipe but use the technique that was given as advice.
The ghost writer is obviously not a baker and this whole book is now scrutinized by me, I don’t trust one recipe when it comes to the measures of the book.
Another annoying part is they say x-amount of gram of yeast, but no where in the book does it state if they are referring to dry or fresh yeast.
If I had my name on that book I would cringe. Revise, Revise, Revise.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Many Bread Recipes Call for "Vinegar" ... 29 Oct. 2011
By Gio - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... but the substantial review of this book by "aceto" (vinegar) called on me, a Swede of sorts, to order it. He was just. It's an excellent cookbook for experienced and adventuresome bread makers. I've tried only one recipe specifically as presented in the book, but I've made similar versions of several of the Swedish breads and pastries, as well as versions of some of the non-Swedish breads included in the text. Yes, it's not all Swedish. Some of the recipes are ineluctably un-Swedish, utterly Mediterranean. Oh well. Also, as aceto reports, you'll need to use a kitchen scale rather than a measuring cup if you want to follow these recipes precisely. Once again, oh well. If you live in New York, or San Francisco, or a city of similar bread-making prowess, you'll probably want this book only for an occasional kitchen frolic since you can buy breads of the highest qualities close to home. And, sad to say, if you want this book because you live in some gawdforsaken place where good breads are not to be bought, you may find that the quality of flour and other ingredients available to you isn't sufficient to make great breads even with great recipes. Having given that warning, however, I'd say this is one of the best 'bread' books I've ever looked at.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely delightful recipes 25 May 2011
By Wisconsin Retired Gardener - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been baking bread for a few years now. Jan Hedh's book is at the top end of the bread baking skill set. If you recalculate the oven temperatures from centigrade to fahrenheit, you'll do much better as there are a couple of miscalculations in the book. I did find that weighing ingredients yields a very nice loaf of bread. Making your own yeast- levain and other concoctions such as "poolish" has been a lot of fun and a real part of a successful loaf of bread. There is a reason for every instruction given. Pay attention to the rye recipes in this book. They're simply fabulous! Please try this book if you are willing to pay close attention to the process of baking bread! I just love this hobby! Yummmmm!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs Editing 1 Jan. 2011
By marsaluna - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently I've become interested in European baking, so I was waiting eagerly for the release of this book and ordered it as soon as it became available. I'm sorry to say it's not really about Swedish baking. There are a few Swedish bread recipes but most of the recipes are for French bread, Italian bread, focaccia, fougasse, croissants, Danish pastry, etc., i.e., pretty much what you would find in any baking book. Except that here the recipes are rendered in rather awkward translations from Swedish. Sometimes they're downright confusing. For instance regarding the gluten test: "If the dough comes apart too easily, it needs to be worked more. However if it bursts too easily, it has been worked too much." (?) And a bread glaze: "Mix 10 grams of potato flour and 50 grams of water. Boil 300 grams of water, whisk the flour and let it cook." Do you mix the 50 grams of water + flour into the 300 grams of water? Maybe, but I'm not really sure.

I don't want to be too hard on this book; there are some good things about it. The photographs are very nice and the breads and pastries look appetizing. An experienced baker might be able to use the book despite the translation difficulties and be inspired by the beautiful photos. And there are a few very interesting recipes for Swedish breads such as wort bread, old-time syrup loaf, and coarse Skane bread--just the kinds of things I was hoping for. I don't even particularly object to quirky translations; they can be charming and funny, providing the underlying information is understandable. However, this book would have benefited immensely from better translation and editing.

This book is published by Skyhorse Press, which seems to specialize in Swedish books. I own another book from Skyhorse Press called Swedish Cakes and Cookies, which I love. Swedish Cakes and Cookies has great photographs and is packed with recipes that are translated well, so maybe they can fix this book up a little in a later edition.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a real swedish baking book 19 April 2014
By Sabine Friedrich-Walter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read all reviews about this book, and as a North German with a lot of North European Baking goods in mind.. I must say and agree, this book is more french style baking as every thing else, just another addition in my cook and baking book collection, not a must have one.
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