SWEDISH BREADS AND PASTRIES Hardcover – 9 Dec 2010
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Master baker Jan Hedh is known throughout Sweden as a beloved baker and confectioner and is internationally recognized within the food industry. Hedh works as a partner in the artisan bakery Peter's Yard.
Klas Andersson has years of broad experience as a photographer, having shot beautiful photographs for many of Jan Hedh stitles. Aside from food photography, Andersson shoots for magazinesand advertising and communications agencies. He has alsodocumented big infrastructure projects such as the construction ofthe Oresund Bridge and the City Tunnel in Malmo. Anderssonresides in Sweden.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
This cookbook is not for beginners. If you want a basic approach with traditional recipes, I suggest you consider Ojakangas fine book. Even so, she has a Scandinavian approach rather than anything you might imagine as strictly Swedish.
Sweden is not an insular country. Wars aside, you cannot fully separate them from Denmark or Finland, for starters. But I must go at least one step further; you cannot separate Sweden from Europe. So Jan Hedh is for me a typical Swede - adventurous, international and brazenly pilfering from whichever lands suit his purpose.
Go to a Swedish bakery and you will find Danishes labeled Vienna; and there will be no shortage of French breads and pastries, or of Berliners either. But they all have a Swedish accent, which means aromatic spices and herbs. That is what I hoped to find here.
Somebody was telling me that she does not use butter in bread, only on it. Hey kid, no margarine in Malmo. Beautiful butter makes soft sweet breads. The first treasure in this book is Jan's discussion of rye flours and rye bread. His is not the wimpy cousin you get in cellophane at the store.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jan does not get carried away with caraway. How about raisins and honey instead? And true rye sour dough, the five-day kind that leaves them begging on their knees for more. Use this Jan Levain. You will be happy to use your own robust local yeast falling out of your ambient air into this spectacular starter. No foil packets here. Rather, freshly grated apple to charge your incubating yeasties. This is just like back home in Northern Italy, which is kind of like Sweden - high large lakes and snowy mountains and great old apple trees that bear in late fall after frost. But I went for the Aceto Balsamico Pain au Levain, mind you the vinegar has to be aged at least sixteen years, better twenty-five.
There are only a dozen bread books I use continually; and another bakers' dozen on pastry. The rest are obscure reference books that light see the light of day once a year or so. Jan has so much new material that his book has not left the kitchen since I got it. I am overjoyed to see how little overlap there is to my collection. He is especially strong on his use of flours. So if you already are pleased with your command of dough, then come here to let your horizons rise, as it were.
You will be happy to know that Jan's pastry section is rather homey. These recipes are rather small scale and not trophy class, though God knows he has won more than a few. Most all of these will not stress your technical prowess, but you will find a whole new field of competence.
You will find uses for a big bag of blue poppy seed. I have a poppy seed grinder. They are cheap and easy, just like me. You can make do with your coffee mill. But I warn you, this urge will come upon you to have a dedicated poppy seed grinder. The good news is that blue poppy seed is economical in bulk. And that 4/5th s full jar, dark with dust in your neglected cabinet - just throw it out.
One stern warning: If you have not graduated to measuring your baking ingredients on a scale, you must make that leap now. There is little point in buying this book otherwise. But you already know that since I said this book is not for the novice.
Into the heart: The sponge cake is easy, Gateau de Savoie. Nobody will believe you made it; and hardly anybody has eaten one. Real Swedish? Cardamom is the seed pod of a special lily. Here, the lily guilds the pastry. How is that for a twist? A pure Cardamom Twist!
Once you get a load of those, you will push onto more cardamom adventures. How about Swedish Buttercake with even more cardamom, but jacked with rum and rind?
This is my top bread book for the last year. Thank you for your precious time.
However, there are two negatives. First off: a book with Swedish bread in the title would be expected to have at least a majority of its content be Swedish recipes. The book contains more French and Italian recipes than Swedish ones.
Second: the book publishers didn't edit the book for the American kitchen. Many recipes call for ingredients that are not common, not available or known by alternate names in the US. I would have liked to have seen this addressed. Another book on Swedish baking, FIKA (published by Two-Speed Press), addresses this issue by including information on how to purchase or substitute ingredients. I would recommend FIKA or the Larousse book of bread over this book, but I think this is a great baking resource nonetheless.