Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Detailed recipes, good source of inspiration.
on 21 April 2012
This cookbook contains recipes for sourdoughs, yeasted breads, cakes, tarts, muffins and biscuits. The recipes do work, which is always nice in a cookbook. However, for me, the reason I do not give it 5 stars is that in some places it is needlessly complicated, whereas in others necessary detail is skimmed over. For example, the mixing of the white sourdough bread by hand involves 20 minutes kneading without salt, 20 minutes resting and another 20 minutes kneading with salt. To anyone familiar with the Dan Lepard method of mixing/kneading dough, they will know that 40 minutes of kneading dough by hand is unnecessary at best and torturous at worst. (And yes, the recipes still works with 4 quick kneads at 10 minute intervals).
Another thing to mention is that all the rising times given for breads are for an Australian kitchen (recipes do note dough temperatures, room temperatures and rising times, however room temperatures generally exceed what may be found in a typical English kitchen). In these instances, it is not unreasonable to expect that breads will take longer to double in size than the timings given; I've never known a sourdough to double in size over the course of an hour.
Subjects which are "skimmed" over a little include how to maintain the leaven/sourdough starter, along with when it should be refreshed before use. Also, the instructions on how to make croissants (and other things with laminated dough) are probably not detailed enough for a beginner to get really good results, without doing some further research.