I recently told someone I bake all our bread from scratch--no bread machine for me. He looked at me in amazement and asked, "Then how do you do it?!" "Just the way your grandmother did," I told him. With Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, anyone can bake flawless loaves of bread. Clayton has thought of everything, from explaining the many different types of flours and their differing attributes to formatting every recipe for hand mixing, electric mixer and food processor. I was given a recipe for Irish soda bread that listed the ingredients by weight, not volume, and Clayton even has a conversion table. I have made his recipe for Rudi's stone-ground wheat bread every week since I bought the book; the bread is so wonderful, my husband and I are addicted to it. But I have made perhaps ten other bread recipes, and without exception they have been delicious and professional looking. Clayton doesn't resort to tricks but uses techniques that are guaranteed to produce perfect results. I find the process of bread baking exhilarating: by mixing a few simple ingredients together I produce a living, changing dough that appeals to every sense: the resilience of the dough as I knead it, the excitement of seeing the dough rising in the bowl, the irresistible smell of the loaves as they bake, the crunch of the crust--and the taste of a fresh chunk of bread, hot from the oven, that makes me weak-kneed with pleasure every time.
From flat breads to quick breads to pizza doughs to every variety of yeast bread, Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads will never let you down. How could it? Your spirits will rise along with your bread.