First published in 1977, and winning its author the coveted Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award, this universally acclaimed book is regarded by many as simply the best book ever written about the making of bread. It covers all aspects of flour-milling, yeast, bread ovens and the different types of bread and flour available. It contains an ...
First published in 1977, and winning its author the coveted Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award, this universally acclaimed book is regarded by many as simply the best book ever written about the making of bread. It covers all aspects of flour-milling, yeast, bread ovens and the different types of bread and flour available. It contains an exhaustive collection of recipes, everything from plain brown wholemeal or saffron cake to drop scones and croissants; all described with her typical elegance and unrivalled knowledge. Even how to make your own yeast and keep it. But more than just a list of recipes, it is an insight into an interesting and informative home-baker. Enquire within on any point connected with baking and Miss David has the answer. Nor does it omit the history of bread making from the Exodus onwards, the iniquities of sliced bread and uncovers the dubious practices of some flour millers and bread manufacturers in the UK and elsewhere with amusing anecdotes and personal observations throughout. The writing style of this book has aged well and adds greatly to its charm. This is a book that should be included in every food lover's collection. Not just for those who love to cook but those who enjoy reading about food and its history, and of course it is an absolute must for keen bakers.
If you are at all interested in making your own bread, and really good, interesting things that you could never find here, then this book is for you! Elizabeth David writes a very well-researched, scholarly treatise on British baking of all kinds. The first half of the book focuses on the history and techniques of baking, both ancient and modern, and the second slightly-more-than-half is all recipes - tons of them. I found it very interesting, and very inspiring! For the serious baker, I should think. North American bakers should look for the American edition, because it gives recipes with both metric and imperial measurements. Really, you could spoil your family and friends for years with all the yummy stuff in this book. The discovery that I could use half as much yeast as I've been using in my recipes, and still get a well-rised loaf, was alone worth the price of the book. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I think I'll be enjoying it for a while.
Jun 28, 2007
A very old-fashioned bread book
It's a big and impressive book. There are a few recipes worth trying like the ones for Savarin or Brioche or some British specialities. What can put you off is a complete lack of pictures (most of us are used to buying books with glossy full colour pages) and the fact that half of the book is devoted to the history of baking which I found really boring. Also what irritates me is that Mrs David sometimes writes about old recipes but apparently only for fun of reading them and not actually making them because she never gives exact recipes. I'm from Poland where most baking is done with yeast and I know that this book is mainly about English baking but Mrs David many times implicitly admits that continental yeast baking is superior to British especially in terms of technique so maybe she should've included more continental recipes. In conclusion if you're interested in the history of baking and loads of info about ingredients buy this book but if you're looking only for recipes buy a different one e.g. by Roux Brothers, Richard Sax or Malgieri.
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