Published by Taunton Press, Incorporated on 2014-11-04
Genres: Baking, Bread, Cooking, Courses & Dishes, Methods
From the simplest dinner rolls to traditional croissants and all types of yeast breads in between, home cooks--even those short on time and skill--CAN bake fresh bread from scratch. How is this possible? By breaking the process into two separate steps, with the mixing and kneading done the day before and the baking done when the next day. And the best part? Not only does this make bread baking much easier to fit into a busy schedule, but it also results in a better finished bread product. The make-ahead bread concept focuses on a long, slow rise, so that the dough rests for a day or two, allowing it to develop flavor (called fermentation by pro bakers). This means that home cooks no longer have to be a slave to their kitchen when they have dough resting. Instead, they could be at work, playing with their kids, sleeping--or doing anything they want. Make Ahead Bread features 100 yeast bread recipes that benefit from the long rise method so that home cooks can have freshly baked bread whenever they want it, any day of the week. In addition, cooks will find recipes for homemade butters, spreads, and sauces as well as recipes for using up leftover bread.
I love the smell of baking bread! Baking anything really but bread just smells amazing! The ability to actually make bread has always seemed like something way beyond my abilities but I still wanted to see exactly what Donna Currie had to offer!
Just the first chapter of the book is chock full of information! She starts out by explaining ingredients and equipment like the Danish Dough Whisk. Who knew such a cute thing was even out there? Apparently these are used instead of mixing the dough with a wooden spoon! Only page two and this already looks like fun! There’s also certain terms to understand as well like kneading, mixing, and shaping. Which she explains thoroughly.
THEN we get to the recipes!!! The first recipe is a Rustic Sourdough Bread! One of my favorite things, as the title suggests, is that she shows how to make the bread but then to get everything prepared so you can have your bread resting a day ahead of time. The hard thing for me is that this means three days of work for some of these breads and I’m not overly patient! Some though didn’t seem like so much work and could be refrigerated for up to 24 hours prior to baking (much more my style).
What I enjoy most other than the accessibility to the thought that I can now bake bread are the differing recipes. There are a ton of recipes! Most sound delicious save for maybe Sauerkraut Rye. Just the thought of sauerkraut gives me hives. I hate that stuff! But the other types of breads are amazing, and this even includes recipes that are gluten free. Blueberry and Cream Cheese Buns with Lemon Zest, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, White-Whole Wheat Honey Vanilla Buns, and Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns!! That’s just a few that I plan to try! Mouth watering yet?
In short: There are many, many recipes that I can see myself trying. I can see this book being coveted for ages.
Cookbook author and food writer for Serious Eats, Whisk Magazine, and the Left Hand Valley Courier, among others. Columnist at American Recycler. Blogger at www.cookistry.com and reviews.cookistry.com.