Do you have a favorite recipe book for bread making?

debnfla8bMarch 26, 2008

I'm on the hunt for a good bread recipe book.

I've spent all day making cinnamon swirl bread and had such fun I'd like more bread recipes. I use the bread machine on dough cycle only and then bake in the oven.

I also enjoy making bread the old fashioned way and do it by hand. It depends on what mood I'm in on bread making day.

So tell me your favorite bread making book!

Deb :o))

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I've had this book for years and it has served me well - Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton, Donnie Cameron (Illustrator). This book covers each recipe by hand, mixer, etc along with information about how and why the recipe works. :)

Nancy Silverton's Breads from the la Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur by Nancy Silverton, Laurie Ochoa isn't bad either. Both of these books and I don't need another one.

PS. Glad to see you back posting how's your daughter doing?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:44AM
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cecily(7 VA)

Hi Deb! No special book here, but a tip: I'm using Fleischmann's Rapid Rise highly active yeast for hand made breads. It only needs one rising period so its a big time saver. My family enjoys hot cinnamon buns with dinner.

How's the diet/exercise plan coming along? Me, I'm still eating oatmeal every morning, boring but my cholesterol has improved.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Thanks for the book names! I am going to look them up.

Well...the diet/exercise is okay. Not much weight loss but I'm still walking...LOL I have been eating better choices in the food department and lots of veggies. Luckily David is not hard to please with food. And another thing about how I have been cooking and making better food choices is David was just diagnosed with high blood pressure...just the start of it so we caught it really early. Heart disease is really bad on his family side. And poor David is NOT overweight! It's just inherited from his Daddy's side.

Orchid, Jessica is doing real good. She is a Bio-Chemist and getting ready to choose the college that she wants to get her Ph.d from. I'm so proud of her. I can't spell the area of chemistry she chemistry...I spelled it like it sounds...looks so stupid but I can't spell that word for the life of me. She just applied for a job as a (that word) wet chemist in Pensacola for the summer. I told her to go for it...get that foot in the chemist door so to speak..LOL

I'm baking different breads tomorrow to box up and mail to Jessica. Won't she be surprised to open a box full of home made breads..hahahaha Jessica loves bread better than any other food!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:49PM
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Sounds like she will do well and go far. Chemistry has so many facets to work in, if you don't like one you can usually find another and in so many industries. Analytical Chemistry is a wide open field. :) Also, I know she will appreciate the homemade bread, I know I would. ;)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:08PM
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How stupid of me not to spell that word right! I should have known...LOL I must have had a brain toot at that certain moment...LOL

I am making bread sticks right now. I guess I'm just on a bread making/baking roll for now. I know Jessica and the neighbor's will enjoy this fling while it lasts...LOL


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:40PM
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no need to really get a book - it's really hard to screw up bread. First thing you should do, if you're really interested, is make some w/out the instant yeast. Just set some water and flour out (I use stone ground whole wheat), and you'll have something bubbling in a few days. You can throw in some fresh apple peel or something - not a supermarket apple, something from a green market. The idea is to get some yeast growing in there. It settles on everything, so you'll have some in the flour, some on the apple, and some hanging around in the air.

Once you see some bubbles, which can take 4-5 days, you have a yeast. Whether it's good or not, you won't know until you use it. I have 3 of them right now - one tastes really good but one works much faster.

Then you can make bread with those - it's "sourdough" bread, meaning it wasn't made with a commercial yeast. Remember - bread yeast is like anything else - it has been developed to have certain characteristics. So you get something that is reliable and relatively quick, but lacks flavor. The wild, or feral, yeasts provide much more complex flavors. In part that is because they work in harmony with bacteria, which are also floating around. Those bacteria, which are similar to those in yogurt, also eat the sugars in the flour and help to develop those really nice complex flavors in the bread. Just keep a little of the flour/water mix aside, add more of both, and keep the starter dough going.

As far as time - this is why your commercial yeast was developed. With one of my yeasts, if I knead the dough in the morning, it won't rise until the next day. So basically, I put it in the fridge for rising. Those long, slow, rises do help the flavoring.

Then, when you're done messing around with that, you can start adding different things. Fats, whether they be in the form of oils or something else like butter, will make your bread have a more tender crumb and will also help with the shelf-life. The bread will not be as dry and will last a few days longer.

You can incorporate seasonings - be careful with salts because they'll kill your yeast, but you can add any kind of herb you like, or a combination. Ditto spices. Or fruits. Or you can use fruit juice for part of your liquid. Or something like ricotta cheese. Or eggs. Or different flours and/or grains - rye, spelt, rice, oats, etc. Just be aware that the texture of your bread will be VERY different - nothing has the gluten that wheat does.

You're already having fun - so just have some more. Incidentally, this is a good thing to do in the winter when you really can't work in the garden. I don't know how any of these will work in a machine - I've never used one. But I've been making bread and doughs pretty much once or twice a week for about 30 years, and it's quite therapeutic. Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 4:18PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I'm also a fan of Bernard Clayton's book. And I use a few recipes from James Beard's Bread.
Does your bread machine have an artisan cycle? That opens up another whole realm of bread-dom.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:34PM
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