The Bread Bible is the one book on the subject no kitchen should be without — and now it’s available in paperback. A trusted authority on baking, Beth Hensperger has brought together hundreds of time-tested recipes, both classic and intriguingly original, from Gruyere Pullman Loaf and Farm-Style White Bread with Cardamom to fragrant Tuscan Peasant Bread and Classic Buttermilk Biscuits. And don’t just think loaves. Steamed Pecan Corn Bread, pancakes, golden brioches, flatbreads, focaccia, pizza dough, dinner rolls, dessert breads, strudels, breakfast buns — the choices are endless. The recipes are foolproof, step-by-step, and easy-to-follow. Busy bakers will also appreciate the excellent selection of recipes for bread machines and food processors. With a glossary and easy-to follow tips such as how to store and reheat bread, The Bread Bible is “a keeper for anyone who likes to bake or plans to get started.” –Chicago TribuneWeighing almost as much as a small child, Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible contains 300 recipes, plus slice after slice of baking wisdom. Hensperger certainly knows her bread: she is the author of several other yeasty numbers, including the mouthwatering Bread for All Seasons and the feisty Breads of the Southwest. Her Bible features simple, basic breads, such as White Mountain Bread, French Bread, and an Old-Fashioned 100 Percent Whole-Wheat Bread, as well as fancier breads such as Brown Rice Bread with Dutch Crunch Topping and a tangy Anadama Bread with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese. Not forgotten are scones, biscuits, pizzas, croissants, waffles, muffins–and even coffee cakes. As can be expected from such a hefty, all-encompassing volume, many breads demand the skills of agile and able bakers. Crescia al Formaggio, an aesthetically pleasing savory cheese bread, requires scrupulous time-keeping and copious amounts of elbow grease and patience. Of course, the rewards are high. Happily, many other loaves can be whipped up in a bread machine, and are equally satisfying. An Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread using Irish oats makes everything good with the world with its rich, nutty texture. Hensperger’s sweet treats are also a delight–the Blueberry Gingerbread works wonders with vanilla ice cream, and won’t take up your whole day slaving over a hot stove.
Although The Bread Bible would have benefited from color photographs to tease the taste buds, Hensperger’s latest ode to bread will still prove invaluable for both new and seasoned bakers. –Naomi Gesinger