Friday, November 13, 2020

Making Artisan Breads in the Bread Machine: Beautiful Loaves and Flatbreads from All Over the World

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 Making Artisan Breads in the Bread Machine is a tutorial guide and cookbook with recipes developed by Michelle Anderson. Released 3rd Nov 2020 by Quarto on their Harvard Common Press imprint, it's 208 pages and available in paperback format.

The included breads cover a wide range of traditions - using an impressive array of base ingredients with a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and other add-ons to create quality breads both savory and sweet. The book's introduction includes a good basic crash-course on baking bread, what makes good bread *good*, the necessary tools and supplies, and an overview over bread machines and what to look for. The second part of the book contains the recipes grouped roughly thematically: traditional loaves, classic crusty loaves, sourdough breads, sweet breads, flatbreads rolls & bagels, seed nut & fruit breads, and herb cheese & other flavored breads.

Recipe ingredients are listed bullet style in a sidebar. Measurements are given in US standard with metric equivalents in parentheses (yay!). Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and cooking directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store. Nutritional information is not included.  Tips and variations on each recipe are included at the end of the recipes. 

I would estimate that about 25% of the recipes include pictures. The photographs are clear and serving suggestions are attractive and appropriate. There are some less than ideal omissions - for example, the challah recipe doesn't show how to fold the bread (there is a written description). It's not a major problem; the descriptions and videos can be found online, but it's worth a mention. 

The book also includes a short author bio and a cross referenced index.

Five stars. This would make a superlative selection for cooks who want to get more use out of their bread machines and are looking for do-able recipes for a number of traditional loaves. Note: they're not all absolutely traditional, there are some shortcuts included for convenience.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.


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