Monday, November 10, 2014

Bread by Dean Brettschneider

This book was due to arrive in halfway October but I guess the bake happy people at our national Post service had trouble delivering it because they liked it too much? Finally it arrived; a brand new baking book to browse… the cover alone makes you want to skip all sane advice on eating your veggies and varying your diet and keep your meals to bread and bread alone. This is the newly European released book:  Bread by Dean Brettschneider. Remember Pie? The book that made my mouth water? Well this is another book in the series by Dean Brettschneider and again the lay out is equally yummy.
BreadThe book starts with a history of bread making and an extensive list of ingredients, equipment and bread know-how shaped as we know from other breadbooks (eg Peter Reinhart) with step by step black and white pictures of shaping and the stages of kneading and proofing. Very helpful. With more than 60 recipes for rustic, healthy, savoury, sweet and festive breads from around the globe Brettschneider guides you through the process of bread-making, with expert tips, varied recipes and rich photography throughout. He explains the 11 basic ‘know-how’ steps in making and baking breads, from mixing or kneading dough by hand to fermenting and shaping dough, and to proofing, decorating, baking and cooling the finished product.
The last chapter is again dedicated to basic recipes (master formulas if you wish) as we know from his other books. I particularly like the schedule for building your own sourdough, it’s simple, clearly explained and answers questions you might have. Love the picture page with neutral, sad and happy sourdough. Glimlach
The book is divided in chapters as
- Savoury Breads and Sourdoughs
- Grainy and healthy breads
- Quick breads and scones
- Festive breads
- Not quite bread
- Sweet breads

Every recipe (metric and imperial measurements! very important!) has it’s mouthwatering color photos. And again there is the “not quite” chapter which I really like, it somehow makes the book more eh human? It is as if I can see the meeting where it is decided which recipes will make it into the book and which not, deciding this one needs to be in and hmmm I think this one not. And then there’s always the fun ones, not really bread, not really sweet or clearly savoury but fun in their own way… That’s when you get a chapter like this, featuring lavash style crackers, or Danish smorrebrod or a panzanella bread salad or the Nutella spiced French toast which the men in my house beg me to make…
I think it is quite an accomplishment to make a book with bread recipes where you turn page after page and think oh that one! No, that one first. More importantly they all seem do-able! Not intimidating at all. What you might miss in this book is that it dives right in with the recipes, there’s no order in difficulty ranging from easier to more complicated. I don’t mind because he really guides you through each recipe in the text.
So what did I decide to bake?
From the Quick breads and scones chapter I made the Spinach, Pumpkin Cumin and Feta Damper. Mouthwatering picture and it was a perfect idea to use some left over pumpkin. I just served a mustard soup to go with it and had a happy family munching away.
Then I tried the intriguing Brie filled Pain Miche…. Quite simple really and such a festive bread: you bake a boule, let it cool and cut out disc in which you insert a whole brie (in Europe we would use camembert because really… a wheel of brie? those are 50 cm in the round). Anyway you insert your cheese of choice in the cavity top it with a mixture of caramelised onions and garlic and bake again…. Wow!
The resulting loaf gets a crisp exterior and a melty cheese with the topping bubbling away on top! Who needs dinner? Just a bottle of red wine and good company.
Published by Jacqui Small Books (@JacquiSmallPub) and available from the usual book sellers elsewhere. Thanks to Jacqui Small for sending me this copy to review – all thoughts and opinions my own.


  1. Wow! This cheese filled bread looks incredible! After inserting the cheese and covering it with the caramelized onions/garlic, do you re-bake it with the "lid" on top?

    (How interesting that you can only get large wheels of brie. Here in Toronto, wheels of Brie and Camembert are often around 15cm in diameter. I love Camembert but I think I'd be inclined to use Brie, just because in general, it is less pricey than Camembert and both are so similar in flavour)

  2. Good Lord Karen, I have never read a better book review, bread or no.
    His books are hard to come by over here and you've really made me lust here.
    I wish so much we could share that cheezy bread and a bottle of red ...


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