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Love baking bread? Expand your horizons with Slow Dough: Real Bread
November 7, 2016
Slow Dough: Real Bread
Bakers' secrets for making amazing long-rise loaves at home
by Chris Young
Cooking, Food & Wine
Pub Date 13 Sep 2016
Slow Dough: Real Bread is an excellent book for home bakers with some degree of experience. While novices may easily become overwhelmed, Slow Dough: Real Bread has a lot to offer bakers looking to expand their horizons. I liked the wide variety of bread recipes, as well as the assortment of recipes that use bread as an ingredient. Being from the New Orleans area, bread pudding is a perennial favorite, and Slow Dough has two great recipes -Kate De Syllas’s Savory Bread and Butter Pudding (which can easily be adapted with different meats and cheeses) and Chris Young’s Masala Chai Spiced Bread and Butter Pudding. I was also thrilled by the inclusion of Peter Cook’s Crumpet recipe, as good crumpets are rarely found in the US and they are a delectable treat.
I only had a few minor complaints. Fresh yeast is hard to find in the US, so it would be nice if there was more information about how to use active dry or instant in its place. Information is available on the internet, so don’t let this prevent you from buying the book. Some of the recipes are complicated and ingredients can be hard to find, but the results are worth it.
Slow Dough: Real Bread is the product of Great Britain’s Real Bread movement celebrating artisan breads that use a variety of starters and pre-ferments. This book is best for those who already have some experience baking bread at home.
I received a copy of Slow Dough: Real Bread from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Making bread is an ancient craft and a fulfilling experience, a skill that is learnt by touch and feel. There is nothing more satisfying than kneading, pulling, stretching and punching the dough, using a little yeast and sugar to transform its lumpen beginnings, as if by alchemy, into a loaf. But it's not all hard work. To get a truly wonderful bread, you can use a starter to do the work for you and it does wonders for the texture, flavours and aromas of the final bread. The Real Bread Campaign has been running since 2008, encouraging people to get baking and raising awareness of the additives that exist in most shop-bought loaves. In Slow Dough: Real Bread, learn secrets from the campaign's network of expert bakers to make a huge array of exciting slow-rise breads at home. Whether you want to make a Caraway Seed Rye Bread, a Fougasse Flatbread or an All-Butter Brioche, in these recipes you'll learn how to make different starters for different breads, as well as the fundamental processes (many of which you can just sit and wait for): fermenting, kneading, first proof, last rising, and baking. In a world of mass-production and redundant additives, bread being among the worst offenders, this book, about real craftsmanship, is like a breath of fresh air.