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What a bitter disappointment this book was! It was recommended in an article I was reading by someone I respect who suggested baking your own bread as a money saving tactic, and that you could do so in 5 minutes a day with this book! First of all I don't expect to save anything but I do miss the luxury of nice, home baked bread. We're a very busy household and even 5 minutes can be hard to come by. We generally don't eat much bread since it's not good for you anyway, but it's such a nice treat to have on occasion and my husband does like it for breakfast, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I haven't even made anything from it. I expected the recipes not to actually take 5 minutes as per other reviews, but what I didn't realize is uh... this does not save you much time at all from just baking bread normally. There is NO way I could fit this supposed 5 minute bread in on a weeknight. I figured there was some magical combination of ingredients or process that was going to make it so I could just mix all the stuff up, throw it in the fridge, and two days later come tear a lob off, bunch it into a loaf shape and throw in the oven. No, no, no. We let the dough rise when we make the batch! We mix in lots of other ingredients on baking day and form the bloody thing into artistic masterpieces, and then let it rise again. So, hang on... You STILL need to mix the bread recipe, let it rise twice, do everything you would do for a normal bread recipe except knead it. And there are no-knead recipes out there, and bread machines that will do the kneading for you and still allow you to bake it however you wish. What? What's the appeal? Am I missing something? Say it takes 15 minutes to mix up a batch of the dough, and then before you can put it away it needs to rise for two hours so you can't exactly leave the house and move on to other endeavours, you're still MAKING THE BREAD 2 HOURS LATER... and even with the baking day part. You mix in more crap to the dough, you let it rise 90 minutes. You bake it 30. Uh. We're still talking over two hours of bread making on a weeknight. If you started when you got home from work, threw it in the oven after dinner, and rescued it from the oven after you were done eating, you'd be able to maybe pull it off, but you sure wouldn't have a nice loaf with dinner. WTF? Super disappointed. I'm sure this is a fabulous system for people with lots of spare time on their hands. But then, why would they not just make bread the ordinary way and save precious fridge space. :P Also as an aside, the layout sucks and could be improved to make it easier to grab info at a glance. It reads like a novel with no text hierarchy or obvious sections to find your basic master recipes or anything like that. Awful.
The book itself is nice. Unfortunately, I was terribly embarrassed by my friend who I gave the book to as a Christmas gift. She showed me where someone else had written on several pages of the book. So the book was NOT new. I won't buy from this seller again.
There is no list of bread recipes, & no links to each recipe. One has to go through the entire book in order to see what recipes are in the book. It is very difficult to find a recipe without having a linked list. I hope that a revision of the kindle version will fix this flaw.
I really don't like to post a bad review on people that try so hard, and the pictures are so lovely, but the taste is bad the the turn out is poor. My friend and I are both experienced cooks and we tried so hard on many of the recipes and we both returned our books. We didn't know how to get rid of that Elmer's glue taste and texture. Our bread was always gluey on the inside and if not, too crisp on the outside. But mainly the flavor was just always that same glue taste. So sorry. Keep trying I guess. I'm very glad to see you were trying to use wheat and healthier grains.
I have made 2 batches of bread and the Grissini bread sticks. These recipes do not work. My first batch I tried the master recipe. Since I grind my own grain I weighed the ingredients. The dough was thick and didn't mold to the container so I added 1/4 - 1/2 C water. The bread came out crusty on the outside but dense and a little moist on the inside middle. I kept playing with this batch and finally decided to try the bread sticks. They were to be cut 1/8" Really? I tried 1/4" and they pulled apart when transferring to the cookie sheet. They were really small - nothing like the picture. Because they were so small brushing olive oil on them made them extremely greasy. My next batch was the whole wheat with oil. I made it last night. This time I just scooped the flour out like they said and once again the dough was very stiff so I added 1/4 water. I don't know if it rose... put it in the fridge after 5 hours. This morning I pulled out a ball of dough and there was NO stretch it just falls apart. I used SAF instant yeast and maybe that is my problem, but they say you can use any kind of yeast. I have been making my own 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread for years with a bosch mixer. I make five loaves at a time and just freeze the extra. It takes 10 minutes to grind the flour add the ingredients, 15 minutes for mixing, then 10 to form the bread. Approx 30 minutes for the bread to rise then 40 minutes in the oven. I only have to do this once. Much easier then pulling out the one loaf every day and waiting an hour, turning on the stove, waiting 30 min. baking etc.
I bought this book solely for the GF recipes, and have no comment on any other recipes in the book. First, how can they put a recipe that calls for 3 3/4 cup of starch (mostly corn starch) to 1 cup of flour a "healthy" recipe? Corn starch is full of high empty calories. This recipe (the brioche") is the dough they use for many of their GF breads. Clearly if either of the authors were GF or had GF children to feed, they would not be giving them this bread as an example of "healthy food."
Secondly, i am an experienced GF baker--been baking GF for more than 6 years, and have been baking for 30 years. I have not been able to duplicate their recipes as written--not once. After many failed attempts and much wasted expensive GF flour, i finally got mad and amended the recipes (how they were made and ingredients) and finally got something i would call a pain de mie (basically like an egg loaf of white bread) out of the "brioche" recipe. The authors do not give adequate instructions on how to measure the flour for their recipes (when i wrote to inquire bc i'd had several disasters, they recommend the scoop method) while experienced GF bakers know how important it is not to compact the flour when measuring, etc. Each time i had between 1/2-1 cup too much liquid left over from their recipe.
Thirdly, they didn't do basic research into the mechanics of baking their recipe. For instance, yeast requires an acid medium. Their brioche recipe tends toward neutral (corn starch is neutral) eggs and rice flour are acid, honey is alkaline, etc. Like many celiac people, i am lactose intolerant, as are the others i cook for. So i substituted soy milk (their cookbook says this is ok) and never got a rise out of the dough. When i researched it, i realized there wasn't enough acid in the ingredients to get the yeast going bc soy milk tends towards alkaline. Because my tap water is alkaline, i had a similar problem with their boule. And no, the yeast wasn't stale as they said when i commented i was having a problem with rise. When i proofed the yeast it foamed out of a 2 cup container in 5 minutes. I would add, they i've never had a failed GF bread recipe before bc i tend to be fairly good at baking.
I normally never write reviews, but i'm writing this one bc frankly, had i not bought the book digitally, i would have returned it. I feel that they threw in GF recipes as a marketing hype rather than because they actually took the time to research the issue and the recipes or even frankly cared, at least not in the way that bakers who are gluten intolerant or have gf family members do. I would not recommend this book to a GF baker.
"Healthy bread" is NOT a gluten free cook book. If that's what you need - get a different book. This is wheat flour recipes. Not what I'd call healthy. 1 short chapter w/ gluten free recipes. 3 or 4 - that's all. Disappointing, to say the least.