By Duncan Glendinning & Patrick Ryan
Murdoch Books, £17.99
At first glance, Bread Revolution looks as though it could be a children's cookbook. Large headlines, photographs of shiny-faced kids with aprons and hand-drawn diagrams all give the impression that this is a tome aimed at the youngest generation of bakers. But look again and you will find it is packed full of a delightful selection of interesting breads which could boost any restaurant menu.
The service of bread in a restaurant should be far more than a gap filler between taking the customer's order and serving the starter. Receiving freshly baked rolls - or an individual loaf - will provide a memorable start to a meal and indicate that this is an establishment which cares about attention to detail.
Bread Revolution is a book which will help even inexperienced bakers master the art of creating a decent loaf. Written by award-wining bakers Duncan Glendinning and Patrick Ryan, the book intends to show that traditional, artisan breads - made without additives, preservatives or flour treatment agents - can be achieved on any budget.
The baking partners, who operate eco-bakery the Thoughtful Bread Company in Bath, are in much demand supplying Michelin-starred restaurants and delicatessens, as well as the domestic dweller.
The first part of the book provides clear and concise instructions on all the key bread-making essentials, such as kneading, proving and shaping, before moving on to the 70 or so bread recipes themselves.
Among the extensive variety are nettle and chive bread; blue cheese, honey and walnut loaf; and Irish soda bread. Then there are the breads which are filling enough to be a meal in their own right, such as focaccia with a variety of toppings, pumpkin and cheese savoury scrolls, and calzone bread pastries.
Throughout are a delightful selection of rustic accompaniments to serve alongside the delicious breads, such as ham hock terrine and barbecued veggie stacks with honey mustard dressing. There are plenty of ideas, too, to impress guests with a sweet tooth, from rich brioches loaves to cinnamon loaves, as well as a host of bread-based desserts.
This is a fun book to browse through and cook from - with the extensive, and occasionally cheesy colour photography, highlighting the fact that bread baking can be a truly life-enhancing experience for both those involved in the making and the eating.
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By Janet Harmer
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