I borrow every baking book we get here and this book by David Norman is my favorite since The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg. They’re similar in scope and difficulty and each provides histories of the breads in each recipe. The difference is that Ginsburg’s book is exclusively rye while Norman’s tackles all sorts of breads from several different regions and then gives recipes for a meal that will really showcase the bread. (The German and Italian spreads look particularly amazing.)
So far I’ve made what I thought was a simple white bread that Norman suggests pairing with BBQ (his bakery is in Austin, TX). Warning: this bread, and most of the breads in the book, are a commitment; they will take anywhere from 6 hours to over a day to complete. After several folds and risings I found myself half hoping that the bread would only be ok and I could move on to a new recipe but the bread was absolutely delicious and worth the work. I made it two days in a row. None of the steps are difficult but you’ll have to plan to be for a large part of the day. Many of the recipes use either a rye or sourdough starter and you can either make them, they take about a week, or come ask me for some. I’m always happy to share the love of bread!
Review by Sarah Maciejewski, Children’s Room Staff.
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