Breadtime Stories: A Cookbook for Bakers and Browsers

Susan Jane Cheney, Author
Susan Jane Cheney, Author Ten Speed Press $17.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-89815-315-6
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Cheney, a former cook at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., offers an array of recipes for breads and baked goods as well as some soups, stews, salads and desserts that will appeal to vegetarians and whole foods cooks. Her approach, which emphasizes teaching and encouraging the reader--she spends 15 pages on the rudiments of handling yeast dough--may reassure beginners. However, businesslike bakers will find the author as cloying as an overdose of organic honey when she writes, for instance, that ``creating natural-rise breads is . . . suspenseful and magical.'' A number of treats, such as poppy-seed bread, buckwheat muffins, and sweet dough for sticky buns, are presented in attractive whole-grain versions. But baffling alterations in classics, such as embellishing piroshki with kuzu powder, tempeh and kelp powder or adding dark barley miso to pesto, are bound to draw grumbles from all but determined whole foods aficionados. Perhaps Cheney should heed the argument she uses to assert the superiority of whole-wheat flour to white: ``If it isn't broken, why fix it?'' This is the author's first cookbook. Line drawings. (Dec.)
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