The Italian Baker

Carol Field, Author William Morrow Cookbooks $35 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-181266-8
Italy's breads are ""expressions of an earthy culture that still talks about its most fundamental experiences in terms of bread. . . . A down-to-earth man with a real heart of gold is described as `buono come il pane'good, like bread,'' observes Field (The Hill Towns of Italy). Her book of baked goods is packed with recipes for breads made with herbs, mushrooms, fruits and cheeses; traditional loaves; breadsticks and rolls; chocolate and holiday breads; pizza and focaccia; as well as strudels and tarts, cakes and cookies. There are even recipes for leftover breadcrostini, garlicky vegetable soup, apple cake. Included also are directions for kneading by hand, by mixer and by food processor; dry ingredients are measured by both volume and weight. In order to write this book, Field worked with bakers in different regions of Italy and watched women making bread for their families. She recreates here for the American baker authentic Italian tastes and textures. Her informed discussion of ingredients and methods and her engaging commentary on the role of bread in Italy's history make this an important book for bakers. 20,000 first printing; Cooking & Crafts Book Club main selection; author tour. Foreign rights: Harper. October 30
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
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