cover image The Bread Bible: Beth Hensperger's 300 Favorite Recipes

The Bread Bible: Beth Hensperger's 300 Favorite Recipes

Beth Hensperger. Chronicle Books, $35 (496pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-1686-1

Longtime San Francisco resident, cooking instructor and author (Bread for All Seasons) Hensperger offers a compelling and innovative collection of bread recipes for contemporary home bakers. With a significant nod to classic yeast breads, her extensive repertoire includes basic white, whole-wheat and rye loaves, sour starters, savory main-dish breads, even dessert and quick breads--just to name a few. Staunchly adhering to her philosophy that ""breadmaking is nothing more than a series of sequential steps executed in a predictable order,"" she presents step-by-step instructions with great finesse and clarity. Where applicable, Hensperger provides useful addendum notes, divulges invaluable ""Baker's Wisdom"" baking tips and offers creative recipe variations (e.g., Cornmeal Brioche and Basic Pizza Dough). Taking into account busy schedules and state-of-the-art baking equipment, Hensperger devotes two end chapters to breads made with food processors and bread machines. For those who feel daunted by the prospect of baking bread, Hensperger encourages and inspires with a ""breadmaking is for everyone"" ethos and easy, vibrant prose infused with obvious passion for her craft. (Jan.)