Monday, 22 April 2013

Can bread be exciting?

 A number of years ago, I found a book in a bookstore called "The Cook's Guide to Bread." I like bread baking, enjoy history, and learning about other cultures and ethnic cuisines, so this book was right up my alley. Then my life changed drastically and I no longer had time or energy for bread making and other culinary and artistic pursuits. So this book just moved with me from home to home, and probably even spent time in a box stored in a granary... Recently, I was at a thrift store and picked up what I thought was a larger version of the same book. When I got it home however, I discovered the two books have different titles, the larger thrift store version being "The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making." Same two authors, Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter. Apart from size, I wasn't sure what the difference was. Then I looked inside "The Cook's Guide to Bread," and saw that it was originally published as "The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making." It was just a slightly newer version. 
Now, I love a cookbook (or, in this case, a bread-making book) that doesn't just give me recipes, but also teaches me something - history and cultural background. In this book (either version), about half of it is devoted to information other than recipes. It explains the history of bread, different grains and milling methods, along with discussion of other ingredients, techniques and equipment. Then it explains the primary types of bread found in various world cultures. I find it quite interesting, but then I do tend to be an information hound. Here's the link to the book on Amazon:



 

So owning these two books makes me even more excited about the Artisan Bread Making course I've enrolled in from Craftsy. I'm looking forward to becoming a better bread maker through the course and then trying out even more breads from these books.
There - a post that didn't even mention quilting...