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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The River Cottage Bread Handbook - My Review

The River Cottage Bread Handbook is aptly named. It offers a quick, entertaining delivery of useful information on the essentials of bread making which has become a favorite pastime of mine.

As a reference book, it's not as wordy or philosophical like Peter Reinhart's, Brother Juniper's Bread book, one of my all-time favorites - but its not meant to be. It is a resource to be perused over and over again. It is not as detailed as Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread, and it doesn't need to be. That makes it even better because it is utilitarian; less is more. Even so, Daniel Stevens is anything but boring. His book is a witty and enjoyable read that can be taken up in a couple of sittings. But be forewarned; the information will take longer to settle in; it is a great guide for those who want to learn by doing. It is a hands-on learner's kind of book.

The 'How-to' build a back-yard read oven section is weak - mostly because this guy is a bread maker and not an oven builder. If you want a good reference book on bread ovens, try The Bread Builders.

This is a fine book to have in any bread maker's arsenal along with Peter Reinhart's bread books and Jim Lahey's My Bread plus a couple of others. Its a great little book well worth the fifteen bucks it is selling for online.

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