social spark Aisling Beatha: Fun with Bread

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fun with Bread

Why would you have two books that are, in effect, identical?

Books

They don't look the same do they?  But they are, in fact, the same cookbook.  The one on the left is the American, original version of the book and the one on the right is the new, UK version.

You can see that I have had my American copy for a while now, by the number of post it note bookmarks it has.

PostIts

There are certain problems with any American book on baking and that is the use of volume methods of measuring. I can measure a cup of flour out 10 times and have it weigh 10 different weight, this is not so much of a problem when cooking other things as it is when baking.

So when the opportunity came along to get hold of a copy of the new UK book to review it here on my blog, I jumped at the chance.

NewBook

The new book has all the same text, and all the same recipes as the American one, but all the recipes are in weights, in both metric and imperial.  GREAT!

There is one downside to this book, and it may or may not affect your choice of which one to use.
THERE ARE NO PHOTOGRAPHS, either of the processes, or of the finished products.  Only line drawings, and few of those.  Not a problem, if you don't mind books like that, but I prefer my cookbooks to come with illustrations.  Particularly with loaves such as the Pan d'epi which is shaped like a single wheatstalk.  If you have never seen a loaf like that before I think it would be difficult to shape it right without illustrations.

LineDrawing

However, if you have easy access to the internet, this need not be a problem as the authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois have a very successful website, where you can find videos of the basic process in action, and photographs of some of the finished loaves as well as even more recipes and ideas to use the doughs that are in the book!

I have made a lot of the recipes in the past, using the American book, both by using cups to measure and by converting the recipes individually using the conversions you can find on their website.  Today I am making the basic white bread dough, and using the measurements and instructions from the new UK book. Come back tomorrow to see what happens.

2 comments:

  1. I bet you were pleased as punch to have found the UK version of your bread cookbook! I feel a bit lost when I read a recipe book and it is in grams... I stunk at math so I hate having to convert it!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I Love My Three Sons and leaving a comment!

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  2. All in all a great idea and even better in weights than cup measures!
    Will get post about how it turned out up later!

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