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Home Baking : The Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World

Alford, Jeffrey; Duguid, Naomi

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ISBN 10: 1579651747 / ISBN 13: 9781579651749
Published by Artisan, New York, 2003
Condition: As New Hardcover
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About this Item

Oversized 444pp including glossary, bibliography and index Colorful photographs Dust jacket has tear at top edge of rear dust jacket flap fold DOMESTIC ORDERS ONLY-and only regular mailing is available-because of the size and weight of this book. Bookseller Inventory # 70796

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Home Baking : The Artful Mix of Flour and ...

Publisher: Artisan, New York

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Cloth Hardback

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Home baking may be a humble art, but its roots are deeply planted. On an island in Sweden a grandmother teaches her granddaughter how to make slagbrot, a velvety rye bread, just as she was taught to make it by her grandmother many years before. In Portugal, village women meet once each week to bake at a community oven; while the large stone oven heats up, children come running for sweet, sugary flatbreads made specially for them. In Toronto, Naomi makes her grandmother's recipe for treacle tart and Jeffrey makes the truck-stop cinnamon buns he and his father loved.

From savory pies to sweet buns, from crusty loaves to birthday cake, from old-world apple pie to peanut cookies to custard tarts, these recipes capture the age-old rhythm of turning simple ingredients into something wonderful to eat. HomeBaking rekindles the simple pleasure of working with your hands to feed your family. And it ratchets down the competitive demands we place on ourselves as home cooks. Because in striving for professional results we lose touch with the pleasures of the process, with the homey and imperfect, with the satisfaction of knowing that you can, as a matter of course, prepare something lovely and delicious, and always have a full cookie jar or some homemade cake on hand to offer.

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid collected the recipes in HomeBaking at their source, from farmhouse kitchens in northern France to bazaars in Fez. They traveled tens of thousands of miles, to six continents, in search of everyday gems such as Taipei Coconut Buns, Welsh Cakes, Moroccan Biscotti, and Tibetan Overnight Skillet Breads. They tasted, interpreted, photographed and captured not just the recipes, but the people who made them as well. Then they took these spot-on flavors of far away and put them side by side with cherished recipes from friends and family closer to home. The result is a collection of treasures: cherry strudel from Hungary, stollen from Germany, bread pudding from Vietnam, anise crackers from Barcelona. More than two hundred recipes that resonate with the joys and flavors of everyday baking at home and around the world.

Inexperienced home bakers can confidently pass through the kitchen doors armed with Naomi and Jeffrey's calming and easy-to-follow recipes. A relaxed, easy-handed approach to baking is, they insist, as much a part of home baking traditions as are the recipes themselves. In fact it's often the last-minute recipes—semonlina crackers, a free-form fruit galette, or a banana-coconut loaf—that offer the most unexpected delights. Although many of the sweets and savories included here are the products of age-old oral traditions, the recipes themselves have been carefully developed and tested, designed for the home baker in a home kitchen.

Like the authors' previous books, HomeBaking offers a glorious combination of travel and great tastes, with recipes rich in anecdote, insightful photographs, and an inviting text that explores the diverse baking traditions of the people who share our world. This is a book to have in the kitchen and then again by your bed at night, to revisit over and over.

Review:

In books including Seductions of Rice and the award-winning Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, authors Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid offered a new kind of cookbook--part anthropological portrait, part recipe source, part travel memoir (with photos taken by the pair), and in all, fascinating as well as useful. Their Home Baking is differently pitched. Though the authors have traveled to places including Russia, Hong Kong, and Australia, to bring back traditional baking formulas from their sources, they've also relied on home favorites plus other cookbooks whose recipes they admire. If the book lacks the layered scope, depth, and something of the interest of their former works, it nonetheless delivers unique goods--over 200 accessible recipes for savory and sweet goods like Nigella-Date Hearth Breads, Provincial Quince Loaf, Silk Road Non (a version of nan), Taipei Coconut Buns, and There-Layer Walnut Torte Whipped Cream. Fans of the authors, plus those new to the Alford and Duguid approach, will find much to explore and bake from here, as well as a beautiful, color-photo-studded volume in the A. and D. tradition.

Arranged by concepts such as Family Breads and All-Around-the-World Cookies, the book also offers food and travel asides such as Kisses from Brazil (about the skillet bread called beji, "kiss" in Portuguese), as well as informative headnotes that set each dish in context. (It should be mentioned that these notes and others are written in the first-person singular, but are unsigned or otherwise credited.) There are technical notes like those for bread making that guide bakers in the relaxed Alford and Duguid fashion, and where necessary, useful equipment discussion. There is also an eccentric entry or two, including a high-altitude recipe for chocolate chip cookies. But, ultimately, it's the unusual, traveled-derived formulas that make the book so worthy. --Arthur Boehm

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