There is nothing I love more than freshly baked bread. My one weekly indulgence is buying bread from my local bakery instead of plastic wrapped loaves There is nothing I love more than freshly baked bread. My one weekly indulgence is buying bread from my local bakery instead of plastic wrapped loaves from the supermarket. Occasionally I will also make my own dough to bake but since I don't have, and can't afford, a decent stand mixer it is a laborious process, made more difficult by the time it requires to serve up fresh baked goods exactly when you want them.
Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie aims to make baking easier by dividing the process into two parts, allowing you to prepare the dough and then refrigerate it until a day or two later when you can bake it. This is a much more convenient method for busy people who don't have an entire day to devote to baking.
Currie begins with some useful advice about ingredients, equipment and methods to get the best from her 100+ recipes. The first chapter of the book starts with her recipes for loaf breads using wheat, sourdough or rye, both sweet and savoury flavoured such as Fresh Corn and Cheddar Loaf and Peanut Butter Spread with Raspberry Swirl. The next chapter explores Buns, Rolls & Breadsticks, then Flatbreads like focaccia. Her recipes for Pastries include Lemon Danish and Cinnamon Croissants. The final sections offers recipes to use with leftover bread like a Cherry and Goat Cheese Strata and recipes for flavoured spread combinations like Orange and Ginger, Cinnamon Honey and Wine Jam. NB: You can see a complete recipe listing HERE
The recipes are well laid out (even in my digital version) with clear instructions and ingredients lists. Not every recipe is accompanied by a photograph of the result, which is a bit of a shame I thought.
I've bookmarked quite a few recipes I plan to try like the Strawberry Jam Swirl Loaf, Pre baked Herb and Cheese Buns and Pineapple Sweet Cheese Danish. I will actually be making the Maple, Bacon and Onion Loaf later on during the week to contribute to a friend's BBQ - I'll have to retro post pictures.
There are only a couple of gluten free recipes so this cook book is not suitable for those with gluten intolerance. Some recipes seem quite simple, others fairly complex so I think it would suit a range of people from the first timer to the regular home baker interested in Currie's make ahead method.
A distinguished Australian poet, Kate Llewellyn has published six books of poetry and is the co-editor of The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets. A distinguished Australian poet, Kate Llewellyn has published six books of poetry and is the co-editor of The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets. She is the author of nineteen books, including Lilies, Feathers & Frangipani on the Cook Islands and New Zealand; Angels and Dark Madonnas on India and Italy; and Gorillas, Tea & Coffee: An African Sketchbook.
A Fig at the Gate is written in the tradition of her bestseller titles The Waterlily: A Blue Mountains Journal and Playing With Water: A Story of a Garden. Now in her seventies, Kate has settled in Adelaide near where she was born and is establishing a new garden to nourish, sustain and delight.
Journal entries chart the evolution of Kate's garden over three years, the planting of plum trees and cabbages, of wisteria, cumquats and rosemary, along with the addition of chickens and ducks. Kate also shares her musings and learned wisdom on life, aging, family and friendship, her prose interspersed with her poetry.
A Fig at the Gate is warm, gracious and wise chronicle of nature, beauty and life.