This was beautifully written, a book I couldn't stop reading once I finally committed. It's about the horror visited upon everyone by war, and I wasn'This was beautifully written, a book I couldn't stop reading once I finally committed. It's about the horror visited upon everyone by war, and I wasn't sure I wanted to read something so dark, but the beauty of the prose pulled me in.
I also really appreciated how the author would toss in asides about minor characters, (letting you know, for example, that a woman in the hospital will bear four children and die and old woman in Prague), which kept me going, knowing that despite the horror I was "witnessing", there would be survivors....more
I borrowed this via interlibrary loan; only 1/4 of the way in and I knew I needed to own a copy. Early on, she touches on mayonnaise, and I was sold:I borrowed this via interlibrary loan; only 1/4 of the way in and I knew I needed to own a copy. Early on, she touches on mayonnaise, and I was sold: "The degrading of mayonnaise from a wonderful condiment for cooked vegetables or sandwiches to an indistinguishable layer of fat has been radical and violent." Amen!
If you're looking for a book heavy on precise recipes, don't bother. If, however, you're looking for a book that celebrates finding abundance in frugality, and food as the cornerstone of building both body and spirit, then buy some beans, put on a pot of water, and try new things!...more
Wow, this is a wonderful bread book for the home baker wanting to make a pure sourdough loaf! I borrowed it via interlibrary loan, and after reading tWow, this is a wonderful bread book for the home baker wanting to make a pure sourdough loaf! I borrowed it via interlibrary loan, and after reading through it, immediately purchased a copy.
I do need to note that this may not be the best beginning "recipe" book for someone who has never baked before. That said, I love Robertson's emphasis on smelling, feeling, and experimenting vs. keeping meticulous notes on water temperatures and ferment times (a technique recommended in Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza). However, the general instructions and photos in Forkish's book are wonderful, and making some of his loaves was a great learning experience, even if I did have to discard a shameful amount of starter on the sourdough loaves.
If you've never baked, go ahead and read this book (the idea of learning to make "elemental bread that sustained generations...a loaf with an old soul" was completely inspiring to me), but maybe develop some training wheels with the many great no-knead artisan bread books and/or websites.
Some of the instructional photos are not completely clear....but that's okay for me, because it encouraged me to experiment. In the winter, my home is usually about 66-67F, considerably cooler than Robertson's 78F+ kitchen. Sticking with his timetable turned out delicious bread, but learning to trust my dough and basically doubling the bulk ferment time produced the best bread I've ever made!
I especially appreciated Robertson's coverage of the various test bakers, and how they (intentionally and unintentionally) adjusted his recipe to suit their kitchens and schedules...and still got great results. That also encouraged my own experimentation (like trying an overnight bulk ferment, etc.), and experimentation is how we learn!
I've made the basic recipe, the wheat, the semolina....and been trying my own blends of flours using the basic parameters he offers. This is now my family's Daily Bread!
(If I can figure out how to add a picture, I will.) ...more