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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Containing only flour, water, yeast, and salt, bread is a simple dish that can take years to master. Daniel Stevens shortens the learning curve for would-be bakers in this informative introduction to making great bread at home. Accompanied by detailed photos of key steps in the bread-making process, Stevens patiently guides readers through the steps of crafting a toothsome loaf, explaining the qualities of various yeasts and flours, the particulars of hand-kneading, the cons of letting a stand mixer do your work for you, and tips on shaping dough into the desired shape. Once a baker has mastered Stevens's basic bread recipe, they're free to spread their floury wings and attempt Italian ciabatta, a rich French brioche, or even the intimidating croissant. Tips on storage (never in the fridge!) and leftovers (croutons, bread crumbs, Spanish migas) and a one-page troubleshooting guide guaranteed to get earmarked ensure bakers reap great rewards from their labor. Though readers may not go to the lengths of building their own clay oven (included here in detail) Stevens's accessible take on the subject is sure to inspire confidence, an appreciation for the craft, and a willingness to experiment.
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