The Best Bread Ever: Great Homemade Bread Using your Food Processor
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by: Charles Van Over
Label: Broadway Books
Manufacturer: Broadway Books
Number Of Pages: 272
Publication Date: November 03, 1997
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: November 03, 1997
Studio: Broadway Books
When Charlie van Over makes his bread, he breaks all the rules of classic bread baking. He doesn't proof the yeast. He uses cold water instead of warm. He mixes the dough in a food processor for forty-five seconds instead of kneading it by hand. He lets the dough rise in a cool place. The results? Perfect crusty-on-the-outside baguettes with texture, taste, and aroma. Light brioche with buttery crisp crusts and fluffy, saffron interiors. Chewy bagels with hardy, smooth crusts. A rich walnut loaf studded with nuts and scented with the full flavor of whole wheat. A homey cherry babka with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. How is this possible?
Like many inventors, Charlie came across his technique by accident. At a party for Carl Sontheimer, founder of Cuisinart, the company that first introduced the food processor to American home cooks, it was suggested to Charlie that he mix his dough in a food processor. Thus began several years of experimentation and, finally, a foolproof method for making perfect bread every time.
Now you can re-create Charlie van Over's great bread for yourself. And what's even more amazing is that Charlie's is a hands-off, rather than a hands-on, method. Once the dough is mixed in the food processor, there's no kneading. Just place it in a bowl at room temperature to allow the flavors to develop. Have to run out suddenly for a few hours? No problem. Just put the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready. You won't have to keep baker's hours or become a professional to make wonderful bread at home.
Once you've mastered the basic technique, the possibilities are endless. Fougasse, Ciabatta, Semolina Bread, pizza, Danish Twists, and even sourdough Olive Rosemary Bread and Idaho Potato Rolls. Have a favorite bread? Charlie even explains how to convert any recipe to The Best Bread Ever method.
The Best Bread Ever provides easy-to-follow instructions for more than sixty breads, step-by-step photographs, helpful advice for troubleshooting your food processor, rich color photographs of Charlie's bread, and recipes for using bread in bread puddings, soups, and other dishes. As Jacques Pépin says in his foreword, "Get your ingredients and equipment together and follow Charlie's remarkable method. You will never be without good bread again."
According to Charles Van Over, a food processor, an instant-read thermometer, and a baking stone are the only equipment essential to making the best bread you will ever eat. You also have to be willing to make a leap of faith, following his precise method meticulously: the bread dough must be made in a food processor that is run for exactly 45 seconds, and you have to use flour and water that produce dough with a temperature of 75-80° Fahrenheit. Check the book for the other six rules of Van Over's system and see if you agree that the results are stunningly good.
To assure clarity, the recipes provide U.S. measures by volume and weight as well as by metric measures. This versatility makes the book transportable around the globe, though its recipes are designed to work with American flour and other ingredients. The type is large and easy-to-read, which is most helpful when following the many steps involved in making bread. Color photos provide inspiration, while progressive shots in black and white demonstrate important steps in some of the recipes. You'll find directions for making bagels, sourdough, and breads enriched with milk, butter, or eggs, including Alsatian Kugelhopf and Cheddar Pepper Brioche with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, as well as Van Over's baguette, Semolina Bread, and a Presentation Loaf that is specially inscribed or decorated. If you have ever made bread with poor results, The Best Bread Ever will help you break through to the results you dream of.
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