Three Quarters of a Baker's Dozen
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
by Beth Hensperger
Harvard Common Press, 639 pp., $18.95 (paper)
Prolific master baker Beth Hensperger has written 10 books, including several award-winners and also writes a column called "Baking With the Seasons" for the San Jose Mercury News. Her latest work addresses the question of whether or not the taste, texture, and aroma of the wonderful artisan breads currently so popular across the country can be duplicated in a bread machine. Hensperger weighs in with more than 300 bread recipes that have been tested in all types of bread machines and the answer is definitely yes. The book opens with a thorough orientation to bread machine baking and then offers recipes for daily breads, traditional loaves such as country breads and sourdoughs, specialty wheat breads, breads flavored with cheese, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, shaped loaves made outside the machine, sweet breads, plus bonus chapters on jams, preserves, and chutneys to go with the bounty of breads and recipes for items such as croutons, crostini, and toasts. This is a very comprehensive book that will appeal to the novice baker getting their first machine this Christmas as well as a seasoned pro looking to expand a repertoire.