Tips & Techniques Book Briefs Williams-Sonoma Collection: Bread
Williams-Sonoma Collection: Bread
The satiny smoothness of kneaded dough. The inviting smell of bread baking. A still-warm slice slathered with butter. As any dedicated baker knows, making and sharing bread count among the purest joys of the kitchen. Bread, the newest title in the Williams-Sonoma Collection series, celebrates the delicious aroma and taste of home-baked bread.

Author Beth Hensperger, an award-winning food writer and acclaimed expert on bread, has written numerous books on baking. Here she offers more than 40 of her favorite recipes, including both traditional yeast breads and convenient quick breads. As you'll discover, baked treats never fail to please, from comforting corn bread to puffy popovers.

Begin with her classic recipes for old-fashioned white bread or buttermilk biscuits. A loaf of home-baked sourdough, with its hearty crust and distinctive tang, will transform simple soup and salad into a special meal.

Then experiment with international breads, such as pita—this Middle Eastern pocket bread can be filled for sandwiches or used as a scoop for dips. Try your hand with Italian specialties like tender ciabatta, a flat loaf whose name means "slipper," or focaccia flavored with onions, herbs or Parmesan.

A chapter on tea breads and desserts will inspire you to invite friends for a slice of dark chocolate tea bread or sour cream-blueberry bread. For your next weekend brunch, serve cream tea scones laced with currants or gorgeously swirled brown sugar-raisin bread. You'll also find easy favorites like banana-nut bread, so moist and satisfying yet easy to make for an afternoon snack.

The author's clear instructions will guide you smoothly through even the most advanced techniques. You'll learn how to shape bagels, braid a loaf of challah and create a high-rising panettone. A full-page color photograph accompanies every recipe, and informative sidebars offer valuable tips, such as how to cut in butter so biscuits emerge tender and flaky. The chapter on bread basics covers the essentials of mixing, kneading, rising and baking.

Whether you're looking for sweet treats for snacking or a beautiful loaf to accompany a celebratory meal, this book will help you master the art of baking bread.