Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Slow Dough by Chris Young

book cover
Slow Dough
by Chris Young

ISBN-13: 9781848997370
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Nourish
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
The Real Bread Campaign has been running since 2008, encouraging people to get baking and raising awareness of the additives that exist in most shop-bought loaves. To get a truly wonderful bread, you can use a starter to do the work for you and it does wonders for the texture, flavours and aromas of the final bread.

In Slow Dough: Real Bread, learn secrets from the campaign's network of expert bakers to make a huge array of exciting slow-rise breads at home. Whether you want to make a Caraway Seed Rye Bread, a Fougasse Flatbread or an All-Butter Brioche, in these recipes you'll learn how to make different starters for different breads, as well as the fundamental processes (many of which you can just sit and wait for): fermenting, kneading, first proof, last rising, and baking.

My Review:
Slow Dough teaches how to make a variety of pre-ferment (2 stage), long ferment (1 stage), and sourdough breads. As in, most of the recipes leave the dough to ferment overnight. This book is intended for people who have some experience making their own bread or access to someone experienced who can help ("this is what the dough feels like when..."), though the author did include the information that a beginner needs to know.

He started by talking about the Real Bread Campaign, then he defined the terms and described the techniques and ingredients used in the recipes. He described bread-making equipment you might want, though only very basic equipment and minimal ingredients are needed to start out. He also included tips from various bakers, a troubleshooting section, and ways to use leftover crumbs and stale bread.

The recipes were from many different bakers. They covered basic loaves to fruit- or cheese-filled loaves, plus buns, sweet breads, shaped breads, and more. There were gluten-free breads and no-knead breads in addition to wheat breads and kneaded loaves. The author promoted the use of organic, whole grains, though many of the recipes used some white flour. The ingredient amounts were given by weight and volume in metric and USA systems. Overall, I'd recommend this as an informative book for people interested in baking these types of breads.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Easy. Whole. Vegan. by Melissa King

book cover
Easy. Whole. Vegan.
by Melissa King

ISBN-13: 9781615193097
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: The Experiment
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Vegan, whole food recipes that will help families ditch processed meals by taking the hassle out of cooking! In Easy. Whole. Vegan., she shows how to break free of ready-made, processed foods without spending hours in the kitchen (and it isn't with takeout)! These 100 vegan and gluten-free recipes are organized by how they will help busy families save time (and tame the chaos): 30-Minutes or Less recipes, slow cooker recipes, make-ahead meals reheat well, foods for entertaining, plus sauces, dressings, juices, and smoothies.

My Review:
Easy. Whole. Vegan. is a cookbook for making vegan, whole food, gluten-free meals. The author started by discussing the foods that she uses. Most of these foods are commonly available, though sometimes expensive. She talked about vegan substitutes for animal products, like how to make nut-milks, non-dairy "cream," or egg substitutes. She also recommended kitchen equipment (like a slow cooker, food processor, high power blender, dehydrator, juicer, stand mixer, and spiralizer). You'll probably want to start with the equipment you'll use the most, though, as good quality version are going to be expensive.

The recipes are intended to be easy to put together and clean up after. Most of the recipes had only a few, simple steps and served 4-7 people. They included variations for those with nut allergies. Some of the recipes are meant to look or taste similar to familiar non-vegan dishes, like ice cream or mac and cheese. Despite the titles of some of the recipes, no animal products are used. She included information about how to best store the leftovers.

There were recipes for salads, soups, puddings, pancakes, muffins, bars, cookies, crackers, casseroles, salsa, jam, cream, juices, smoothies, and more. Some recipes were sweetened with fruits, while others used a good bit of maple syrup or coconut sugar. Overall, I found this cookbook helpful for cooking for vegan friends and finding new ideas for healthy dishes.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.