Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Naturally Fermented Bread by Paul Barker

book cover
Naturally Fermented Bread
by Paul Barker

ISBN-13: 9781631599132
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books
Released: October 13th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Learn to bake healthy, gut-friendly loaves and sweet fermented buns using wild yeasts cultivated from fruits, flowers, vegetables, and plants. To bake naturally fermented bread—fruit, vegetables, plants, or flowers are submerged in water and left for a few days to a few weeks to ferment. Yeasts living in this newly fermented water, or botanical water, will, like a sourdough starter, raise the dough more slowly than commercial fresh or dried yeast resulting in a more flavorful and gut-friendly bread.

You can use this technique to make traditional long-fermented loaves and also a range of sweet fermented buns that showcase the subtle and surprising flavors of your own botanical starters. Recipes include: Tomato and Basil Pizza Dough, Cucumber Burger Buns, Chocolate Orange Brioche, Botanical Laminated Pastry, and much more!

My Review:
Naturally Fermented Bread is a cookbook that describes how to use wild yeasts found on fruit and vegetables to make bread. The author started by describing how to culture these wild yeasts found on various fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and flowers. He then gave step-by-step instructions on how to make your own breads using this instead of prepackaged yeast. The breadmaking part is basic enough to help those not used to baking as well as those simply not used to working with higher hydration doughs or wild yeast cultures.

Most of the book was recipes for yeast breads and sweet buns that included tips on making that ferment (using raisins or figs or whatever) and things like how to modify the hydration levels as well as the recipe for that type of bread. Each recipe included a picture of the finished loaf. The author also included some recipes for sourdough breads. Overall, the author made naturally fermented bread making sound relatively easy and doable, and I will soon try making some bread using apples. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in trying this process.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook by Linda Ly

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The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook
by Linda Ly

ISBN-13: 978-1558329973
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Released: April 7th 2020

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Learn how to make the most of the edibles in your garden or the farmer's market bounty! The No Waste Vegetable Cookbook will help you cook your way through greens, beans, roots, and herbs with seasonal recipes that utilize every edible part of the plant. Author Linda Ly shares a wide variety of recipes and techniques from her popular CSA Cookbook, from creative pickling (think watermelon rind) to perfect pestos. Chapters and recipes include:

Tomatoes and Peppers: Spicy Minty Tomato Sauce Infused with Tomato Leaves, Spicy Fermented Summer Salsa, Ginger-Spiced Chicken Soup with Wilted Pepper Leaves, Blistered Padron Peppers and White Onions

Leafy Greens: Kale Stem Pesto Spring Bulgur Salad with Kale Buds, Stuffed Collard Greens, Potlikker Noodles with Collard Greens, Broccoli Green and Baked Falafel Wrap

Peas and Beans: Pea Shoot Salad with Radish and Carrot, Pan-Charred Beans with Bean Leaf Pesto, Yardlong Bean Curry with Wilted Spinach, Fava Leaf Salad with Citrus, Feta, and Walnuts, Charred Fava Pods with Parmesean

Bulbs and Stems: Fennel Front and Ginger Pesto, Kohlrabi Home Fries with Thyme Aioli, Leek Green, Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini, Scallion Soup, Green Onion Pancake with Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce

Roots and Tubers: Carrot Top Salsa, Beetza Beetza, Quick-Pickled Sweet 'n Spicy Radish Pods, Savory Sweet Potato Hummus, Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Syrup, Hasselback Potatoes, Vietnamese Carrot and Daikon Pickles

Melons and Gourds: Watermelon Rind Kimchi, Stir-Fried Watermelon Rind, Gingered Butternut Bisque, Four Ways to Toast Pumpkin Seeds, Sicilian Squash Shoot Soup, Drunken Pumpkin Chili, Pan-Fried Cucumber in Honey Sesame Sauce

Flowers and Herbs: Chive Blossom Vinegar, Nasturtium Pesto, Cilantro Pepita Pesto, Chimichurri, Marinated Feta with a Mess of Herbs, and "All In" Herb Dressing Whether you're excited to make the most of the farmer's market or use every bit of your garden's bounty, this is the book that keeps the food on your table and out of the trash can (or compost bin)!

My Review:
The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is a cookbook focused on using all parts of the vegetable in a recipe. The author described how you can use the leaves on many vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, etc. I already knew a lot of this, and that you don't necessarily have to peel vegetables. That part probably is best for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience in the kitchen and is unaware of just how much of the vegetable you can use. The author also included recipes that use these various vegetable greens, though I was surprised that some of these recipes were simply for leafy greens or used herbs. I was interested in the many different ways one can make pesto and a few of the other recipes. Overall, I recommend this book to beginners interested in learning more about this topic.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge

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The Artisan Kitchen
by James Strawbridge

ISBN-13: 978-1465499363
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: DK Publishing
Released: September 8th 2020

Source: review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Rediscover traditional culinary skills made accessible for the creative, contemporary cook. This cookbook is for people who like to escape to their kitchen and plan a new culinary project; who would be proud to feed their sourdough starter, culture their next batch of kefir, salt and hang their curing sausages; who are happy to leave their chutney to mature and their home-brewed wine to mellow; who are up for the challenge of building their own smoker and rigging up a turning spit to roast over an open fire.

The Artisan Kitchen is a compendium of culinary projects, each explored in three stages to spark your creativity: "The Science" explains the science and technical know-how; "The Practice" gets you started on an enticing recipe, with action shots of tricky techniques; and "The Possibilities" provides further recipe ideas plus the tools and inspiration to devise your own recipes.

My Review:
The Artisan Kitchen explained how to do various traditional cooking skills like fermenting, breadmaking, curing, and smoking. For each skill, there was a page explaining the science (chemical reactions and such), one or more recipes teaching how to do the skill along with expert tips, then two pages exploring possible variations on the ingredients. The skills taught were how to do or make: sour-fermented pickles, vinegar pickles, chutney, jams, jellies, and syrups, fruit curds, dehydrating, vinegar, fermented soft drinks, alcoholic cider, flavored spirits, yogurt, butter, cheese, sourdough, flat breads, confit, potting, dry curing, wet curing, sausages, cold smoking, hot smoking, campfire cooking, spit roasting, and wood-fired oven. The information was not difficult to understand, and there were many pictures that helped to show the process (though these weren't full step-by-step illustrations). Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning these skills.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars; Kurt Kohlstedt

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The 99% Invisible City
by Roman Mars;
Kurt Kohlstedt

ISBN-13: 9780358126607
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: October 6th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Have you ever wondered what those bright, squiggly graffiti marks on the sidewalk mean? Or stopped to consider why you don't see metal fire escapes on new buildings? Or pondered the story behind those dancing inflatable figures in car dealerships? 99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with intriguing tales of both designers and the people impacted by their designs.

Now, in The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to Hidden World of Everyday Design, host Roman Mars and coauthor Kurt Kohlstedt zoom in on the various elements that make our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. With deeply researched entries and beautiful line drawings throughout, The 99% Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.

My Review:
The 99% Invisible City explains how different design features in cities have come about and why they are that way. These are short entries, only two or three pages long per topic. Rather than looking at the best design, we're often told about a poor design that doesn't work. Or we're told how someone was inspired to create something and how it works. The book covered things like what various sidewalk markings mean, how to spot fake fa├žades and what they might cover up, how a city changes over time and how to spot marks of the past that have been left behind, how to create a memorable flag or warning symbol, how advertising can literally hide things, why manhole covers are round and have a design on the top, safety features that are built into signs and such, design considerations behind creating cycling lanes, the naming of streets, how revolving doors came about, how regulations have affected architecture over time, lots of things about skyscrapers, and more. There are some rough line drawings that show the object being discussed. Actual pictures would have been better, but you get an idea of what the thing being talked about look like. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting book.

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.