The River Cottage Bread Handbook

The River Cottage Bread Handbook

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Daniel Stevens, Introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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  • Publisher: TEN SPEED PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 223 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 200mm x 28mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 15 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Berkeley CA
  • ISBN 10: 158008186X
  • ISBN 13: 9781580081863
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 3,135

Product description

The River Cottage farm, established by British food personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to promote high-quality, local, and sustainable food, has inspired a television series, restaurants and classes, and a hit series of books. In this new addition to the award-winning collection, River Cottage baking instructor Daniel Stevens shares his irrepressible enthusiasm and knowledge to help you bake better bread. From familiar classics such as ciabatta and pizza dough, to new challenges like potato bread, rye loaves, tortillas, naan, croissants, doughnuts, and bagels, each easy-to-follow recipe is accompanied by full-color, step-by-step photos. There's even an in-depth chapter on building your own backyard wood-fired oven.

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Author information

As well as baking fresh bread every day in the River Cottage headquarter kitchens, DANIEL STEVENS leads the ever-popular Build and Bake courses, which equip students with the skills to build their own outdoor wood-fired oven. Daniel has been cooking and baking in professional kitchens for several years, both in Hertfordshire, where he grew up, and more recently in Dorset, where he now lives. He has been part of the River Cottage headquarters kitchen team since 2006. HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL is a renowned British broadcaster, writer, farmer, educator, and campaigner for real food. The author of seven books, including the James Beard Award-winning "River Cottage Meat Book," Hugh lives with his family on the River Cottage farm.

Customer reviews

By Rebecca Rawson 31 Aug 2012 5

Great Book.

By Anthea Pedley 22 May 2012 5

I've attempted to make bread before but never really been able to get it right (premix, bread makers, from scratch I'd tried it all).


I got this book hoping it might shine some light on whatever it might be that I was doing wrong, the verdict? This book is amazing. It goes through with great detail about how it works, what each ingredient does, and how it all works together to make the end product.


If you're a rookie bread maker wanting a step by step guide that will teach you the basics properly and then graduates into almost all types of bread then you want this.


The book may need some conversions for the temperature if you work in celcius, but I had no problems with any other mesurements (as per the other review).

By fleur reynolds 18 Aug 2010 5

This is the US version so the measurements are in cups and temperature in Fahrenheit so i would not buy this book if you work with kilos and celsius instead buy the UK version.

Review quote

"For a touch of the homemade every day, try the River Cottage handbooks." --Everyday Food, Favorite New Cookbooks, December 2010 "Stevens's accessible take on the subject is sure to inspire confidence, an appreciation for the craft, and a willingness to experiment." --Publishers Weekly STARRED review, 8/23/10 "A remarkably compact, glove box-friendly guidebook to baking. . . . A bread survival book. . . ."The River Cottage Bread Handbook" is a refreshing change from so many American cookbooks that magically transform copious recipes into 12 easy steps and still promise fail-proof recipes." --LA Weekly, 8/11/10 "Be prepared to make space on your cookbook shelf for these practical, passionate guides. . . . Stevens lays down a bread-making foundation with an in-depth introduction (and full-color step-by-step photos), then proceeds to help readers perfect their skills in his witty, conversational style." --Oregonian, 8/3/10 "These compact yet comprehensive hardcover volumes, part of a series written by experts in the River Cottage fold, inspire and instruct with their English charm, deploying a chatty hand-holding that nudges you through the process. The head River Cottage baker, Daniel Stevens, who put together THE RIVER COTTAGE BREAD HANDBOOK spends over 40 pages on mastering the basic loaf. His kneading explanation was so clear I didn't need to constantly refer to the photos; and it taught me some new tricks. . . .This wide-ranging book inspires exploration, and not just because I'll soon be able to slather my warm Scottish oatcakes, roti and even bagels with my own jam, thanks to THE RIVER COTTAGE PRESERVES HANDBOOK. Here Pam Corbin, who runs the Preserving Days at River Cottage, explains the fundamentals of jam, jelly, chutney, cordials, pickles, sauces and more in a demystifying manner. . . . Recipes for hearty ale chutney, spring rhubarb relish and Hugh's prizewinning raspberry fridge jam are within delicious reach." --N

Table of contents

Contents   Introduction  6 Why Bake Bread?  8 Getting Started 14 Bread Making Step-by-Step  34 The Basic Bread Recipe  72 Beyond the Basic Loaf  84 Bread Made with Wild Yeast  108 Bread Made without Yeast  126 Buns, Biscuits & Batter Breads  138 Using Leftover Bread  174 Building a Clay Oven  192 Useful Things  210 Notes to the U.S. Edition  214 Acknowledgments  216 Index  219