Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook

BreadMachine The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook – A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread – From Every Kind of Machine
Written by Beth Hensperger
Published at Harvard Common Press

About the book

The greatest invention since sliced bread may well be the machine that makes the loaves everyone dreams of slicing into—right in home kitchens at the touch of a button. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook finally bridges the gap between great taste and convenience, with over 300 glorious recipes for bread machines. The automatic bread machine makes it possible to enjoy fresh and signature loaves of bread without the time and expense usually involved in bread baking or purchased artisanal breads. Today’s bread machines are versatile, affordable, safe, and efficient, turning out perfect loaves time after time. Try Croissants or Banana Bread for breakfast, lunchtime sandwiches on Honey Whole Wheat Bread or Tomato Bread, a loaf of Garlic Focaccia or a Sage and Onion Bread-stuffed roast for dinner, or even Candied Chestnut Panettone and Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls for the holidays. Classic white loaves, hearty whole-wheat breads, sweet breads, swirled breads, pizza doughs, quick breads, even jams are easy to make right in the bread machine. Renowned bread baking expert Beth Hensperger’s best bread recipes yield great results—just add the ingredients, and let the machine knead, rise, and bake loaf after loaf of fragrant, delicious fresh bread.

Who is Beth Hensperger?

Beth Hensperger’s career as a prolific food writer and educator began when she was chosen as the guest cooking instructor for the March 1985 issue of Bon Appétit. She has gone on to author more than twenty cookbooks, including the best-selling “Not Your Mother’s®” series. She is also the author of The Bread Bible, winner of a James Beard Book Award, and has been nominated twice for an IACP Cookbook Award.

Hensperger writes a food column, “Baking with the Seasons,” for the San Jose Mercury News (which was nominated for a James Beard Award in newspaper journalism). She is a contributor to dozens of national and online cooking and lifestyle magazines, such as Food and Wine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Prevention, Veggie Life, Working Woman, Family Circle, and, as well as being a sought-after radio interviewee speaking on cooking, baking, and entertaining.

An East Coast transplant who now considers herself a true Californian, Hensperger lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Our Thoughts

Last fall the bread machine we had for the past 13 years died on us unexpectedly.  We were fortunate to find a very good sale and purchase a nicer one not too long after that.  But I was disappointed with the recipe booklet (or should I say flyer?) that came with our machine.   We now own a Black & Decker Bread Maker Model B6000C which can also could give me a bread up to 3 lbs!  

Like I mentioned I was disappointed with the recipes included with the machine.   So when I saw the book The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook I thought it would be a great addition to our cookbooks bookshelf that is in our kitchen.   I wasn’t disappointed.   With more than 600 pages of recipes and tips about bread making it is an excellent resource to have. 

After a chapter on orientation on getting to know your bread machine and learning about making bread, the author immediately jump into the different kind of breads you can make.  Here’s an idea of the table of contents.

  • Daily Breads:  white breads and egg breads
  • Earth’s Bounty: whole wheat, whole-grain, and specialty flour breads with a section on gluten-free breads
  • Traditional Loaves: country breads and sourdough breads
  • All Kind of Flavors: breads made with the produce of the garden, orchard, and creamery
  • Circle, Squares, and Crescents: pizzas and other flatbreads
  • Sweet Loaves:  chocolate, fruit, and other sweet breads
  • Express Lane Bread: no-yeast quick breads
  • Jams, Preserves, and Chutneys in Your Bread Machine.
  • Appendixes: crumbs, croutons, crostini, toasted appetizers, spreads, butters, cheeses and vegetables.

As you can see there is something for everyone in this cookbook.   We like bread – especially fresh and hot – and we know that this cookbook will be very useful.   I was checking the recipes and was pleasantly surprised to find recipes based on different kind of flour.   Just when I was thinking of parting with my WonderMill because I couldn’t see how I could use it more regularly, I get a cookbook containing recipes with flour I can make with it!  Perfect.  So sorry flocks but I will keep the WonderMill for a bit longer.

The recipe we picked for reviewing this cookbook is the Banana Bread found in the Express Lane Bread section of the book.  I was curious about this recipe because it required some sour cream… which we never used before to make banana bread in our bread machine.  Actually, I most specify that my son Alexandre, age 11, decided to make the bread on a Tuesday morning and it was ready to eat when snack time arrived.IMG_5586

Ingredients for 1 1/2 or 2 pounds loaf machines

1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/4 cup of sour cream (any type)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup of light brown sugar
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (which we didn’t have)

Combine the sour cream and the bananas in a small bowl and mash together with a fork.  The mixture can be used immediately or placed in the refrigerator overnight.

Place the banana mixture and the rest of the ingredients in the bread pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set the crust to dark, if your machine offers crust control for this setting, and program for the Quick Bread/Cake cycle; press start.  The batter will be thick and smooth.  When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, check the bread for doneness.  The bread is done when it shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan, the sides are dark brown, and the topis firm to a gentle pressure when touched with your finger.   A toothpick or metal skewer will come out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.

When the bread is done, immediately remove the pan from the machine.  Let the bread stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out, right side up, to cool completely on a rack.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator (or you could have a snack immediately too!).

The bread was delicious though we were a bit disappointed that it didn’t rise as much.   But seeing that my machine can cook bread of 3 lbs, I think it was pretty good considering.  The bread was ready by the time snack time arrive at 10am.    It was moist and delicious.   A dab of butter on our piece of banana slice and we could attack the second half of the morning with school work.

If you have a bread machine and you are tired of always making the same recipes, I would strongly suggest you check out the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.  You will get over 300 new recipes to try out with your bread machine.  

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook is available at your favorite bookstore, even and  It is also available on the Kindle.



Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the review. I just bought the same machine to replace an old Oster that died and the recipe booklet only gives you recipes for 2 and 3 lb loaves! My old Oster recipe book gives me options for 1.5 lb loaves which I sometimes prefer so I just ordered it from Chapters to give me more options.