Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year = New Cookbooks

 Most of you know of my great appreciation for a good cookbook.
I have a few too many, but I use most of them. At least that's what I tell myself while searching Pinterest for something to make. 
Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie is my latest acquisition.
I was looking forward to this one a lot, as bread made in advance tastes much better than just throwing a dough together.
In theory this should be a great book, filled with flavourful sourdoughs. It wasn't what I expected. In almost all the recipes you make the full dough, complete with salt and fat and refrigerate it overnight. Then in the morning, straight from the fridge you bake it. 
There are a few problems with this. 1: Adding the salt and fat right away, retards the yeast, giving it a slow start.
2: Baking bread straight from the cold fridge results in a low, dense loaf. Yeast thrives in a warm environment. 
I thought I should actually make one recipe according to the book before I discredited the whole thing. 
We chose the Peanut Butter Bread with Raspberry Swirl recipe. It's a bread with the Peanut Butter baked right into the dough. There was some debate in my mind if putting Peanut Butter straight into the dough was genius or just plain gross.
The girls and I made the bread, let it rise and then rolled it, and put it into the fridge.
The next morning I took it out, preheated the oven and baked it.
This is how it turned out. As you can see it's not well risen. And the bread was dense and chewy.

This bread wasn't great, barely even good. 
I give Make Ahead Bread **1/2 Stars. The recipes themselves are good, but the method is all wrong, 

 Have you gotten any new cookbooks for the New Year? 


  1. I borrowed The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book from the library, along with The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Celebrations. Both were worth borrowing, and the CCLBB is probably worth buying, though it's not in my budget right now.

  2. I haven't seen the Complete Canadian Living Baking Bible yet. Since you think it's that good I'll check it out sometime.
    I liked the Pioneer Woman's last cookbook although I've tried a few of her recipes off of Pinterest and they were nothing special. Her scalloped potato recipe is amazing though.

  3. I'm going to borrow the Artisan Bread in 5 min/day from the library here. I make the pizza dough already and it's always good.

    1. They have a new version of it too. I think it's pretty close to the same though.

  4. Hi Nicole,

    Nice to hear from you at my blog.

    Gosh about this book... Good that I know that it is like what you said and I won't buy this book.



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