By Daniel Leader with Lauren Chattman, The Tauton Press, $22.00, 160 pages
The title of Daniel Leader’s book with Lauren Chattman, Simply Great Breads: Sweet and Savory Yeasted Treats from America’s Premier Artisan Baker, is a bit misleading. It is true that this book contains only recipes for great bread. Furthermore, for fairly sophisticated bakers, these recipes may appear simple. However, for those with less culinary expertise, Leader’s recipes will appear a bit daunting, with their measurements to the one-hundredth of an ounce and discussions about issues such as pre-ferment.
That said, this slim volume by the award-winning author of Bread Alone and Local Breads is packed with photographs and mouth-watering bread recipes from around the world. Leader’s sweet and savory treats include cinnamon-cardamom brioche muffins, bialys, Navajo fry bread, whole wheat challah with apricots, grape schiacciata, jelly-filled Berliners and chocolate babka. Leader also provides an introductory chapter filled with general information about making these wonderful artisanal delights.
Simply Great Breads will prove a delightful find for the gourmet interested in making his or her own bread, while those less confident of their abilities in the kitchen will hope to rise to the occasion by following Leader’s careful instruction to receive such delicious rewards.
Reviewed by Annie Peters