We’re not just crafty here at Craft Critique… most of us have lots of other hobbies, and we’re betting you do too. Chronicle Books may be best known in our circle as crafty book publishers, but they put out cookbooks as well. Check out Michael Dolan’s review of Fast Breads by Elinor Klivans.
Reported by Michael Dolan
As a regular home cook and baker, I read a lot of cookbooks. I read them as others read romance novels, just paging through the book, as though there were a narrative to follow. This review is of a book that I really enjoyed reading through, several times! Fast Breads: 50 Recipes For Easy, Delicious Bread is a 144 page paperback written by Elinor Klivans. Great photos, (although not enough, and mainly artistic instead of instructional), by Susie Cushner. I’ve endeavored to make several recipes from this book, and the results are somewhat mixed, but were still enjoyable to make.
|The prep was much easier than I assumed it would be. The mise en place, (a French term used in cooking that means “getting your stuff together”), took less than five minutes.|
|Have a silicone or rubber spatula at the ready!|
While baking, the aroma of the bread brought an unexpected pedestrian to the kitchen;
the dog apparently has a little Irish in her as well!
|It’s not a football 😉|
|Lovely, browned bottom|
The only issue I have at this point with the recipe, was the description; this is a dark bread?! Not so much, in my opinion.
|I tried to be as precise as I could
The precision paid off well, as each tiny roll was the same size,
and they looked “cute” together in the prepared pan.
- Cut the paper to size, taking the height of the sides into account, and cut a perfect square.
- Make a diagonal slit in the paper, equal to the length of the side, on each corner.
- Then press the paper into the pan, allowing the slit corners to cross over onto one another.
I am a Thanksgiving fanatic. I adore the American holiday, and I plan all year long for it. When looking at the recipes for rolls, I couldn’t help but think of that time of year. I need a recipe that is light in flavor, texture, and effort. If it competes for flavor, (or for my time), it’s a non-starter. Had I found what I was looking for in the Sunday Lunch Dinner roll?
My faith in the author paid off, because it came together in a lovely, soft dough. Although it was not easy to shape smoothly; I actually used a scoop to portion the balls of dough.