Image source:Cookistry
Today's Kitchen Tales session is a mixture of book review and recipe sharing. Book review because it pertains to the kitchen, more specifically the art of making bread. As for the recipe, since we are talking about bread, I thought I'd share with you one of the bread recipes that I got to try from today's book: Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie*.

Although making bread is not something I consider to be particularly hard to do, I must admit it can be challenging if the recipe you are following is not very precise. Here you are, picking up a bread cookbook and getting all excited about all the beautiful pictures and the idea of making them all come to life. Brioche! Baguette! English muffin! Gosh, so much deliciousness and you, my dear, are promised to make them on your own like the big girl (or boy) that you are. And when you finally get to try not one but five or six recipes, and find out that none of them come out right, you either start thinking that it is either you - you who knows nothing about the art of baking bread, or maybe, just maybe, it is after all, the fault of the author of the book which has not proved to be very helpful. Trust me, I've been there and done that. I have learned to stir away from bread cookbooks since that time when I got burned reading Making Fresh Bread by the Love Food trademark company including recipes by Linda Doeser. Let me say this: it was one of my many regrets as far as purchasing a cookbook goes. I have since put aside the book, and relied on recipes found here and there online, or even experimenting on my own in the kitchen.

So why did I change my mind and decided to try a new bread book? Well I wanted to believe that not all bread books are useless. This is why I requested the reading of Make Ahead Bread. If at first I was skeptical, I must say the book doesn't lie. And the title is very appropriate: each recipe featured inside requires at least one day of preparation. So if you don't mind waiting, then this book might be just for you! The recipes are nicely layered down for you, with instructions on how to optimize each recipe. The author clearly states that what works for one might work differently for another. The results are guaranteed even if the breads don't come out as pretty as hers. The photography is simple, flirting with the rustic, and very appealing.

Because seeing is believing, and tasting is even better, I decided to try out one of the recipes. I settled on the Sunflower Seed Loaves recipe, with the exception that I did not have the appropriate small loaf pans. I split the dough in half and baked in a 9x8" pan. The bread was devoured within the next day.

excerpted from Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie

Overall, Make Ahead Bread delivers on its promises. It is not a book for the impatient or for those who want their bread as-we-speak-now. However, there is a lot to be learned from these pages that I believe it will be a good fit for any bread enthusiasts, regardless of your baking skill level. As Donna Currie puts it "each loaf will be unique", and she is right. Be prepared to be induced into this art of bread-making through concise pages of necessary tools and ingredients and tips and tricks to get you from a zero to your own bread hero. 

Have you had a bad experience with cookbooks? Do you have a favorite bread book?
*DISCLAIMER All opinions generated in this review are purely my own. No compensation was received for this review.


  1. The bread you baked looks perfect! At first I thought 'this can't have been homemade'... I wanted to feature recipes on my blog at some point but I'm quite lazy when it comes to cooking. Haven't touched a cookbook in years!

  2. Well, thank you Anouk! I was a bit worried when making it, but it turned out tasty! As for featuring recipes on your blog, you could try at first with maybe a monthly cooking feature? And if later on you see you have more time on your hands for it, you can turn it into a more regular feature on your blog! :D

  3. You have inspired me to make some bread! Yes! I will do it. And I will let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.

    Jas Poole Blog // photography & lifestyle

  4. Thanks for the suggestion but even once a month is too much of an effort these days :( I am busy with work all day long and on weekends I either travel or love to be lazy at home... Nevertheless, I envy you and all those who share their yummy creations on their sites and I'm always looking forward to posts like these! xo

  5. I understand :) Well at least you get to travel often, which is something i would love to do! :D

  6. I'm glad to have inspired you, Jas! Also, happy to see you back in the online scene! Good luck with the baking, and keep me updated!


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