In the late 1990s, the French rediscovered pain, or so Éric Kayser claims in his bread-making bible, which boasts over 300 pages dedicated entirely to the craft’s methods, traditions and secrets. The result is a little intimidating to the amateur baker, who might not be so au fait with the ash, enzyme and gluten content of flour, or in-depth fermentation methods. However, if the specifics and science of bread-making appeals to you then this weighty tome will provide everything you need to turn out artisan-quality baguettes.
After an initial section of detailed instructions for traditional French loaves and baking methods, Kayser moves onto specialities, such as rosemary focaccia, bagels and gluten-free varieties. Then come the really exciting entries: brioche, croissants and Paris buns. He even has a recipe for cuttlefish ink bread. It’s seriously impressive, exquisitely put together and a great gift for a foodie with a soft spot for bread.
The Larousse Book of Bread: 80 Recipes to Make at Homeb by Éric Kayser. Published by Phaidon. List price is €29.95.
This book is available at the France Today bookstore
From France Today magazine