Simply Great Breads

Simply Great Breads

SKU# 071313

Sweet and savory yeasted treats from America's premier artisan baker

Dan Leader

Lauren Chattman


List Price $22.00 Today's Price $16.50
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Other Formats
  • Product # 071313
  • Type Hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1-60085-297-8
  • Published Date 2011
  • Dimensions 7 x 8
  • Pages 144
  • Photos 39

“The recipes and the photos are just gorgeous. This is one of the prettiest bread baking books I've ever seen. The recipes are drool worthy and inspiring.”

If bread is the staff of life, then this book by renowned artisanal baker Daniel Leader is every home baker’s must-have cookbook. Featuring an amazing array of incredible delicacies made with yeast, it’s the perfect combination of easy and sophisticated recipes, with the keys to unlocking basics of working with yeasted doughs. Who can resist a collection of 50 mouthwatering treats, essential recipes for everyone who loves bread? The menu includes must-bake breakfast classics like crumpets and English muffins, and the three irresistible Bs: bagels, brioche, and bialys … timeless favorites such as Parker House rolls, ciabatta, and challah … plus waffles, cider doughnuts, beignets, babka, and monkey bread. Bakers of all skill levels will learn tips and trade secrets from Leader, who has shared his vast knowledge with people around the world.

"This book is a treasure for all of us who love good bread. Whether you’re a serious bread baker or someone who’s always wanted to make bread at home but might have been too timid, you’ll find recipes to teach and inspire, to make often, and to share with family and friends."
-- Dorie Greenspan, author, Around My French Table

"Dan Leader has pulled off the nearly impossible trick of creating uncompromising but easy-to-prepare artisan breads. His common-sense approach to these uncommonly good treats will have even the most jaded baker sprinting back to the kitchen with renewed enthusiasm and inspiration."
-- William Alexander, author, 52 Loaves


Preview a sample of this book below

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Classic Breakfast Breads
• Luxury English Muffins
• Crumpets
• Brioche Muffins
• Fig Brioche Muffins
• Chestnut Brioche Muffins
• Cinnamon-Cardamom Brioche Muffins
• Quick Chestnut Cinnamon Sugar Spirals
• Boiceville Bialys
• Authentic Bagels

Chapter 2: An Ideal Bread Basket
• Lightly Shaped Parker House Rolls
• Angel Biscuits
• Ham and Cheese-Filled Crescent Rolls
• Ciabatta Rolls
• Ciabatta with Bran
• Seven-Seed Ciabatta Rolls
• Grilled Savory or Sweet Ciabatta
• Crisp Bread Sticks
• Extra-Crisp Bread Sticks
• Navajo Fry Bread
• Chili-Dusted Navajo Fry Bread
• Whole Wheat Challah with Apricots
• Whole Wheat Challah with Olives

Chapter 3: Flavor-Packed Flatbreads
• Pizza Dough for Grilling
• Pizza Dough with Honey and Wine
• Grape Schiaciata
• Rosemary-Walnut Schiaciata
• Cherry Tomato-Anise Schiaciata
• Savory Yeasted Tart with Onion Confit and Olives
Mana’eesh with Baked Eggs

Chapter 4: Quick Yeasted Treats
• Yeasted Pancakes
• Yeast-Raised Waffles 
• Whole Wheat and Flax Seed Yeasted Waffles
• Jelly-Filled Berliners 
• Cider Doughnuts 
• Glazed Cider Doughnuts 
• Banana Doughnuts with Maple-Walnut Glaze
• Stone Fruit Beignets 
• Fontina Bombolini
• Yeasted Coffee Cake with Simple Almond Topping
• Yeasted Coffee Cake with Fancy Pecan Topping 
• Chocolate Babka
• Caramel Monkey Bread 
• Garlic and Scallion Monkey Bread 

Equivalency Charts
Glossary of Baking Terms


During my career as a professional baker and cookbook author, I’ve traveled the world in search of techniques and recipes for delicious handcrafted breads. Like other artisan bakers of my generation, I fell in love, years ago, with sourdough loaves built in two or more stages and raised with natural starters instead of commercial yeast. I’ve adapted recipes for French levain baguettes, German sourdough ryes,and sunny yellow Italian semolina sourdough rounds so that I could make them at my bakery in the Catskills. I’ve written extensively about sourdough techniques and European sourdough traditions in my books, Bread Alone and Local Breads.

When I first decided to open a European-style bakery in upstate New York, there wasn’t a book written in English on what I needed to know in order to make my first loaf. So I traveled to Paris and apprenticed myself to a French baker. But I wasn’t alone for long in baking and writing about this type of bread. Since Bread Alone was published in 1993, dozens of knowledgeable books on artisan bread have been published. Now passionate home bakers eager to learn about and commit themselves to baking sourdough and other kinds of long-fermenting breads can go to the library or and easily find a recipe for a Poilâne-style miche or a German graubrot. It is an embarrassment of riches and a wonderful validation of my belief in the importance of preserving and promoting old bread ways.

A lot of ink has been spilled on the subject of bread because there is so much fascinating history, culture, science, and technique informing our craft. These days, it is not a lack of information that prevents home bakers from trying their hand at making bread in the traditional ways. It is often simply a question of finding the time. Although there is nothing particularly difficult about cultivating natural yeast and using it to raise bread, it can’t be done on the spur of the moment. Indeed, as I am reminded every time I visit my bakery, Bread Alone®, in the middle of the night to check on my starters, artisan bread crafting with sourdough and other long-fermenting starters is a lifestyle choice! To bake a loaf of sourdough bread, you first have to cultivate a wild yeast starter, which can take a week or longer. You have to feed and care for your starter on schedule and bake with it regularly to maintain its rising powers. Making sourdough bread is generally not a onetime thing. Starter maintenance and bread baking get added to the daily or weekly routine of kitchen tasks and household chores: a joy for some, but too burdensome for others to attempt.

Although I have an abiding love of well-crafted sourdough breads, I have always been curious about and open to enjoying yeasted breads and pastries that are decidedly simpler to make. In my previous books, I was careful to include some recipes employing commercial yeast, for beginners and others not ready to go full-out artisan. I am perfectly comfortable with and very proud of these recipes, for pain ordinaire, Bavarian pretzels, pizza alla Romana, and a few others. After all, these are traditional European-style breads with just as much history and integrity as the world-famous pain Poilâne.

Many of my readers have baked their way through the recipes made with commercial yeast and then hit a wall. I’ve received countless letters and e-mails from these bakers, asking, “Is this as far as I can go without venturing into sourdough territory?”

“Hardly!” I want to reply. I have a large reservoir of absolutely delicious recipes, both classic and unusual, using commercial yeast and mostly mixed in one step. For a long time now, I have wanted to share some of them with readers who have enjoyed the simpler recipes in my previous books and are hungry for more. This new collection, including a chocolate babka my grandmother would be proud of, a beautiful Alsatian onion and olive tart, and the tallest English muffins you’ve ever seen, is for all of you.


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Great addition to our bread guide library Review by Allan

We own several great books on artisan breads and my first response to this gift was uncertainty about whether we need another. The answer is yes. The variety of recipes and the the author's comments add inspiring new directions for bread baking.

(Posted on 6/5/12)

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