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cookbook review: The Artisan Bread Machine by Judith Fertig

Author: Judith Fertig
Publisher: Robert Rose
Soft Cover: 317 Pages
Photos: yes

Chapters/Sections:  Using Your Bread Machine, Classic White Breads, Whole-Grain Breads, Flavored Breads, Sweet Breads, Sourdough and Slow-Rise Breads, Flatbreads and Pizzas, Savory Rolls, Sweet Rolls, Festive Breads, Gluten-Free Breads, The Artisan Bread Machine Pantry, Bread Machine Ingredients A-Z, Resources

Unique or Cool Features: A fabulous section at the beginning of the book entitled Using Your Bread Machine.  This is a comprehensive section on how to use your bread machine, no matter the model.  Fertig includes hands-on tips and information on "how-to's" like timing, temperature, size, measuring, scalding, adding ingredients to your bread machine, kneading in, topping, forming, and filling.  You will also find info on letting the dough rise, baking, cooling, glazing or icing as well as what to do if you forgot to add something.  There are tips on storage of the bread and cleaning your machine.  Plus, there is a handy chart on which cycle to use when.  In the back of the book are two more helpful sections, one being the Bread Machine Ingredients, A to Z and the other being a Resources page in which you can find websites and phone numbers for some bread machine manufacturers so that you may be able to locate that long-lost instruction manual...or have questions about discontinued models.

(a few of the many) Recipes Destined for my Kitchen:  Bolillos, Chipotle, Cilantro, and Pepper Jack Bread, Bacon, Green Onion and Blue Cheese Bread, Cheddar Beer Bread, Cheddar and Green Olive Bread, Brewhouse Bread, Orange-Caramel Sticky Buns, Almond-Filled Bear Claws, Pan de los Muertos, Sweet Applesauce Bread, Ciabattini, Iced Almond and Cherry Babka

My Thoughts/Review: Once upon a time I had this crazy notion in my head that using a bread machine was cheating, somehow.  That all changed one day last autumn.  I've come to think of my old, trusty bread machine as an indispensable tool in my kitchen.  I enjoy the fact that I don't dirty bowls, utensils, or my counter excessively.  I'm not exclusive, I mean...sometimes I just need to get my hands into some dough and feel the love...or sometimes I give my KitchenAid a chance at the fun...but I do love my bread machine.  This is the perfect book for those who either already love their bread machine, those who want to fall in love with their bread machine all over again, or those who are interested in using one for the first time.  There are so many types of recipes.  From ones that can be baked right in the machine to doughs that you let the machine mix, knead and rise for you before you turn them out and shape or form them yourself.  Many recipes have ingredient amounts for different size loaves (depending on the capacity of your machine or the size of the loaf you want to make).  I will be keeping this book close at hand and making the most of it.  A++.

Recipes I have already tried: 
Pan de Mie (Pullman Loaf) 
...yay, I finally bought a lid for my pullman pan!
Bacon, Green Onion, and Blue Cheese Bread

about the author:  Food/lifestyle writer and cookbook author, Judith Fertig, spends a lot of her time these days working life in a tiara - as one of the BBQ Queens. With co-author Karen Adler, she has written eight barbecue books, including 300 Big & Bold BBQ & Grilling Recipes and 200 Fast & Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl. Fertig’s food and lifestyle writing has appeared in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Natural Awakenings, Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Country Living, Cooking Pleasures, Family Fun, Coastal Living, Southern Living, Family Fun, La Vie Claire, and Cooking Light. Judith's work has appeared internationally in Country Homes and Interiors (London), The New York Times, and The London Sunday Times.

Judith recently ended a six-year run as a columnist for the James Beard and Association of Food Journalists’ award-winning Kansas City Star newspaper. She has taught culinary classes throughout the country, does TV spots around North America, and her professional culinary training includes La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, the Cordon Bleu in London, and a Ph.B. (Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy) from the prestigious, if fictitious, Greasehouse University. Judith is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Slow Food, The Kansas City Barbeque Society, and IACP. She lives in Overland Park, KS

*I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.
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