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No Need to Knead – Handmade artisan breads in 90 minutes

If you love cooking you will likely have wanted to try baking your own bread but it’s equally possible that you lost your nerve and didn’t bother. It’s baking and that is culinary alchemy; and then you add yeast into the equation and, well, how does that work?

cookbook review No Need to Knead I have never had any success with a bread-making machine. One isn’t in contact with the ingredients and I think that’s what’s important. The pleasure is feeling the dough come to life and having that comforting aroma of bread fresh from the oven filling the kitchen (I think estate agents have a spray for that!) Somehow a box with a buzzer never gives the same result and there is always that unsightly hole in the middle of the loaf.

No Need to Knead – Handmade artisan breads in 90 minutes suggests breads that are simple to make even during the week when you would normally reach for Mothers Pride (can you still get that?) Remember that 90 minutes doesn’t represent an hour and a half of work, it’s just the time it takes from flour in the bowl to bread on the table.

Pizza has been demoted over time to a cheap and nasty, and often bizarre, cooked open sandwich. In reality it’s not that cheap from the take-away, though still often nasty. Pizza base is simple to make at home and is bound to be more economic than the one arriving on the back of a moped. You will have your own bespoke toppings and can divide your pie to allow the kids to make their own sections, or why not encourage the children to make the bread from scratch and make small pizzas.

The author, Suzanne Dunaway, has included some delightful recipes using left-over bread and I am rather taken with her Bread and Cheese Soufflé. It’s another one of those dishes for feeding a crowd without breaking the bank. This would be a delightful summer lunch with just a green salad or with some roasted vegetables as a more substantial dinner.

My pick of the recipes is Fougasse de Collioure. This bread looks special and just the kind of loaf one would seek in a smart artisanal bakery, a delicious bread with that traditional shape that one finds in southern France. The crust is rich and glossy and the sprinkle of large-grain sea salt adds so much to the flavour. This is the bread to take on a picnic as it won’t readily dry out.

This book will be enjoyed by a novice baker who will gain confidence making these recipes, but it will be just as appreciated by the experienced cook who will find a battery of classic and contemporary breads to tempt family and friends.

No Need to Knead – Handmade artisan breads in 90 minutes
Author: Suzanne Dunaway
Published by: Grub Street
Price: £18.99
ISBN 978-1-908117-21-2

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