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That sweet, beautifully full aroma that permeates your sense of smell, tantalizes your palate and piques your interest is the scent of homemade bread baking in your oven. How did it get there? Is it a dream? It may be now, but it doesn’t have to be. Making bread is simple with quality ingredients, fine baking tools and help from your friends at Breadtopia.

We suggest if you’re new to the rewarding world of bread making that you consider utilizing the no knead method, which involves virtually no “hard labor,” yet yields superior results. After you get started, you may want to expand your repertoire by creating a traditional European style whole grain sourdough or other more challenging breads.

We offer recipes, baking classes on video, premium ingredients and much more for those wishing to create bread that a connoisseur of fine baking would find superior in every way.

Video instruction is one of the most useful teaching tools we can offer. To get instant notification of our newest video, please take a moment to fill out our short “Video Notification” form located near the top left column of this page. The videos are free, the benefits are great.

Here at Breadtopia, you will find everything that you require to ensure successful bread baking and more. Our site is designed to make bread baking easy, fun and healthful.

Baking perfect bread has never been easier.

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Making Bread Together, by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

 

Making Bread TogetherThis bread baking cook book should be in every home where there are children. It’s designed for adults and children to bake together, or for older children to bake with little assistance from adults. Emmanuel Hadjiandreou invites kids into the kitchen so they, too, can discover the joy of baking at an early age.

He answers key questions such as ‘what is flour?’ and ‘how is it milled?’ and offers projects throughout the book such as growing your own wheat, caring for your sourdough starter like a pet, and experimenting with fermentation using a bottle and balloon. In this way Hadjiandreou brings to life the key scientific principles (and magic) of turning flour, yeast, and water into something edible and delicious.

He relates so well to the young baker, having a young son of his own, and provides explanations that are complete yet respectful of a child’s intelligence. The writing is superb, and the photographs are stunning. As in Hadjiandreou’s book “How to Make Bread”, they were taken by acclaimed photographer Steve Painter. They show children doing the measuring, mixing, and shaping, empowering even the youngest child to become part of the age-old tradition of baking. After looking through this book, my three-year-old grandson rushed to the kitchen eager to make nearly every single recipe!

The recipes are many and varied, from savory, hearty breads and pizza, to sweet muffins and gingerbread cookies. Nutritious, delicious, and fun to bake together! There’s surely something in this book for even the pickiest of eaters.

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Thanks to our friend, Pam, for introducing us to this traditional Italian Holiday bread. We love it!

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We were going to bake it together, but because of a snow storm, we had to remain in our separate kitchens, while consulting over the phone.

Here is the recipe we used. We liked the overnight starting, since the result is rumored to stay fresh longer. —

Overnight Starter (Biga) Ingredients
3/4 cup (3 1/8 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/16 teaspoon SAF instant yeast (just a pinch)
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) water

Dough Ingredients
all of the biga (above)
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
1 ⅛ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
1/3 cup (2 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (3 ounces) golden raisins
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) slivered dried apricots
1/2 cup (2 ounces) dried cranberries or flavored fruit bits
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) candied orange peel OR dried pineapple, chopped
2 tablespoons orange or lemon zest

1. The Biga: Combine the biga ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).

2. Dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and mix and knead them together—by hand, mixer or bread machine—until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk). Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or other straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. [We used a panettone paper "pan."] Lightly cover the pan and let the dough rise till it’s just crested over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

[After rising, before baking, we brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled sliced almonds on top.]

Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly. [The interior temperature should be between 180° and 185° F.] Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely.

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[Recipe adapted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Dec. 1991 issue.]

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Picking up a new book that’s captured your imagination and attention is like opening a present. The way it smells, the way it feels to hold in your hand, to turn the pages, to take in the information and expand your knowledge in some way is exciting. And excited is how we feel about the release of two fantastic books by two of the leading bread bakers out there: Tartine No. 3 by Chad Robertson; and From the Wood-Fired Oven by Richard Miscovich.

Scheduled for a November 2013 release is Chad Robertson’s Tartine No. 3. This third book from the renowned Robertson of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco is a timely exploration of whole grain, heritage grain baking during a time when so many people suffer from gluten intolerance. In fact, Robertson’s wife Elisabeth Prueitt, pastry chef and co-owner of Tartine Bakery, suffers from gluten intolerance and served as Robertson’s guinea pig as he experimented and developed the more than 85 recipes included, depicted by over 100 beautiful photos. The recipes themselves are whole, heritage grain versions of Tartine favorites. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in whole grains, ancient/heirloom grains, healthy baking, and gluten intolerance.


Released in September 2013, From the Wood-Fired Oven is a beautiful and fascinating book that details the ins-and-outs of creating a wood-fired oven, as well as baking and cooking with a wood-fired oven in a way that is easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Richard Miscovich is a leading baker and instructor who has spent many years honing his expertise of wood-fired ovens and techniques, and in this book he shares his knowledge with both amateur bakers and professionals, alike. Miscovich challenges the notion that wood-fired ovens are only for baking bread and pizza, and he’s organized the recipes in his book by the heat required to mirror the dissipating heat of the wood-fired oven as it cools. And for those who don’t own a wood-fired oven, the recipes included in this book can also be made in the home oven. From sourdough breads to roasted vegetables, scones, and rendering fats, this book has something for everyone.

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