I’m often drawn to specific cookbooks for their particular aesthetic and/or design. Whether it’s the stunning photography, the design of the interior or just the way the author creates his recipes in a unique individual way, cookbooks nowadays are more than just a collection of recipes. This collection of cookbooks typifies exactly what I love in contemporary cookbooks from the gorgeous aesthetic of Sweet Paul in his book Eat & Make to the luscious photos in The Flavour Principle to the infographic style of Michael Ruhlman’s Egg.
Stick around to the end of this post as well for a chance to win a copy of Josey Baker Bread, a beautiful cookbook from an individual who’s enthusiasm for baking bread shines through and is positively infectious.[This giveawy is closed and over!]
A few months ago there was an explosion of articles about the “ridiculous” $4 toast that was being sold here in San Francisco. People wrote about how elitist is was, and how it was the perfect example of the absurdity of living in San Francisco. Completely blown out of proportion, the man behind the toast is none other than the down-to-earth Josey Baker. His book Josey Baker Bread is probably the antithesis of elitism, full of down-to-earth personality and easy step-by-step recipe with specific details about what sort of equipment is needed for baking the beautiful bread that he sells. For anyone who has been intimidated by making bread or want try their hand at baking artisan bread, this book makes it all seem doable. From the photos of what the bread looks like when it’s underbaked, overbaked and baked just right, to the casual writing that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with a pal, this cookbook is geared toward the beginner bread baker though more experience bread bakers would also get some pretty nifty tips, technique pointers and excellent recipes.
I’ve always had a bit of a crush on the Sweet Paul magazine every since a friend of mine showed it to me. The simple but elegant recipes! The easy but impressive crafts! And those drop dead gorgeous photos! It’s the sort of magazine that makes everyone’s life a just a little more fun when you read it. Paul Lowe, the man behind the darling site Sweet Paul and his new book Eat & Make is exactly what you imagine it to be, with easy recipes that actually sound great (Finnish rye bread; breakfast pizza with pancetta, eggs & potatoes; roasted plum bellinis). His kitchen crafts actually look pretty doable (and I say that as someone who is NOT a crafty person) and not in the least bit ridiculous (you know what I’m talking about, oh unattainably difficult to make Pinterest craft boards). Though I’m probably more likely to get in the kitchen and make his orange and hazelnut cake than his no-sew apron made from a kitchen towel (though the no-sew part is pretty appealing).
You know you’re in for fun when you see a colorful book cover with a giant neon pink circle in the middle and the title Meringue Girls knocked out in graphic white type. I’ve never really given meringues serious thought in terms of their versatility as a confection. But Meringue Girls (Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman) made me rethink that with basic tips on how to make meringue, ideas on various flavors and some awesome recipes that use meringue like summery eton mess, pretzel and chocolate marshmallow meringue tart and lemon meringue cake. With their enthusiasm and spunky attitude (yeah, I just used the word spunky), this is the fun and festive sort of book that will have you whipping up a sweet and sticky storm in your kitchen.
Taking the single subject cookbook a step further, Michael Ruhlman’s Egg is an example of how one ingredient can be explored in numerous ways. From basic information about the sort of egg you are buying and what all those various labels mean, to how to cook the egg by itself, to the multitude of recipe that need the egg as an integral part (quiche, eggnog, mayonnaise) this cookbook covers all the basics and more so. Don’t be mistaken that this cookbook is all about the basics though. With recipes for egg ravioli with chevre, brown butter and thyme, poached duck egg on duck confit hash and a spectacular looking lemon cream cake filled with jam and frozen berry pieces, Egg is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about one of the most versatile and powerful common ingredients in the kitchen.
When I’m in the kitchen, I’m always trying to figure out a way to punch up the flavor of dishes so when The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol came out I was excited to see what it was all about. Organized about eleven distinctive tastes like bitter, tart, umami, the book has over thirty menus with various recipes that match each other flavor. With a wide range of approachable contemporary recipes like fennel and turnip soup, mushroom ragu with polenta, lamb from Puglia as well as suggestions about wine pairings, this cookbook is the sort of sophisticated resource for creating memorable meals inspired by global cuisine and the spices from all over the world. With notes interspersed about herbs, spices as well as tips on cooking techniques, The Flavour Principle is a bound to be one of those go-to cookbooks in my library for inspiration and recipes.
Chronicle Books has generously offered to give away a copy of Josey Baker Bread to one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite loaf of bread is. Are you a white sandwich bread sort of person or do you crave crusty baguette? For me it’s my local bakery Tartine’s Sesame Loaf, crusty and flavorful. But now that I have Josey Baker Bread I might have to start making my own artisan bread more often now.[This giveaway is closed and over! Thanks for entering!] The fine print – PLEASE READ
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
▪ NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
▪ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
▪ You must be over the age of 18.
▪ This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
▪ The contest starts as of today, and will run until Wednesday August 27, 2014, 9am PST.
▪ The retail value of Josey Baker Bread is about $27.50.
▪ The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
▪ The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
▪ If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award everything to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type in your correct email address if you want the membership and respond within a week to me when I contact you or I’ll give everything to someone else.
▪ The prize is being delivered directly from Chronicle Books. If they have not delivered the prize to you within three weeks of me notifying you of winning, please reach out to me again and I will do follow up to make sure everything is OK. Please keep in mind we are all human and things happen. I will do everything within my power to make sure the prize is delivered in a timely manner.
Special thanks to Chronicle Books, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Little Brown for review copies of the books in this post. Though they provided the books complimentary, I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions above are my own.
This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through the links above (with no added cost to you). If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book yourself and purchase it that way.
Debbie D says
Favorite bread? There are so many. However, off the top of my head, a warm, crusty sourdough loaf (end piece please) with butter dripping off of it. YUM!
Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
I have been dying for that $4 toast, and this cookbook too! Good bread = a good life. Thanks Irvin!
I love love a crusty baguette. Butter, jam, dipping sauces, anything with it too
Either a baguette, or a nice crusty whole wheat loaf
Sourdough. No question.
my favorite loaf to buy at the moment is Little T Baker’s baguette. perfect shattering crust, perfect chewy middle.
I love a good sourdough.
My favorite for morning toast is my own miso-rye, but a good baguette is hard to beat also. I really like Milton’s Multigrain sliced loaf to keep around for sandwiches. Makes a really good grilled cheese. There’s always a load of it in my freezer.
Arthur in the Garden! says
All great choices for a good read! I love sourdough but my go-to bread is banana bread. Carbs are my weakness.
On the coast I did enjoy a simple English bagel topped with a shrimp bisque once! Yummy!
Mary Mihaha says
I love a good crusty sourdough! Great as toast or sandwich bread for lunch!
Rye bread is my favorite for sandwiches. So delicious!
I adore a good baguette, though lately I can’t get quick breads out of my head. I’ve got a big craving for a good loaf of beer bread.
Sourdough. Hands down.
Rebecca Penny says
I love a crusty whole grain bread with nuts/seeds.
Kristan MacKay says
It depends on what I’m eating the bread with. A great buttermilk white bread for PB&J, wheat with meat sandwich, Italian or French bread with spaghetti, and a great artisan bread with soup. Can’t forget pumpernickel with raisins with butter. I love my bread!
Camilla @ Culinary Adventures says
I LOVE a good, dark rye bread.
Probably a good brioche for making delicious French toast.
Wendy Y says
My banana carrot bread made with coconut oil!
Manette Gutterman says
I’m a ciabatta girl! I also am crazy for challah which I make often!
Sourdough! I make 3 fresh loaves a week! Yum!
Best scent ever? Baking bread
How can I choose just one bread? Our standard everyday bread is sprouted wheat, and that’s excellent and everything, but have you eaten any of the Manresa breads? Their einkorn bread is possibly the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
Gina Brown says
I really dig a great crusty loaf!
multi grain sourdough from my local bakery 🙂
Sourdough. It’s one of the many reasons I love San Francisco.
I like good honey wheat. Toasted with butter and jam
Maybe it’s my Jewush roots talking but I love rye, especially rye toast with butter.
I love my weekly homemade challah. Cinnamon-raisin bread comes in a close second. Nothing makes the house smell as good as that.
Kerrey De Paoli says
Rye! No, pumpernickel! No, Rye! Wait, don’t forget sourdough! Just give me the carbs 🙂
Anne Dacey-Lucas says
Swedish limpa…a dense and slightly sweetish bread made with molasses whhach is variously flavoured with anise, caraway, orange or fennel and made into small individual loaves that have been perfect, so far, for 59 years of backpacking/camping trips as it holds up well and is delicious.
Joan A says
A hearty multi-grain is my fav., but a sourdough is also great! Need to get back to baking my own! Thanks for the chance to own this!
A slice of rye and butter…mmm mmm good!
Jeannie Heller says
I love a crusty whole wheat bread. Also love it for sandwiches or breakfast with butter and jam.
But, my all time favorite is my mom’s potato rolls she fixed every holiday. They sound extra delicious right now with a little peppery beef tenderloin and horseradish!
I love homemade rye!
Hannah M. says
Pretty much anything hot out of the oven will do…but it’s hard to beat a good sourdough boule. Silver Moon Bakery in NYC makes an excellent one (as does my father, when he has time).
Lorraine Healy-Smith says
A crusty baguette, sliced ALMOST all the way through in 1.5″ slices, with a sliver of garlic between each slice and a mixture of half butter and half wine drizzled between each slice and over the top so it’s sitting in a pool of winery, buttery goodness, then baked @400 for 20 minutes until the bottom is crunchy. Divine!
Love bread and chibata is one of my favorites even it I can’t spell it.
I’m in love with baguettes. Every chance I get, I stop by Terra Momo in Princeton to get my fix!
Cottage cheese – dill loaf bread! Delicious with every meal and any type of sandwich, yummmmm 🙂
Hand me over a cookbook already lol
Homemade challah. My son is always nagging me to make it but if I do he just eats the whole thing in one day. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just eat all the bread we wanted? And sourdough, which I have never been successful in making, though I admit I haven’t really tried all that hard. No-knead bread that’s fermented for a while is a passable substitute, though.
Donna Currie says
Right now I’m opting for sourdough!
Aaron Rishell says
Love a good crusty baguette!
I just returned from living in Sicily for 3 years and the fresh semolina breads there were satisfying, but I have been thoroughly enjoying whole grain breads again, like the raisin pecan loaf. My favorite though is the Harvest Grain Quinoa loaf with rosemary. Yum!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
Pugliese Bread – because that’s my maiden name — that’s Pugliese not Bread. What a treasure trove of cookbooks!! I could spend weeks just drooling and studying the pictures and recipes. WOW!! Thank you Irving for being so generous.
barbara n says
I love the smell of homemade bread baking! My favorite bread is a crusty baguette!
Brioche. Wrapped around a wedge of Brie stuffed with chopped dried apricots and toasted pecans. Yum.
Jeanne The Baker says
I love baguettes best, but only in Paris.
I love focaccia with olives and feta!
i love a nutty nutty loaf. lots of seeds and nuts!
Yas N. says
In terms of traditional bread, I am a large fan of whole wheat olive oil bread usually in the shape of a baguette (Recipe from “Healthy Artisan Breads in 5-minutes a day”) . Whether I want to make pizza or just have a slice with some fresh nut butter, this would probably be one of my top types of bread. Regarding non-traditional types, I like this Life-Changing Loaf made with nuts, seed, and oatmeal (Recipe from “My New Roots” blog), which I find to be quite hearty and delicious.
A fresh (warm would be awesome!) baguette with some really good olive oil = the most perfect thing EVER!
Janice Coffey says
Baguette but I love a banana chocolate bread for breakfast or dessert
Lyn M. says
I just love bread!
I love rosemary focaccia when it’s still hot and crusty out of the oven and dipped in good olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Amy S. says
Either sourdough or a baguette.
Kim Porter says
I love a fresh baguette with a soft interior and nice crunch on the exterior.
The warm crusty ciabatta that they serve at Restaurant Eve with a little bit of butter… SO SO tasty!
Michael Flanagin says
I spent some time in Austria, and loved the fresh brown bread that I could buy in the corner store, still warm and gooey on the shelf. So delicious with a slab of butter and some cheese!
edward ang says
Raisins and walnut do it for me…
My favorite bread is pumpernikle! Not sure if I spelled it right, but it is all about the taste not the spelling.
Crust is a must!
My favorite loaf would have to be a cinnamon swirl bread studded with raisins! Mmmmm
It’s so hard to choose!! I’m currently nurturing a sourdough starter, so I think sourdough is my favorite at the moment. But I’m dying to work out a great yeasted pumpkin loaf-for sandwiches and soup-dipping.
Rae C says
A crusty rustic sourdough.
Sourdough, anyway I can get it!
Beth Wang says
I love the fat bread from Little Goat Bread
I love pretzel bread.
Linda K. says
I love a good crusty sourdough, but I won’t refuse just about any bread.
A crusty baguette is the best!
My favorite loaf is an Armenian Easter bread called, “choereg”. I make it every so often throughout the year. My family adores it. With some soft butter and a great jam…it’s like comfort food.
A loaf of too-moist banana bread with walnuts is my fave.
Erika Hanna says
Anything from the Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery in Michigan. So good!!
Nancy Baggett’s recipe, “Cheddar and green chiles” bread. Now I’m craving it – I’d better go start a loaf!
Lori Flesher says
Joan A says
A good multigrain!
Kelly Gramlow says
Its a toss up between a perfect baguette or a hearty loaf of wild rice bread
I love Semifreddi’s baguette!
Favorite kind of bread? Right now that’s like stabbing me in the heart. 😉 For health reasons, I went off gluten last year. I MISS BREAD! I’m not against cheating if I come across something like a really good crusty Italian bread. But the kind I dearly miss the most is a really good homemade multi-grain bread.
Growing up eating banh mi, I’m a big sucker for a nice baguette!
I love josey’s adventure bread! Love seed packed breads. Otherwise I like thick crusty breads
I need a nice chewy crust and flavorful interior. All bread must stand up to a lovely salted butter!! YUM
Depends on my mood. Sometimes I have a craving for a crusty baguette and other times I just want to drive to my favorite local bakery and grab a loaf of their croissant bread.
I love your rosemary cheese beer bread!
Kartik @ Bakeology 101 says
My favorite is a Rosemary Ciabatta bread that I made a few years ago (inspired by Trader Joes), which I’m happy to say is the most sought out recipe on my blog.
A good sourdough.
My mom makes these lemon dinner rolls that I adore!
I like a hearty, nutty, seedy, wheat bread with a thick outer crust and a soft, chewy inside.
A whole wheat bread since it’s so practical and versatile.
I love a good slice of whole wheat bread or breaking off a piece of a baguette.
Alice Mizer says
I love a baguette over anything else any day!