Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quick Breads - Linda Collister

Quick Breads
Linda Collister
Ryland, Peters and Small
Copyright: August 2007
9781845974756

The amazon.com product description:
No kneading, no waiting for the dough to rise--these breads are the easiest of all to make. The ingredients can be assembled, mixed, and ready for putting in the oven in less than 15 minutes. Linda Collister tells you how to make a wonderful variety of quick breads using fresh herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables for texture and taste. There are Savory Breads to serve with lunch or supper, with soups and salads, or toasted for breakfast. These include Quick Rye Bread, Watercress and Arugula Loaf, and Sri Lankan Coconut Roti. In Cornbreads, you will find recipes that use milled and fresh corn. This section features hearty option such as Buttermilk Cornbread and Texas Hot Pepper Cornbread. Old-fashioned Blueberry Gingerbread and Sultana Almond Bread are among the novel ideas for Breakfast Breads. For snacks and lunchbox treats, turn to Small Breads. From Maple Pecan Scones to Quick Spiced-cider Doughnuts, these recipes are so good you will want to try them all. *The recipes are simple enough for the absolute beginner to follow and satisfying enough to please the seasoned bread maker. *Beautiful photography by Kate Whitaker.
 I've had this book for a while now, and the more I use it, the more I love the recipes. I haven't tried them all yet - not sure if I'll ever manage that, but some of the different breads have become repeat staples in my kitchen.

So far, they've all been incredibly simple and quick to make - just as the title suggests. The soda bread and the molassas-oatmeal bread are my two favourites, even with the time investment on the latter. This loaf takes more than the 15 minute time-frame given in the blurb. Even with that, it's my favourite to date. The loaf is dense, a little sweet and wonderful with cheese or jams - especially something like homemade blackberry jam or plum butter.

The soda bread is one of the simplest recipes I've seen, and it's quick baking, making it handy for lunches and dinners - wonderful served with soup, especially when it's warm out of the oven.

The most recent recipe I've attempted is the pumpernickel and fig loaf, which was delicious. I've got to make this again - with cheese or jam, it's incredible. Very similar to the molassas-oatmeal loaf, but with chopped figs for added sweetness.

It's been a while now, but I remember the fresh orange and nut loaf to have been a success as well, every time I made it. The same thing for the lemon, almond and raisin loaf - I've made it several times. Although, this is a recipe I'm somewhat cautious with - one time my fingers slipped while I was grating the lemon zest. Suffice it to say, that hurts!

If you like baking, Linda Collister's book is almost a must-have, I'd have to say. I know I've had more success with these than I have with trying to make actual yeast-breads. Although, I haven't given up on trying to make those.

Still, this is one of the cookbooks I refer to frequently, sometimes more often than others, depending on my mood. An impulse buy that I'm really glad I bought.
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