Gayle Shockey Hockster; Better Homes and Gardens; Des Moines, 1994
I picked up this book when I was a novice with the bread maker and it soon became my go-to volume. I loved the recipes, which are easy to follow, and the tips given by the side or at the bottom are invaluable, especially if you are just starting to bake your own bread.
Baking bread has been something that we seem to have adopted en masse as we cope with the pandemic. Stores have been running out of bread flour and yeast, but people are continuing to bake. I agree that there is something magical about bread, watching the loaf rise and then bake to golden perfection.
Maybe it is an attempt by man to gain some control in a world that is spiralling out of control. That warm loaf of bread not only smells wholesome and delicious, it is life giving. Bread was what Christ broke with his disciples. Bread is essential to every culture in the world, to human being’s very survival.
One of the most popular breads that people around the world have been making during the current Covid-19 pandemic is sourdough bread. One reason could be that once you make the sourdough starter, the recipe for which is given in the book, you can continue to replenish it without adding more yeast. So even if yeast disappears from the store shelves, you can continue to bake your bread.
This book has a whole section devoted to sourdough breads.
I have tried many of these breads and each one has turned out perfect.
My favourite is the sourdough cheese bread, which is a fail-safe recipe. I make it pretty often as it goes so well with soups and stews and also makes a great sandwich.