Another cook book

Regular readers will know that I have a weakness for recipe books. I am forced to admit to myself that even if I live to one hundred I will never manage to cook every recipe from my rather large collection and I am equally certain that I will never, ever manage to knit every pattern I own. There just are not enough hours in each day.

These certain facts in no way dissuade me from adding to my collection because I like nothing better than a browse through a recipe book, sometimes I even take them to bed. So although they may not all be cooked from they are certainly all well read and often browsed.

This latest acquisition, The New Family Bread Book, had been in my radar for a while, I had often noticed it in Cornflower's sidebar but I kept putting it in my virtual shopping basket and then removing it for in fact I already own several excellent bread books, including Dan Lepard's excellent and beautifully photographed, The Handmade Loaf and yet I only really make my own versions of Granary, White and Soda Bread over and over again. I did, briefly, sally forth into the world of sourdough some months ago and I'm afraid there is still a jar of something nasty fermenting in the back of the fridge, I no longer feed it but cannot bear to turn it out, it is almost one of the family I fear.

Still, my conscience is easily salved and when I spotted Family Bread in a bookshop recently The Technical Advisor offered to treat me. This book is excellent, I really am very sorry not to have owned it sooner. It is simply chocked full of really useful recipes which can easily be worked into the normal person's life and the author may even persuade me to part with my fermenting jar and give sourdough another try.

I started with Chocolate Brioche and I think anyone would be foolish not to. My, they were good. On Ursula's suggestion I mixed and kneaded the rather sticky dough the night before and left it in the fridge to rise slowly overnight. Doing it like this makes it a really feasible weekend breakfast option as in the morning it was just a matter of shaping the dough around little chunks of chocolate and leaving them to prove in their tins for 30 minutes or so and then 15 minutes in the oven.

I felt at the very height of Domestic Goddessness when I called the family to the breakfast table. All were very impressed, although to be fair, offering my children chocolate at breakfast is pretty much guaranteed success.


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