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Alford & Duguid's "Home Baking"


Mottmott
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I just got a copy of Alford & Duguid's Home Baking. Has anyone else used it? Is there anything demonstrated successful? My first experience with this does not instill confidence.

As I happened to have a large bunch of very ripe bananas, I decided to let them become very, very, very ripe and try their recipe for Banana Bread. It is the worst I've ever made. The texture was a trifle too dense, though I don't ordinarily mind a dense cake. And the taste simple: too sweet banana. Edible, but a never repeat.

I admit I was suspicious while looking at the recipe. Not an egg!

8 medium-large very overripe bananas

4 c ap flour

1 1/2 tso bkg soda

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 lb butter

2 c sugar

1/4 tsp white or rice vinegar

3 Tbs rum

1 c dried unsw shredded coconut

2 Tbs demerara or dk brown sugar for topping

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I have this book, but I have not yet baked anything from it. I've been in a baking lull, but I do plan on making SOMETHING from it soon. I am a huge fan of Alford and Duguid's books, though, and I gave this book as a gift to my brother in law. I know he has made stuff from it, but I don't know what. Anyway, too bad about your banana bread. I use my mother's recipe and never try any others.

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I have this book, but I have not yet baked anything from it. I've been in a baking lull, but I do plan on making SOMETHING from it soon. I am a huge fan of Alford and Duguid's books, though, and I gave this book as a gift to my brother in law. I know he has made stuff from it, but I don't know what. Anyway, too bad about your banana bread. I use my mother's recipe and never try any others.

What makes your mother's special for you? Nuts, no nuts. What spices? A&D's coconut was not match for the kinds of nuts I ususally bake with, and the nutmeg and rum were no shows.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I also would expect an egg (or two) in a recipe with those proportions. And 8 bananas is quite a few for 4 cups of flour and two of sugar.

Maybe the fact that your bananas were so ripe they just overpowered everything else?

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I've been looking this one over a lot lately. It's on my list. I was thinking of starting with the vietnamese baguettes. There are several breads that sound interesting to me. The quince bread is on my list for the next time I come across fresh ones in the market. I've never had a quince and figured that bread would be a great way to try it.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I am a huge fan of Alford and Duguid as well and own all their books. While most of their recipes fall in the better than average to great category, there are always 1 to 2 from each book that gets a never again notation.

I usually don't start thinking about baking until fall comes and I just pulled this book of the shelf two weeks ago and dog eared a couple pages. I thought I used this book more last year but glancing through it I seem to have only tried one thing. :hmmm: The recipe for Eleonore's Kaiserschmarron (pg 297) recieved a Great! mark.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Yet another good reason for publishing the weights of ingredients in recipes. There could be a vast, world-wide difference in banana sizes! :wink:

I've not baked much out of this book but did try the Ukrainian Honey Cake. My notation says "nice" with a note that it's pretty tasty spread with cream cheese.

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Actually, to their credit, the authors said 8 bananas and added, "about 3 cups" (working from my memory here). Also, they emphasized that the bananas be overripe as they were the entire liquid ingredient in the recipe.

I agree with Tokaris and others that any cookbook has duds, and I plan to try other recipes in their book as time goes on.

My primary reason for posting this was not only to give others a heads up about this recipe, but get some input from those who might also have tried this. It's always possible the fault was mine. I usually get good results baking, but am more of a cook than baker.

Perhaps we might change the title of this thread and share our results when baking from this book as several of us have it and there are recipes that look very interresting. One of the things that attracted me to it was its emphasis on what I think of as everyday baked goods rather than party fare with great buttercreams and multiple elements and super calorories.

If anyone tries the Mediterranean Phyllo Semolina Pie, please let me know.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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A number of years ago, I saw Jeffrey on Martha Stewart. He made the "truck stop cinnamon rolls( not sure if thats the exact name). Martha was somewhat appalled that he was using margarine( I believe in the filling).

If I remember correctly, he also used bread flour. They were really large rolls and they looked rather bready.

I saw this book last week at Home Goods for about 12 bucks.

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A number of years ago, I saw Jeffrey on Martha Stewart.  He made the "truck stop cinnamon rolls( not sure if thats the exact name).  Martha was somewhat appalled that he was using margarine( I believe in the filling). 

If I remember correctly, he also used bread flour.  They were really large rolls and they looked rather bready. 

I saw this book last week at Home Goods for about 12 bucks.

Well, I wouldn't use margarine in baking, but, after all, I imagine that's what's in truck stop cinnamon rolls. Actually, the only cinnamon rolls I like anymore are made with croissant dough (I'm off the brioche or cakey rolls). There's a place in Portland ME that makes them that way. Superb. (For those who might have access: on Commercial St and near Fore St restaurant, perhaps even part of the same company. But get there early.)

I found the book at Atlantic a couple weeks ago for !0 if I recall correctly.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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Found some fresh quince at the farmer's market this weekend so I made the provencal quince bread last night with the quince stuffed with sugar and almonds. My mother made the comment that it would be really good if you really liked quince. We found it interesting and it was good to try something new but I don't think I'm fond enough of quince to eat the entire loaf. I've been looking at the truck stop cinnamon rolls. I did the Bread Baker's Apprentice ones and it left me wanted to try other recipes. The cover recipe has always intrigued me as well. I'll probably try a bread recipe or two next weekend.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I often make the Montreal bagels from this book, and their pita recipe is foolproof (it's found in their book on flatbreads). The Truckstop cinnamon rolls are quite bready, which is good for me, as I'm not much for sweets, but my husband prefers the old-fashioned version just like his grandmother used to make.

Here are the bagels I made yesterday:

gallery_41870_2503_58469.jpg

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I bought this book just because I love their style of writing. (And it was in the discount bin.) But I haven't made much from it -- honestly, I must confess it's not really my style. I don't bake a lot of breads (I very rarely eat bread) and I like my cakes to be CAKES! -- all over the top and outrageous with layers and decorated bits.

I made some kind of savoury stuffed bread once, which was extremely good, and I do make their Quark Stollen every year. I love stollen, and the Quark version is a lot moister than my mother's recipe, which is tasty but tends to be dry.

The inclusion of ingredients like margarine, and of my least favourite kind of icing in the cake section, did somewhat put me off I must admit. However, if I did eat bread, I probably would try out more of their basic folk-style breads.

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I have this book, but I have not yet baked anything from it. I've been in a baking lull, but I do plan on making SOMETHING from it soon. I am a huge fan of Alford and Duguid's books, though, and I gave this book as a gift to my brother in law. I know he has made stuff from it, but I don't know what. Anyway, too bad about your banana bread. I use my mother's recipe and never try any others.

What makes your mother's special for you? Nuts, no nuts. What spices? A&D's coconut was not match for the kinds of nuts I ususally bake with, and the nutmeg and rum were no shows.

I don't know that it's actually special, it's just that it's exactly what I want when I want banana bread. It has pecans in it, and IIRC no spices at all and just a little vanilla. I usually bake it as muffins. I have to say that coconut, rum, nutmeg, etc. sounds like overkill to me.

I'm glad to see the focus of the conversation has shifted to the book in general, as I really do want to use it. Shaya, as usual you inspire me--those bagels look great. I was actually going to make pitas one night assuming there was a recipe in Home Baking only to find that there isn't one. Too bad I don't have their flatbreads book :sad:

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I love this book. The stories and pictures are lovely.

I have tried the Persian cardamom cookies. They turned out better than any Persian recipe I have seen. I made them a couple of days ago, and ended up lending the book to one of the many people who asked for the recipe.

I have also repeatedly made the Russian apple pancakes, and the Afghani naan. I do not have the book at the moment, and I cannot remember what else I made.

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Shaya, those bagels are beautiful! I have only attempted bagels once in my life and they were such a disaster I never tried making them again. I think I might give those a try.

Persiancook,

those cardamom cookies were one of the recipes I have dog eared, I am glad to here you enjoyed them.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Sitting here munchin' on rice flour muffin cakes. They have a wonderful slightly crunchy texture kind of like cornbread but kinda not. If I were stuck doing the gluten free life, I would be very happy to find this recipe. They are amazing right out of the oven. Just the right amount of softness and crunch and the perfect amount of vanilla goodness. I would be careful on these not to overbake them because they don't get brown and don't overbeat your egg whites and let them get dry. I wasn't real sure when making the batter how they were going to turn out because it's different in texture than any other "batter" I've tried but they're great.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I am a big fan of this book and made several things from it. Even that coconut banana bread (the one they label for Pam) turned out good. Yes it was denser than the regular variety, but the coconut added nice moisture and taste. I would not say it is my favorite, but certainly pretty good and different. Here are other things I tried:

- the Country baguettes, made with different kinds of flour including buckwheat and have stuff like flax seeds in them. These are fantastic and quiet a change from plain white baguettes.

- Their recipe for Onion rye is the best I've tried. I always make one loaf and freez the second. I try to make this whenever I know I'll be curing some salmon pastrami-style

- Montreal bagels, good but I prefer the NY bagels from the BB Apprentice

- The Date Travelers cookies are the best example of the Lebanese Ma'amool I've seen. I always use their dough recipe.

- Robin's whole wheat bread makes regular apperances, it's a favolrite all purpose sandwich bread

- The Portuguese Mountain rye is good and looks cool, but does I did not think it was worth the effort

- You have to try those Beirut Tahini Swirls...addictive!

- I also made those Greek biscotti like cookies with spices in them.

- The white bread recipe was nothing special. Skip that.

- The chocolate cake in there with tthe thin layer of frosting also is pretty good.

- Pain Au Son, the French bran bread is excellent and keeps well. It is also a regular on my baking rotation

- Irish soda bread is a good quick bread

- Forgot what the "official" name for this one is, but it is the puffy "King's" pancake, shredded up and doused with powdered sugar. I love serving this as a quick dessert with homemade plum syrup.

- The Seville orange marmalade is the one I use to make mine.

I've had this book for a couple years, bought it for $9 at Half Price books and it was so worth it. The stories and commentary alone are worth that much.

I know I made more stuff than that, but I cannot remember it all :smile:.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I have the Beirut tahini rolls marked to try down the road. Made the Montreal bagels last night. While they were hot, they were crunchy on the outside and the honey really stood out. Now that it's morning, they're a little more chewy on the outside and the honey has mellowed. I need some cream cheese. My mother proclaimed them "highly addictive". Tried the velvety bean bread but it was really heavy on the salt and I could still taste the beans. Not my thing. Got bananas ripening for the banana bread later in the week.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I have the Beirut tahini rolls marked to try down the road. Made the Montreal bagels last night. While they were hot, they were crunchy on the outside and the honey really stood out. Now that it's morning, they're a little more chewy on the outside and the honey has mellowed. I need some cream cheese. My mother proclaimed them "highly addictive". Tried the velvety bean bread but it was really heavy on the salt and I could still taste the beans. Not my thing. Got bananas ripening for the banana bread later in the week.

I agree about the bean bread. It was oddly sodden and heavy and lacking in flavor. I never tried it again.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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If anyone tries the Mediterranean Phyllo Semolina Pie, please let me know.

I tried it a little while ago:

158605614_25d989b21d_m.jpg

It was very sweet, as expected, but I would have preferred another flavouring, like cardamom, lemon zest, etc. as well. The semolina filling is very creamy and quite different from a nut-based baklava.

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