I recently finished reading Joyce Carol Oates' novel, Missing Mom. She dedicated the novel, 'In memory of Carolina Oates (1916-2003).' It is the story of a not-so-young woman, who's mother is murdered, and how she adjusts and copes during that first painful year of living without her mother. She takes up bread baking, using her mother's recipes and sharing the breads she bakes, as her mother had always done. This little cookbook, Breadcraft is the book referenced for the bread baking in the novel. Of course, I don't really need another bread book, but how could I resist? I bought it on-line after finishing the novel, and it is terribly charming, in a very 1974 sort of way.
I always love reading Joyce Carol Oates' writing. As shocking and disturbing as her writing often is, I admire the deftness and boldness with which she writes, without being gratuitous, about brutality and sexuality -this novel is much milder in that respect than many of her other books.
Last time you see someone you don't know it will be the last time. All all that you know, if only you'd known then. But you didn't know, and now it's too late. And you tell yourself How could I have known, I could not have known.
You tell yourself.
This is my story of missing my mother. One day, in a way unique to you, it will be your story, too. " -Joyce Carol Oates, Missing Mom (2005)
When I began making bread, I turned out some rather dismal bricks. After many years of practicing the craft of bread baking I've finally learned how to produce a decent loaf of bread. Besides all the bread recipes and instructions for baking bread included in all sorts of cookbooks, these are my bread baking cookbooks, bottom to top, I use. I've learned a bit from each of them along the way, and/or I simply read them for bread baking inspiration.
King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking (2006)
Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger (1995)
The Garden Way Bread Book by Ellen Foscue (1979)
Bread, Time Life Books-The Good Cook Series (1981)
Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook (2003)
Country Baking by Ken Haedrick (1990)
The Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton, Jr. (1973)
English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David (1977)
The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book by Laurel Robertson (1984)
Homemade Bread by the Food Editors of Farm Journal (1969)
The Home-Baking Cookbook by Natalie G. Sylvester (1973) -This is actually my daughter's book and it is absolutely charming -it is all written by hand with kitchen drawings by the author.
Beard on Bread by James Beard (1979)
Not pictured are the following publications:
Fleischmann's Yeast Best Ever Breads (This is really good!) (1993)
Miriam B. Loo's Fresh-From-The-Oven Breads, Published by Current, Inc. (My copy is falling apart I've used it so much!) (1982)
Fisher's Blend Baking Book (This was my grandmother's book) (1941)
When taking the above photo, I missed this book, hiding under the couch where I'd slid it after spending an entire evening reading it. This book is a jewel and a delight to read, as well as being an excellent and enlightening cookbook. The authors describe their fascinating trips and adventures all around the world, eating and exploring the flatbreads of many different cultures, and the people they encounter on their journeys -I love this book!
Flatbreads and Flavor, A Baker's Atlas by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid