“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” -Mother Theresa
9781849752572

That’s just how important to life bread is – it’s compared to love! And just like the title of Jane Mason’s new bread book, with a nod to the Beatles and with more veracity than anything, “All You Knead Is Bread” will have you falling in love with bread baking all over again.

And that’s just what I needed. I’m a bread baker, or so I like to think of hopefully ending up as one. It comes back a few years, when I attended culinary school and had the chance to fall in love with bread for the first time. Our bread baking classes were so hands on, we would take 20 pound buckets to the dorm room, which contained our sourdough mothers that needed to be fed throughout the weekend. We baked bread for the entire school: by hand and in mixers; gluten-free and gluten-full; all-American breads and International doughs.

Having my hands in raw bread dough, a simple mixture of flour, water, and yeast – made me content. Just writing this I feel relaxed, because bread dough does that to me. It’s not even the final result that excites me – it’s the process of hand kneading a dough, feeling the living bread in between my fingers is an action I’d never give up.

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So when I received “All You Knead Is Bread” by Jane Mason, I knew it’d be a book I’d eventually bake all the recipes from. Jane has a way with words, with scaling down any technical terms and talking to you like she’s a good friend that’s teaching you the wonders of dough. And mind you, she’s not teaching you any doughs. She’s put together over 50 recipes from around the world in this book and sprinkled the recipes with her own love.

The concept is genius, since every single country in the world has their own traditional breads. Whether it’s a daily loaf on the table to go with dinner or the special doughs that only pop up during the holidays – every single country has a devotion to their own recipe and that’s what Jane has captured.

The more than 50 recipes aren’t all, as Jane has also demystified how-to knead, explains the ingredients, talks about the history of the loaves, and guides you on a world tour through the eyes of the bread bakers in each country.

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And thus I started with her recipe for Pide Ekmeghi, a traditional Turkish bread that’s decorated with Nigella seeds. It’s so simple to make, she story tells how the recipe is made 2-3 times a day! Here’s a snippet of the history of Turkish bread straight for her book:
“The bakers of the Ottoman Empire believed that the Angel Gabriel taught Adam how to bake when he was expelled from the Garden of Eden. In Turkey and across the entire Muslim world, bread is considered holy – it is a blessing from God and it is a sin to waste it.” –Jane Mason, All You Knead Is Bread, Pide Ekmeghi, page 62

Pide Ekmeghi

Print Recipe
9781849752572

Ingredients

  • cups strong white bread flour
  • teaspoons instant yeast 2 teaspoons dry yeast, or ¾ cake fresh yeast
  • 1 ⅔ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • To decorate
  • milk or egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to glaze
  • nigella and sesame seeds
  • baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper

Instructions

  • If you are using instant or fresh yeast, put all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix them together. Tip out onto the counter and knead well for 10 minutes.
  • If you are using dry yeast, put the flour in a big bowl and make a well. Sprinkle the dry yeast in the well and add ½ cup of the water. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. You may or may not get a beige sludge on the top of the water, but don’t worry – what is important is to dissolve the yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Tip out onto the counter and knead well for 10 minutes.
  • Pop the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel, shower hat or plastic bag. Allow to rest for 1–2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Pull the dough out onto an unfloured surface.
  • Shaping
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Pretend each portion is a clock. Starting at noon, gently pinch about ½ inch of the edge of the dough and pull it up and out, stretching it as far as you can without breaking it. Don’t worry if you do, just try not to. Fold that pinched bit over the portion of dough and gently lay it down. Repeat this action all round the portion of dough. As you do it, you can turn the portion of dough, or move yourself around it. Tuck it up into a loose ball. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Gently stretch each ball into a disc shape about 1 inch thick. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest again for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 230?C (425?F) Gas 7.
  • Press your fingertips lightly into the surface of the dough to make little dimples. Not too hard! You just want to make the surface uneven. To decorate, brush the dough with either milk or the egg wash and sprinkle seeds over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and lovely. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Eat fresh fresh fresh.

Notes

Recipe reprinted from All You Knead Is Bread by Jane Mason,
with permission from Ryland Peters
Servings: 2 loaves

Disclosure: Review copy of this book was received free of charge from publisher and under no terms was I expected to post about it. I have shared it with you because I loved it. Opinions 100% my own, as always. 

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4 Comments

  1. Okay that book looks fantastic! I have been really wanting to make bread, of course I can’t with my silly kitchen, but I will someday soon:-) Your Pide Ekmeghi looks delicious:-) Hugs, Terra

  2. Gurl, you know you got me here as a captivated audience! What a great review of the book and a fantastic recipe you chose. Love the Mother Theresa quote and the little history of this holy bread!