For the first cookbook review, I decided to look at the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. In my opinion, there are few smells better than that of a freshly baked bread. If I were able to, I would be baking bread on a daily basis (though my figure would surely be hurting!). My main reason for not baking bread more often is that it is hard to find the time to do so. Most recipes involve a series of kneading, rising, waiting, etc. My friend, Christy, bought this book and when she told me about it-- I was so excited to start playing! The concept of the book is that you create different starters which can be stored in your fridge for a period of time. Each day, when you want to bake bread, you break off a chunk of the starter and are able to quickly prepare fresh baked breads in a matter of minutes (depending on the recipe you choose to make).
Christy and I decided that since we were just starting out, we would split one of the starters and would each make a few different recipes using it. We chose to start with the brioche starter. I can't begin to explain how much fun, and how easy, this was to use! For my recipes, I chose to make a brioche filled with chocolate ganache, French beignets (donuts), and jam filled beignets. Even with the same starter, they all had such unique flavors. I can't wait to start playing with some of the other starters-- I think I might be making the traditional sandwich bread next! I'll be sure to post results!
Be sure to check out Christy's blog, Christy's Kitchen Creations, to find what she made with her brioche starter as well! I'd highly recommend this cookbook and think that it will be one incorporated into our regular routine.