My husband is “surprising” me with a stand mixer for Christmas. And I am so so so excited, because it means more homemade bread more often. I love making homemade bread, but hand kneading is such a pain. The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, owner of the New York bakery of the same name, is a gem of a cookbook with many wonderful bread recipes to try.
The cookbook is part social story, and part cookbook. The Hot Bread Kitchen Bakery employs immigrant women in their kitchen…leading to many family recipes from homelands around the world. This cookbook shares many of their favorite recipes, along with the stories of immigrant women finding new lives in the United States.
The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook starts with the story of how the bakery came to be, the social vision of the owner, then onto the bread. First there is a useful section on bread baking, ingredient, and storage tips. Then the recipes.
The recipe chapters are:
-Tortillas and More
-Lean Breads and Rolls
-Challah and Beyond
-Filled Doughs from Around the World
-Quick Breads and Holiday Breads
-What to Do With Leftover Bread
Each chapter starts with an introduction about the ingredients, the global story of the ingredients, and sometimes a spotlight on the woman who brought her homeland recipes to the bakery.
While the cookbook is about bread, not all the recipes are for bread. The Tortillas chapter gives recipes for various types of tacos, and even two variations on carnitas. There are recipes for soups, salads, side dishes, and sandwiches…even drinks, as well.
Some of the bread recipes include: Garlic and Green Chile Naan, M’Smen (a North African flatbread), New York Rye, Raisin Challah, and Banana Bread. There is a wide variety of recipes from all over the world, for all skill levels.
I loved how thorough and expansive this book is. I also loved how the ingredients were, for the most part, common and easy to find…not too many specialty ingredients needed. The only thing I would change about this cookbook would be to have more photos…the photos were beautiful, but there were many recipes I would have loved to have seen a photo of. I also would have liked to have heard more bakers’ stories about their homelands.
I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook from the publisher and Blogging For Books. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.