wholegrainbreadsYesterday we had a near catastrophe. It was Thing 1’s birthday and Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice. We had my parents and Hubby’s father and new bride coming for a big celebratory dinner. I let Thing 1 plan the dinner, and she picked her favorite lemon pasta with a spinach salad and bread. It’s and easy and flavorful meal that would please everyone dining at the Homestead.

We awoke to rain and decided to skip the Farmer’s Market, where we would have bought some great crusty Italian bread. I figured it didn’t really make sense to drive all the way up to the market anyway, as we’re leaving Wednesday for vacation and don’t really need much in the way of produce for such a short week. I decided to grab bread at our local Italian deli instead, because they also have awesome crusty Italian bread baked just for them.

We got there about at about noon, and I heard to owner tell the family in front of me terrible news. They had sold out of bread already. I panicked a little, then ran home and pulled out my trusty crusty copy of Whole Grain Bread by Machine or Hand by Beatrice Ojakangas and found the recipe for Tomato Basil Semolina Baguettes and made them sans tomato, so they were Garlic and Herb Semolina Baguettes. This cookbook helped save the day, and not for the first time!

If you are looking to get into baking bread or looking to expand the variety of breads in your repertoire, this is a book you should consider owning. It offers 200 recipes for all sorts of breads, some of which are frequently made in this house, mainly as sandwich breads. Our favorites are:

  • Milk and Honey Wheat Bread pg. 26
  • Tuscan Bread pg. 32
  • Beer and Mustard Rye Bread pg. 44 (Hubby calls this Tavern Rye)
  • Cornmeal Molasses Bread pg. 54 (a.k.a. anadama bread)
  • Finnish Rye Bread pg. 66
  • Maple Oatmeal Bread pg. 72

I have a very limited amount of shelf space in my kitchen that I use for cookbooks, and this is one of the few books honored with a spot on that shelf. Whether you bake in a bread machine, use a heavy duty mixer, or like to knead those loaves by hand, this cookbook has much to offer.