Fast Breads by Elinor Klivans doesn't have a huge number of recipes, just 50, but they're all very different from one another. You won't find one bread followed by five others that are variations on the same theme—you're getting a good range of bread (and bread-like) recipes including things like hush puppies and doughnuts.
Along with the breads you expect to find, there's probably some unwritten law that you have to include brioche in a bread book. I was pleased to find some more obscure breads, as well as a few recipes in the back of the book for using some of that fresh-baked bread
One thing I liked about this book was the reheating instructions for the breads that are best served warm. Of course most breads are best served the same day, but unless you're feeding a crowd, you can usually expect leftovers from any recipe.
One thing I didn't like in this book was that flour was measured by volume, without any weights listed. I know what I think a cup of flour weighs and the recipes all worked, but I've gone to appreciate the precision that you get from using weight rather than volume for flour.
Although the theme of this book is fast breads, they're not all super-quick from start to table, but generally they're fast in terms of the time you spend with them. So there are recipes that require an overnight refrigerated rest for flavor development.
Win 'Fast Breads'
Thanks to the generous folks over at Chronicle Books, we are giving away five (5) copies of Fast Breads this week.
To enter to win a copy of this book, all you have to do is tell us what you like to put on your toast.
About the bread baker: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie or @cookistry.