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The construction of this book, first of all, is wonderful. The cover is hard and the binding is heavy, enameled spiral. Each page lays flat on the counter, or you can hold the book open on one arm while doing something with the other hand. This suggests that Betty Crocker wrote her bread-baking cookbook with serious use in mind. She certainly tested her recipes. A variety of bread machines were used, which means that each recipe was tested a number of different times. Betty tells you exactly what kind of flour she used, as well as salt, size of eggs, kind of yeast, etc. She leaves nothing to chance.
Bread machine baking has its own peculiarities, and Betty addresses all these right up front, the hows and how-tos (as well as the whys and wherefores) of getting the perfect loaf every time. There´s a troubleshooting section, as well as a frequently asked question section. Then it´s right into the recipes, all 130 of them.
There are Good and Savory Loaves (Cheese Onion Bread) and Wholesome Grain Loaves (Toasted Almond Whole Wheat Bread), Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Loaves (Dried Apricot Bread), Smaller Can Be Just Right Loaves (these are one-and-a-half-pound loaves), and then several chapters on breads you start in the bread machine, but finish in the oven. These include braided sweet breads, pizza dough, rustic-style breads, and coffeecakes.
Any bread machine owner is going to love to loaf with Betty Crocker. --Schuyler Ingle