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OP: Beard on Bread

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by James Beard

Alfred A. Knopf, 1973. Hardcover. Very Good. First Printing.

James Beard’s (1903–1985) bestselling book during his lifetime and one of the few of his works still in print.

Beard on Bread (1973) marks an important culinary shift in home bread baking away from the wholegrain, dense and hearty loaves of the granola 1960s and toward a more epicurean and indulgent appreciation for the staff of life. The expanding interest in global food traditions, as well as American regional ones, is evident in the breadth of Beard’s offerings. Famed bread baker Peter Reinhart said Beard on Bread was “both a harbinger of the culinary renaissance and fuel for the flames” and a necessity for all bakers.

Despite the current boom of bread books, we still happily turn to Beard. His work is technically sound while highly approachable, never overwhelming. He gives us a great deal to choose from and hone the craft: Anadama bread, Italian feather bread, biscuits, pain de fruits, pita, black bread, Scandinavian lefse, and buñelos, just to name a few. A great resource, regardless of experience level.

Our copy, a first printing, is clean and unmarked. The case, lightly shelfworn, shows sun bleaching about the edges. The dust jacket, handsomely illustrated by Karl Stuecklen (1940–2005), is unclipped, showing modest shelfwear and a small closed tear to the front upper corner. Very Good overall.

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