Toast and Jam: Modern Recipes for Rustic Baked Goods and Sweet and Savory Spreads

Toast and Jam is a cookbook collecting recipes for breads and baked goods, and the spreads and toppings that pair perfectly with them. Its beauty lies in its simplicity; Sarah Owens (Sourdough) invites readers and home cooks to "encourage that which is simple to thrive in abundance," and her recipes reflect that thinking.

Following a thorough introduction--in which Owens spells out the whys and wherefores of different types of grains and gives a detailed how-to on kneading and troubleshooting dough--Toast and Jam is broken into two sections. "Toast" includes a chapter on breads, with basics like Miche (a hard-crusted hearth bread) and Pain de Mie (a lighter, spongier loaf), as well as flavored varietals like Spiced Carrot Levain and a chapter on crackers, cakes and scones. "Jam" follows with a variety of toppings for decorating the toasts: traditional jams (though often boasting nontraditional flavors, like Violet Petal Jam and Prickly Pear and Aperol Jelly), recipes for spreads both savory and sweet (Lemony Herb Chevre) and ideas for fermented and cured toppings and tartines.

Owens's well-written recipes are as much instruction as they are invitation. Come revisit slow foods, she seems to say. Learn to make breads that rise and bake over the course of a day or even two, and jams that reduce for hours. "Relish in leisure that nourishes the body and the spirit"--and take pride in the process as much as the (mouth-wateringly delicious) end result. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

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