Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glezer (review)

summary: review of Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glezer; brief comparison to The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum;

When I was writing about bialys, I didn’t mention that the whole time I was making them, directly beside Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Bread Bible book open to the Bialys pages, I had Maggie Glezer’s “Artisan Baking Across America” open to her recipe for Kossar’s bialys. I was consulting both recipes every time I needed instruction.

And it got me thinking. In cases with recipes that are virtually the same, why is it that I so often choose to use Beranbaum’s recipes over Glezer’s? Like Beranbaum’s Bread Bible, Glezer’s book is full of beautiful photos. And the thing I really like about each photo is that it is attached to the pages with the recipe. (The photos in The Bread Bible are all stacked together in a photo gallery.) The instructions in both books are clear and well thought out.

But here are the biggest differences:

  1. Glezer’s book is quite large – it’s not particularly thick but it is really tall. It doesn’t fit all that well onto a stand without falling over.
  2. It’s printed on glossy paper that glares under the lights.
  3. The print is ridiculously small and light coloured- especially where it matters. I need a magnifying glass to read the ingredients quantities and lists. Thank goodness for post-it notes.

making bread Aside from that, I love Maggie Glezer’s book! The section on kneading slack dough has been extremely helpful. And the recipes for Acme’s Rustic Baguettes and Royal Crown Tortano alone are worth the price of the book.

I have no idea how many times I’ve made the Rustic Baguettes recipe. It’s countless. And it’s stellar every time.

While it’s true that I haven’t made very many of the recipes, I have consulted it on many occasions and always come away satisfied. Glezer’s advice on yeast conversions, flours, kneading, shaping, filling is invaluable.

I definitely wouldn’t want to be without “Artisan Baking Across America”. But I sure wish I had a bigger magnifying glass.