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Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice by Alexandra Stafford

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Notes about this book

  • bevchris on July 14, 2017

    I made the peasant bread but added 1/2 potato flakes and reduced the flour a little. The end result was very nice and I will make it this way again.

  • eliza on March 20, 2017

    I read about this book on a gardening blog and it intrigued me, so I tried a recipe (the anadama bread) from an online preview. I bake a lot of bread and I'm always interested in trying a new method. This bread was certainly easy to make. The resulting loaf had an odd spongy texture that didn't really appeal to me, although its taste was acceptable enough. Would probably benefit from a second rising. Not a bread for purists.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • The peasant bread master recipe

    • vickster on August 11, 2017

      I was excited to finally try this bread from Alexandra Stafford's book. It is a very easy, fast recipe, with little hands-on time. Next I am going to try some of the variations.

    • BethNH on December 07, 2018

      I followed the recipe exactly - even weighed the flour. The bread never made even a loose ball but I figured I’d forge ahead. After the first rise I was concerned about the loose dough - more of a batter really - but I put it in the two bowls and let them rise. After baking I was very surprised to find two lovely brown loaves of bread. Delicious and super easy!

    • westminstr on December 03, 2018

      I used a half recipe to make the cutest little loaf of bread ever! Everyone loved it. I subbed active dry yeast (mixed the sugar into the lukewarm water, then added yeast and waited until foamy) and a scant tsp of David's kosher salt. Excited to try variations, especially with some whole grain flours added. I have a slow oven, baked the extra five minutes and glad I did.

    • hirsheys on September 01, 2018

      Earlier this summer I had grading to do at home, so I flirted briefly with the idea of running to a nearby bakery to get some yummy bread so that I could make myself a tomato sandwich for lunch. But then I felt far too comfy in my jammies and did NOT feel like getting dressed. So, instead, I remembered the description of this no-knead bread on Chowhound and decided to give it a go. I found the recipe online, and sure enough, in just a couple hours I had two adorable little loaves of chewy bread that were perfect for tomato sandwiches. Yum! The method worked great (though I didn't butter the bowls enough - next time maybe I'll use oil?)

    • stockholm28 on December 03, 2018

      There are lots of raves about this bread, but I was disappointed. I liked the buttery crust, but I thought the yeast flavor was a bit too strong and the texture reminded me too much of a dense loaf cake. It was much better to me on day two when I used it as toast. I might try another of her recipes, but I will probably look for one with another grain. I did like how easy this was and it was definitely superior to the supermarket bread that I grew up eating. I think JIm Lahey’s No Knead bread is fantastic and that crusty, chewy style of bread is really what I prefer so I will probably continue to choose that when cooking for adults. However, I might give this a try when cooking for my crust-hating niece and nephew. I could see how this one might even entice a very picky kid to eat the crust.

    • stockholm28 on December 19, 2018

      UPDATE: My second attempt at this resulted in much better results. I took some suggestions from sallyt and nannybales on the chowhound COTM THREAD. I made half a recipe and used 12 g dark rye, 64 g whole wheat, and 180 g AP flour. I extended the second rise to 30 minutes and I baked until the internal temp was 205 F. I liked this variation much better. I still prefer the Lahey no knead bread, but this is quite a satisfactory option when one does not plan ahead.

    • Lepa on December 12, 2018

      This was extremely easy to pull together and I was quite pleased with the result. I'm a bit spoiled by living down the road from Tartine Bakery and it's nothing like the bread I can buy from bakeries in SF but I was satisfied with the effort to result ratio. It was pretty good slathered with lots of fancy German butter. My kids loved it because the crust is so soft. We ate a loaf with soup and then they had a final piece with butter and jam for dessert.

  • Three seed bread

    • Lepa on December 06, 2018

      This was the first bread I made from this book and we didn't love it. It wasn't salty enough, had an off taste from the canola oil and lacked flavor. I'm concerned the canola oil was responsible for the taste so I might try grape seed oil next time.

  • Quinoa and flax bread

    • Lepa on December 20, 2018

      I liked the crunch in this bread. I'm still not sure the flavor/texture is great.

    • bching on November 05, 2018

      Very good. Like the walnut bread I cooked from this book, the loaf needed the maximum time plus a few more minutes in the oven. I substituted mustard seeds for the flax seeds in the recipe thinking mustard would complement the roast marrow bones I was also serving. I was right! I'm thinking that caraway seeds would also make a good replacement.

  • Beer bread with golden raisins and walnuts

    • Maefleur on June 05, 2018

      I subbed dried cranberries for the golden raisins. Added a sweet/tart flavor and a pop of color.

  • Walnut bread

    • bching on December 29, 2017

      disappointing gummy texture.

  • Honey whole-wheat bread

    • hirsheys on September 08, 2018

      Like the other breads in the book, this bread is super easy to make and came out absolutely delicious. So far, this might be my favorite. It tastes similar to my favorite whole wheat bread from the Tassajara Bread Book (Tassajara is still my fave, but this one is WAY simpler). My cornmeal had a bug in it (ew), so I replaced it with a little instant cream of wheat (thinking it might add a similar texture). I don't think it did, but it worked fine. Next time, I'd like to try it with the cornmeal, though I think extra flour would be fine, too. I think any sweetener would work, though I think tasty/flavorful is key, so wouldn't use agave or very light honey.

  • Anadama bread

    • hirsheys on October 20, 2018

      An interesting, extremely molasses-y bread. For me, this wasn't salty enough. I'm not sure if this is because I used Diamond Crystal salt (in other breads, I used Morton), or because this particular bread isn't salty enough. Next time, I will try it with more salt. (As usual, I cooked it for the extra 5 minutes...)

    • eliza on August 06, 2017

      I made this a while back, and didn't care for the texture. The flavour was fine if a bit too sweet for me, but the odd spongy texture is what really let this down, making this my least favourite bread I've made in recent memory. I definitely won't repeat this one; there are so many better recipes out there!

  • Oatmeal-maple bread

    • BethNH on December 19, 2018

      Once again I really had to trust the process. At the end of the first rise the dough was quite loose. I scooped it out with my hands into the buttered bowls and left it to rise. It rose better than the peasant bread. I baked it for 40 minutes and it produced two lovely brown loaves of bread. This bread is SO GOOD. It's slightly sweet but I could not taste maple syrup. It's wonderfully soft. It's delicious plain or toasted. I will make this again and again. The only change I made was to use white whole wheat because it's what I prefer.

    • hirsheys on September 01, 2018

      I didn't take good notes on this, but it was easy and came out yummy. Looking forward to trying it again. ETA: go heavier on salt next time and make sure to cook at least the extra 5 mins.

    • stockholm28 on January 12, 2019

      This bread is quite dense and slightly sweet. The maple flavor is not really noticeable beyond the sweetness. I preferred this as toast and this bread really seems more suited to the breakfast table. I did have to cook it the extra 5 minutes. Also note that this recipe uses 2 cups water. She lists 1 cup boiling water in the ingredients list but the instructions have you add another cup of water after the oatmeal soaks in the hot water for 10 minutes. I missed this step initially.

  • Multigrain cereal bread

    • stockholm28 on December 19, 2018

      I also liked this bread. I used Bob’s 10 grain cereal which was leftover from my experiment with the Smitten Kitchen bread. I did not care for the SK bread which I thought tasted too much of beer. I liked this much better. I really preferred it as toast for breakfast. My second rise was about 40 minutes and I baked it to an internal temperature of 205 F as suggested on chowhound COTM thread.

    • hirsheys on October 07, 2018

      As per usual, I added the extra 5 minutes to my bake time (knowing my oven). Just like the others, this bread is delicious and super easy. It was a great way to use up the cereal I bought for a different recipe. I liked the texture the cereal added to the bread, though I don't think the taste is terribly different than the other wheat breads.

  • Rye bread

    • hirsheys on September 01, 2018

      Like the other breads in this book, this is easy as pie to make, and this time I was able to make one of them in the correct sized bowl (1 QT) and it came out SO cute. The flavor of the rye is pretty subtle, but it's tasty, and the crumb is nice. I cooked it for the extra 5 minutes and felt it needed it. (That has been true every time I've made these breads.) I think the oil in the bread is a bit much, however. I may lower the amount next time and/or leave it out entirely. Finally, I made the mistake of putting one of my bowls fresh out of the oven in my sink with water in it and it immediately cracked - so watch out for that!

  • Spicy jalapeño, corn, and Jack bread

    • BethNH on January 07, 2019

      The addition of grated Monterey Jack cheese makes for a nice moist loaf of bread. I subbed pickled jalapenos for fresh because that's what I had. The green flecks throughout the loaf makes for a very attractive bread. The flavor of the jalapenos is not very pronounced - more like a background flavor. We served this with beef stew and it was delicious.

    • ellencooks on May 30, 2017

      I included the seeds of the jalapeño because I wanted it to have a little kick. This was excellent!

  • Pissaladière with anchovies, tomatoes, and onions

    • Lepa on November 26, 2018

      This was very easy to make and so impressive (and delicious!) My family loved this. I used quartered cherry tomatoes since tomatoes are no longer in season and they worked well.

  • Peasant pizza

    • ellencooks on May 18, 2017

      I was surprised by how good this was! I've been using a dough I make the night before and let rise overnight. This was easier and faster. I've successfully frozen half and made a great pizza camping in a skillet.

  • Brioche with hazelnut cream swirl

    • hirsheys on December 17, 2018

      I'm not convinced that the hazelnut swirl is worth the trouble, to be honest. It's quite yummy, but man, what a megillah (Yiddish for elaborate process, basically). On the other hand, the brioche is amazing - light and fluffy and like falling off a log. I will definitely make it again (just not filled with anything.) This recipe makes 2 loaves.

  • Toasted coconut loaf

    • stockholm28 on January 12, 2019

      I wanted to love this, but it was just o.k. for me. It is very dense and was quite moist (almost cake-like) 15 minutes after baking, but became drier and more bread-like by the next day. I preferred it toasted. I did wish that I had some lime curd or nutella to top it with as I think that would have been quite an improvement. I’ve now made 4 types of bread from this book and have thought all were fine but none were great. I think this kind of bread is just not my favorite style. I’ll keep these recipes in my backpocket for when I need something quick, but when I have time to plan I will always choose the Jim Lahey no knead bread,

    • cucinahalcon on November 20, 2018

      So good. We prefer it without the toasted coconut.

  • Dark chocolate bread

    • cucinahalcon on November 20, 2018

      Too bitter. Seemed like it should be a quick sweet bread, but the yeasted chocolate was odd.

  • Stuffing with kale, cranberries, and chestnuts

    • westminstr on December 03, 2018

      I've made this stuffing for two different thanksgivings, subbing veg stock for chicken. It is a GREAT thanksgiving stuffing. It has a lot more vegetable matter than most stuffings, which is a plus for me. You have to make the bread pieces small to start with - they shrink down in the toasting stage but they absorb the broth and grow tremendously while baking! I usually up the dried cranberries a little. I especially love the leftovers, the bread and kale are so crispy and delicous when reheated in the oven!

  • Sheet-pan mac 'n' cheese

    • rmkeller on May 14, 2017

      This one's a keeper! Came out just as I expected it would and was delicious. More steps than I would normally go to for mac 'n' cheese but totally worth it for an occasional special version.

    • ellencooks on December 05, 2018

      I loved the crunchy topping but I missed the sharpness of Cheddar.

  • Virgie's meat loaf

    • ellencooks on December 05, 2018

      This was fantastic! Excellent flavors, moist... I froze half of it raw for later and that cooked up great as well.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food in Jars

    ...if you’re looking to up your bread baking game in an approachable way and then find some new ways to make good use of every last morsel of the bread you made, you should check it out.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 055345983X
  • ISBN 13 9780553459838
  • Published Apr 04 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

With praise from Dorie Greenspan, Jim Lahey, and David Lebovitz, the definitive bread-baking book for a new generation. But this book isn’t just about baking bread-- it’s about what to do with the slices and heels and nubs from those many loaves you’ll bake. 

Alexandra Stafford grew up eating her mother’s peasant bread at nearly every meal—the recipe for which was a closely-guarded family secret. When her blog, Alexandra’s Kitchen, began to grow in popularity, readers started asking how to make the bread they’d heard so much about; the bread they had seen peeking into photos. Finally, Alexandra’s mother relented, and the recipe went up on the internet. It has since inspired many who had deemed bread-baking an impossibility to give it a try, and their results have exceeded expectations. The secret is in its simplicity: the no-knead dough comes together in fewer than five minutes, rises in an hour, and after a second short rise, bakes in buttered bowls.
After you master the famous peasant bread, you’ll work your way through its many variations, both in flavor (Cornmeal, Jalapeno, and Jack; Three Seed) and form (Cranberry Walnut Dinner Rolls; Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread). You’ll enjoy bread’s usual utilities with Food Cart Grilled Cheese and the Summer Tartine with Burrata and Avocado, but then you’ll discover its true versatility when you use it to sop up Mussels with Shallot and White Wine or juicy Roast Chicken Legs. Finally, you’ll find ways to savor every last bite, from Panzanella Salad Three Ways to Roasted Tomato Soup to No-Bake Chocolate-Coconut Cookies. 

Alexandra's Kitchen, Finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners 2016