By Judith M. Fertig
Symbolic of home and hearth, a good loaf of bread nurtures the soul as well as the body. Bread is at the center of American culinary tradition, and America's greatest bounty of breads radiates from the Heartland, rich in grains and diverse in ethnic populations.
Simply stated, the best breads in America come from the Heartland, and Prairie Home Breads demonstrates that not only is the Heartland where America's grains are grown, but also that it is where the art of bread-baking is celebrated and taken seriously by all home cooks worth their salt. Their offerings are created from the confluence of Old World tradition, New World ingenuity, and prairie abundance, resulting in a wonderful mix of the tried and true with the new and innovative.
Now Judith M. Fertig, a respected authority on Midwestern cuisine, brings together 150 traditional and modern recipes that have risen from our cultural melting pot. To create these recipes, Fertig visited artisanal bakeries, farmhouse kitchens, rural church suppers, urban bakeries, and farmer's markets. There she found yeast breads as varied as Shaker Daily Bread and Cheddar Chive Bread, as well as such naturally leavened breads as Spring Wheat Semolina Bread and whole-grain breads like Great Plains Granola Bread. She also discovered buns and rolls ranging from elegant—Herbed Squash Rolls—to hearty— Bohemian Sour Rye Knots—as well as quick biscuits, popovers, and crackers.
There are plenty of sweet treats as well. Along with elegant tea breads, buttery scones, and homey muffins, there are scrumptious coffeecakes, kuchens, and strudels. and Fertig showcases bread accompaniments, such as Dairy Country Cheese Fondue and Garden Tomato Chutney, and creative ways to use leftover bread, including Prairie Panzanella and Heirloom Apple Charlotte.
Last, but certainly not least, Prairie Home Breads is filled with rich stories of regional culture, agriculture, Midwestern culinary traditions, and warm celebrations of Heartland food and the people who continue to sustain the rich traditions and heritage of American bread-baking.
Judith M. Fertig is a nationally recognized authority on regional Midwestern cuisine and the author of three previous cookbooks, the most recent of which, Prairie Home Cooking, was nominated for a James Beard Book Award and an IACP Cookbook Award. She writes the weekly column "Come Into My Kitchen" for the Kansas City Star and has contributed to numerous publications including Saveur, Country Living, and the New York Times. A Midwest native, she lives in Kansas City, Missouri. You can visit her at www.prairiehomecook.com.
Prairie Home Breads
150 Splendid Recipes from America's Breadbasket
By Judith M. Fertig
Harvard Common Press, 2001
Hardcover, $ 18.95
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created November 2001
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