Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: The Complete Bread Cookbook

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, May 23, 2001

This small book covers a lot of ground, but is nothing special. All the recipes I’ve tried work fine. All in all, it’s a worthwhile choice if you need more bread recipes.

AuthorJean Siris Kaufman
Length254 pages
Book Rating5

For a small book, this covers a fair amount of ground, most of it pretty normal. It starts out as simple as you can get: seven pages of recipes on “Beginner’s Bread Baking”, using commercial “hot roll mixes” and refrigerator biscuit packages. I used to love those refrigerator biscuits as a kid. Not because they tasted great, but because I liked popping open the package. Besides these extremely basic ‘getting started’ recipes, there is a good section on the terminology of baking bread, what the steps are, and what to expect. Quite useful for the beginner.

The “Yeasted Breads” section contains standard bread recipes, including a high-rising Anadama bread which is probably the easiest Anadama I’ve seen, though not least because it calls for normal flour and no oat flour.

The rest of the chapters cover “Sweet Breads”, “Quick Loaf Breads”, a collection of “Corn & Spoon Breads, Johnny Cakes & Hush Puppies”, “Natural Whole-Grain Breads”, “Fruit Breads and Kuchens”, a separate chapter on “Gingerbreads”, “Fat-Free Sponge Loaves”, “Rolls and Buns”, “Biscuits, Muffins and Scones” (including an incredibly rich-looking “Vermont Maple-Sugar Biscuits”), “Popovers”, “Bread Puddings”, “Bread Stuffings”, “Brioches and Babas” (Brioches both French and Basque), and “Popovers”.

All the recipes I’ve tried have worked fine. The section on popovers was especially useful, and gave me the impetus to go out and get a popover mold. The section on “Toasts and Dunkers” includes the basics of French Toast for those of you who (like me) have forgotten exactly how Mom used to do it.

There are two sections covering foreign breads: “Exotic Breads” and “Breads From Other Lands”, and another on “Regional Coffee Breads”. These are probably the most interesting of the chapters. In the former, you’ll find Indian Chapatis, a Rumanian Corn Bread, and Rose Petal Sweet Bread. There is also a “Snow Corn Bread” which actually calls for new-fallen snow. It must be fresh, clean snow, because only fresh snow still contains ammonia from the atmosphere. Or so it claims. I know that if you follow the huskies around you’ll find lots of ammonia in your snow.

In the coffee bread section you’ll find “Boston Brown”, “Louisiana Yam”, “Vermont Maple Sugar”, and “California Sunshine”. The latter is an orange-flavored bread with pumpkin pie spices, covered in orange frosting. “Breads From Other Lands” includes “Challah” (Jewish Sabbath bread), “Egyption Onion Bread”, “Greek Hymettus Honey Bread”, the ubiquitous “Irish Soda Bread”, and “Russian Pashka” (a cheese cake with no flour whatsoever). Also included is “Quick Syrian Coffee Bread”, a quick bread flavored with rosewater and aniseed.

All in all it’s a worthwhile book. Not something I’d go out searching for, but it is useful enough to have at hand.

Chinese Almond Loaf

  • ½ cup butter,
  • ½ cup sugar,
  • 2 beaten eggs,
  • 2 tsp baking powder,
  • ½ tsp almond flavor,
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds,
  • 2 cups rice flour.
  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and beat until mixture is creamy.
  3. Add baking powder, almond flavor and almonds.
  4. Work in flour and form into soft dough.
  5. Turn into well-greased and lightly floured 8" x 4" x 2½" loaf pan.
  6. Decorate top with split almonds if desired.
  7. Bake at 350F until delicate golden brown and the loaf tests done.
  8. Cool well before slicing.

The Complete Bread Cookbook

Jean Siris Kaufman

My cost: $1.50

Recommendation: When you can find it

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