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1 Burnside Cooking and Food- Breads

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads


Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads Cover




The First Loaf

Cookbook. London, 1670

This may be your first loaf of yeast-raised bread.

You want it to be picture-perfect when it comes from the oven — wrapped in a golden brown crust and, when cut with the knife, a creamy white slice that demands to be eaten.

Such a loaf is one that I use in teaching — developed over a number of years to best demonstrate how easy it is to make a loaf of bread. I like this loaf so much for sandwiches and toast that there is almost always a loaf, fresh or frozen, in the house.

Blend the dry yeast with the other dry ingredients — some of the flour, all of the sugar, salt, and nonfat dry milk — pour in the warm liquids, and the new bread-making process begins.

This loaf is not exclusively for beginners, I hasten to add, for many longtime home bakers have made it a tradition in their kitchens. It is also versatile. While the recipe below is for an all-white bread, it is a basic loaf that can be made into a dozen different breads. There are variations of this recipe throughout the book, including Kulich, Buttermilk Bread, and others.

For the first edition of The Complete Book of Breads I developed and wrote several recipes for the new baker, to introduce the more than 300 recipes to follow. I have put the best of each of those together in this one recipe. It is a valuable introduction to the basic ingredients that the home baker will use time and again.

The beginning baker is encouraged to read the preceding chapters on techniques, ingredients, and equipment leading up to this, the first loaf. And remember, too, that if the yeast is a new fast-rising strain, make allowances for the shorter rising times.





5 to 6 Cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups hot water (120°-130°)
3 tablespoons shortening, room temperature


2 medium (8"-x-4") or 3 small (7"-x-3") loaf pans, greased or Teflon. Refer to the Dough Volume chart (page 37) for other pan combinations.


In a large mixing bowl measure 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and dry milk. Pour the hot water into the dry ingredients and beat by hand or with mixer flat beater to blend thoroughly. Add the shortening; continue beating. Add 1 cup flour and with a wooden spoon beat 100 vigorous strokes, or for 3 minutes at medium speed in the mixer.

If by hand, continue adding flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and stirring with a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy mass. Work more flour into the dough with your hands if it is sticky.

If by mixer, attach the dough hook and add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough forms a soft, elastic ball around the revolving hook.

KNEADING 10 mins.

If by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and begin to knead with a strong push-turn-fold motion. Occasionally bring the dough down hard against the work surface with a sharp whack! Do this several times during the process. If the dough continues to be sticky, add light sprinkles of flour.

If using the dough hook, continue to knead for 10 minutes. If the ball of dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add sprinkles of flour. Should the dough try to climb over the protective collar at the top of the hook as it turns, hold it back with the edge of a rubber spatula.

When properly kneaded the dough will be soft and elastic. It can be pulled into a thin sheet when stretched between the hands.

A caution: too much flour will make a hard ball that will behave poorly. Work 1 or 2 teaspoons water into the dough. By the same token, if the dough is wet and slack and difficult to handle, add 1 or 2 tablespoons flour.


Attach the short plastic dough blade.

Measure 3 cups flour into the work bowl and add the sugar, salt, yeast, and nonfat dry milk. Pulse to blend. In a small bowl or saucepan pour the hot water over the shortening to soften.

With the processor running, pour the liquid through the feed tube to make a heavy batter. Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft mass forms and is spun around the bowl by the force of the blade. The dough will clean the sides of the bowl. With the short blade some flour may cling to the bottom of the bowl. If so, stop the machine and scrape the dry ingredients into the center and continue processing.

KNEADING 60 secs.

Process to knead for 60 seconds. Stop the machine; pinch the ball of dough. If it is dry, add a small portion of water and continue kneading. If it seems wet, add flour by tablespoons. The dough, when kneaded, will be somewhat sticky and very elastic. Light sprinkles of flour will make the dough manageable. Pull and stretch the dough between your hands to test elasticity; if necessary, process for a few seconds more.


Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap to retain the moisture, and leave at room temperature until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

(If prepared with a new fast-rising yeast and at the recommended higher temperatures, reduce the rising times by about half.)

SHAPING 10 mins.

Turn back the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Turn it onto the floured work surface and knead for a moment or so to force out any bubbles. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces with a sharp knife.

Shape each piece into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 2 or 3 minutes. Form a loaf by pressing the ball of dough into a flat oval roughly the length of the baking pan. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam tightly to seal, tuck under the ends, and place seam down in the pan.


Cover the pans with wax or parchment paper and leave until the dough has doubled in volume, about 45 minutes at room temperature.


Preheat the oven to 400° about 20 minutes before baking.

BAKING 400° 10 mins. 350° 25-30 mins.

Place the loaves in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350° for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Midway through baking and again at the end turn the pans end for end so the loaves are uniformly exposed to the heat.

(If using convection oven, reduce heat 50°.)

When the loaves are a golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom crust, they are done.


Turn out onto wire racks to cool. If you want a soft, tender crust, brush the hot loaves with melted butter or margarine.

This bread may be frozen for a later presentation — up to 6 months at 0°. Toasts beautifully.

Finally, if this is your first loaf, stand back and admire your creation.

Copyright © 1973, 1987 by Bernard Clayton, Jr.

Product Details

Clayton, Bernard
Simon & Schuster
Clayton, Bernard, Jr.
New York :
Courses & Dishes - Bread
Methods - Baking
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.59x7.68x2.18 in. 3.16 lbs.

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Cooking and Food » Baking » Breads

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.95 In Stock
Product details 752 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780671602222 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bernard Clayton, Jr.'s, The Complete Book of Breads was published in 1973 and immediately became a modern American classic. With it, Clayton established himself as an expert and has maintained his position as an authority whom other food professionals turn to. Under his guidance, a generation of home bakers produced their first loaves and have since gone back time and again to old favorites. For fourteen years The Complete Book of Breads has stayed in print. During that time, Clayton discovered that France alone offered a book's worth of material and so produced The Breads of France. With The Complete Book of Pastry, he again offered the reader definitive instruction along with splendid recipes.

In the years since the publication of The Complete Book of Breads new equipment and products have revolutionized the American kitchen. With a heavy-duty mixer equipped with a dough hook, or even a food processor, a home-baked loaf can be produced in a fraction of the time previously required, and with little effort as well. The availability of fast-acting yeasts, bread flour, and other specialty products once found only in health and gourmet food stores has also broadened the possibilities. These changes were part of the inspiration for the much needed New Complete Book of Breads: 200 of the recipes from the original book appear here, all revised with the modern cook, modern equipment, and marvelous products in mind. For each recipe, Clayton gives instructions for using either the mixer or the food processor and also takes into account the shorter time needed for fast-acting yeasts.

Beyond the updated recipes, he also includes 100 new recipes, which are the result of ongoing research, further travels, and the generosity of fans and friends. In the author's own words: "All of the recipes reflect what has happened in the kitchen in the past two decades. New flours, equipment, yeasts, and techniques have been introduced to make home bread-making easier and faster — with no loss of quality."

The New Complete Book of Breads offers an incredible range of variety, nearly enough to supply a different kind Of bread for a year of baking days. Here are wheat breads — Honey-Lemon, Walnut, Buttermilk; a variety of sourdough breads; all manner of corn breads; breads flavored with herbs and spices or enriched with cheeses, and all the favorite "little breads" — Kaiser Rolls, Mother's Biscuits, English Muffins, and Popovers. For the baker who observes the seasons and the holidays with a fresh loaf, there are Challah, Barm Brack, and Panettone; there are also delectable breads rich with nuts and fruits, such as Cherry-Pecan, Italian Olive, and Honey-Pineapple.

For fourteen years the original Complete Book of Breads has been thought of as the comprehensive and definitive work by readers and food writers alike; for professional bakers, it has been an important reference. But for its author, it may have been just the beginning of something else, for the New Complete Book of Breads has truly been in progress since then. Bread, the staff of life, is indeed a lively subject, and Bernard Clayton, Jr., has proved to be its most accomplished author.

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