Synopses & Reviews
In Savory Baking from the Mediterranean
, Anissa Helou takes you on a culinary journey around the Mediterranean region through its revered tradition of baking. With tireless enthusiasm, a keen palate, and the skill of a gifted teacher, Helou offers detailed recipes for the enormous variety of baked goods that are a staple of the renowned Mediterranean diet.
From the familiar focaccias and pizzas to the exciting meat and vegetarian pies of Greece, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Lebanon, France, and every other country, island, and territory of the remarkable Mediterranean basin, Helou presents the best of raised and flat breads, rusks, breadsticks, pies, tarts, and savory pastries. You will puff up with pride when you have succeeded in producing a French rye bread, a Spanish country bread, a Pugliese brioche, a Neapolitan macaroni pie, Turkish meat boreks, and a French leek pie. Every one of the 130 recipes has been carefully and meticulously tested to assure success in the home kitchen. These recipes are tempting, satisfying, and no-fail.
Throughout the book are Helou's evocative photographs, which draw you into the homes of the bakers and reveal the bakers themselves as well as their wonderful baked goods.
Savory Baking from the Mediterranean is for everyone who loves to eat, cook, travel, or just read about this enchanted part of the world and its artisanal bakers and cooks.
"'In Helou's (Mediterranean Street Food) latest, breads that are often overlooked get a star turn: pitas that enfold spicy meats, pillowy focaccia that serves as a platter for rich tomato sauce and flatbreads used to scoop up hummus. Helou draws on cultures from around the region to offer everything from Piquitos (rich Spanish breadsticks) to Sicilian eggplant bread rolls, a lamb-filled Cretan Easter Pie to Moroccan Triangles with Minced Meat, with the similarities between ingredients and preparations demonstrating how much the cultures share despite national divisions. Along with entries as familiar and simple as the aptly named Regular Italian Bread and classic Neapolitan Pizza, Helou delves into less charted territory with recipes like the dazzling sweet Greek Holy Bread and the flavorful Lebanese Strained Yogurt Triangles. Unfortunately for a book about such a colorful region, the accompanying photos of bakers and breads are all in black and white, but home cooks who just want the goods will appreciate the straightforward, easy-to-follow steps and the often detailed remarks about ingredients, history and preparation that preface many of the recipes. Helou has created a paean to the foundation of Mediterranean food.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Anissa has done it again; I wouldnt have believed it possible... Her newest contribution will inspire many bakers. Mark H. Furstenberg, Founder of Marvelous Market and The BreadLine and co-owner of Ma-Mi Bistro and Bakery
“Annisa Helous books are the only hopeful sign I see coming out of the Middle East these days...” Raymond Sokolov, author of A Canon of Vegetables
“Helou has created a paean to the foundation of Mediterranean food.” Publishers Weekly
“...a comprehensive look at a fascinating subject.” - Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of Cucina del Sole
I love the spirit of this book. Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
“...unlocks the mysteries of all these lovely little breads...” NPR.org
“Anissa Helou has brought back wonderful recipes...and presents them with engaging charm...” Claudia Roden, author of Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon
“...Hurray for [Anissas] regional research. My copy bristles with many markers; my fingers yearn to plunge into the doughs.” Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker, Celebrating Italy, and Italy in Small Bites
A New York Times Best Book of 2007“If Western notions of ‘the Mediterranean diet are moving from naive cliches to better understanding, writers like Anissa Helou have had a lot to do with the change...” New York Times
The Mediterranean is full of varied and diverse cuisines, but the one thing they all share is a basic reliance on bread. From Italian focaccia and French brioche to Lebanese tabouneh (sourdough pita) and Egyptian fiteer (flatbread), bread is the single most important staple in Mediterranean diets, and serves as the foundation for countless other savory dishes. In Savory Baking from the Mediterranean, Anissa Helou presents a collection of classic and favorite recipes that will provide home cooks with a broad overview of Mediterranean savory baking, from countless variations on flatbreads like pita, focaccia, and lavash, to raised breads such as French Bacon Bread, Greek Spinach and Olive Bread, and Italian Nut Bread. In addition, she offers recipes for a wide variety of pies, tarts, and savory pastries, such as calzones, empanadas, pizzas, and spanakopitta. Savory Baking from the Mediterranean is illustrated through out with 100 artful black and while photographs of landscapes, communities, and breads.
About the Author
Anissa Helou is a writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, she knows the Mediterranean as only a well-traveled native can. Lebanese Cuisine, her first book, was nominated for the prestigious Andre Simon Award and was named one of the best cookbooks of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times. Mediterranean Street Food was described by the New York Times as "a marvelous book." It won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2002 as the best Mediterranean cuisine book in English. Helou lives in London, where she has her own cooking school, Anissa's School. She appears frequently on British television and radio. She has written many articles for the Weekend Financial Times, and has contributed to several other publications including Gourmet, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. An accomplished photographer and intrepid traveler, Helou is fluent in French and Arabic as well as English.