Simply Great Breads by Daniel Leader: Review

Bread. I love bread. It's the reason I jog. Yet there are so many types of bread I haven't tried yet. I'm trying to remedy that at the expense of my waistline. Simply Great Breads by Daniel Leader provides recipes for a variety of yeasty treats. This week I had two different recipes I thought I'd give a whirl.

First off, Angel Biscuits. Not very difficult to mix up. The only issue I had was A. a mistake in the measurements (I informed the publisher) and B. I had to wait overnight to eat them.

Result: Fluffy sweet biscuits. Yum! Maybe a bit too sweet for my tastes though. Next time I'm reduce the sugar a bit.

Second, Brioche Muffins. I've never had brioche before. Where have you been all my life?! These took lots of time to rise but OH MY! they were worth waiting for. They taste like how a fluffy bread cloud would taste if they existed.

I made the cinnamon-cardamon variation. It's almost like a hot cross bun but way better.

Considering all the butter and eggs I used this week, I won't be going for a cholesterol test any time soon but these breads were a nice treat. Some of the recipes are a bit ambitious (bagels) though there are easy ones too (pancakes). They require patience as they some need rising overnight or longer. Good time management is key. Don't plan on whipping up a batch of Parker House rolls an hour before having supper with the in-laws. Using a standing mixer, of course, makes kneading bread easier but the author provides instructions on kneading by hand if you'd like to give it a try.

Some other recipes you'll find include bread sticks, challah, crumpets, waffles, pizza dough, and more. The instructions themselves are easy to follow and Daniel  Leader has a few tips or explanations at the beginning of each to make it easier. So if you have a bread tooth and a bit of patience, I think you'll enjoy Simply Great Breads.

I received this cookbook from the publisher via Netgalley for review.


  1. I've never had either the patience for making bread, or the desire to spend that much time in the kitchen. Although I do love homemade bread! Especially the smell. Mmmmmmm.

  2. I love bread-baking, but don't usually get too exotic. Your pictures are very inspiring!

  3. You will never know how impressed I am since I'm scared of yeast.

  4. An inordinate amount of my cookbook shelf space is devoted to bread baking books. This is a new one to me, thanks for highlighting it!
    Your brioche muffins look wonderful, so beautifully shaped.

  5. I can't bake, but I admire anyone attempting bread, yours look fantastic! Brioche is a favorite here, and leftovers, make an awesome bread pudding!

  6. How the heck did I miss this bread book???? I love to bake bread, and bake by hand or some kind of machine several times a week. Brioche rolls?? OMG

  7. I love to bake bread too. I have an old Angel Biscuit recipe that I don't recall being sweet at all. I'm going to have to find that and give it a try. This book sounds like a good one.

  8. I love that 'bread tooth!' I definitely have one. I could indeed live by 'bread alone.' :<) My life has completely changed by getting a bread machine. I can't praise it enough.

  9. Your baked goods look really good! Would love to take a bite out of them. Those brioche muffins... now that's what I need to bake next. I think I'm going to pop over and check it out on Netgalley xD

  10. i'm not big on eating bread, but I do like the challenge of baking it occasionally. For those afraid of yeast, buy a thermometre and you'll be fine. At first I killed a lot of yeast and made rock hard bagels. That was shocking. Much better now.

  11. Those brioche are beautiful! I also love bread and I'm willing to keep my exercise level up in order to get to eat it!

  12. if I could just overcome my fear of yeast....

  13. I love bread as well, so this sounds like my kind of cookbook! Thanks for the review.

  14. I have never made bread. Seems too time consuming.

    I have to say that I have seen cookbooks on Netgalley but I have never actually thought of requesting one because part of the pleasure of looking at cookbooks for me is the gorgeous food pictures.

  15. Jill- It's easier with a standing mixer. 15 mins of actually mixing, the rest is just waiting for it to rise.

    Col- These weren't too fancy.

    Kathy- Don't be scared. These ones used instant yeast anyway- just toss it in dry.

    BookGirl- You're welcome.

    Carol- I'll be making it often now!

    Beth- I think you'll enjoy this one!

    Margot- I don't remember having ones this sweet before either.

    Nan- I just got into baking bread recently. My husband used to make it a lot.

    Chinoiseries- Good luck!

    Heather- Yeast isn't so scaring. The thermometer is a good idea. My husband says the water should just be slightly warm to the touch. Instant yeast is also a good product.

    Joy- Bread definitely isn't for the carb conscious.

    Caite- Don't be scared!

    Swapna- Have fun!

    Marg- I still got to see all the full color pics. There are some gorgeous photos in it.


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