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Last updated: May 29, 2024

My BReD cookbook review

This cookbook was exactly what was missing from my bookshelf. With hundreds of pages filled with vegan baking know-how from a talented sourdough baker, I’ve finally got a reason to bake again.

Rating:

5 stars out of 5
Lucy holding the BReD cookbook up to the camera

Pros

  • Huge variety of recipes
  • Great learning opportunities
  • Plenty of visual aids

Cons

  • Some recipes may be tough for beginners

Everyone and their dog has a vegan cookbook out. Most just contain copycat recipes that can be found all over the internet. I don’t need any more recipes for bean chilli. Nor do I need another bog-standard vegan sponge cake recipe.

These are great for lazy cooking, or beginner cooks, but where are the recipes that challenge you? The kind that are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with plant-based food.

My weekends are currently spent cooking from Ottolenghi’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, but these haven’t been created with veganism in mind.

I have been longing for a plant-based cookbook that has been created by an Ottolenghi of the vegan world. Someone who truly understands plants, cooking techniques, and flavours.

Thankfully, the founders behind BReD (a vegan sourdough bakery in Whistler) have answered my prayers.

Their cookbook has been filled to the brim with vegan cooking knowledge and sourdough mastery. I finally have something to dig my teeth into. Being able to support a vegan baker in the process is the icing on the cake.

The BReD cookbook by Ed Tatton in front of the grass

Who would enjoy BReD?

BReD is a sourdough cookbook, but not every recipe requires you to enjoy baking sourdough. It also includes a huge variety of vegan baking recipes, with whole sections on gluten-free baking, vegan cakes, and biscuits, as well as savoury dips, spreads and accompaniments.

But this isn’t plant-based baking as you know it. The recipes are a lot more technical. Expect anything from millet blondies to sourdough brioche.

Therefore, I would recommend the BReD cookbook to:

  • Keen bakers
  • Vegan foodies
  • Chefs (especially those looking to expand their vegan cooking knowledge)
  • Anyone with an interest in sourdough (I am a complete sourdough noob, and am finding this cookbook beneficial!)

Are the recipes good quality?

As you’d expect from a baker with their own bakery, the recipes are of a high quality. Everything I have baked has come out exceptionally well. I am using methods that I haven’t tried before and creating doughs that have challenged me. When I have got it right, the food is worthy of being served in a commercial setting.

I have baked numerous sourdough loaves following Ed Tatton’s sourdough starter schedule and they have been some of my best loaves yet. The taste and texture was amazing. Even the sourdough discard crumpets were divine. I now make these every week.

On top of this, I have tried a few of the cake recipes, like the millet blondies. These were gluten-free and made purely from millet flour, yet they were so substantial. Nothing at all like gluten-free bakes I’ve tried before.

The BReD cookbook next to some sourdough discard crumpets I made following their recipe for this BReD cookbook review
My sourdough discard crumpets made from my 100% spelt starter

Is there a good variety of recipes?

There are hundreds of recipes in the BReD cookbook. Within the sourdough bread section, there are quite a few different styles of loaves to try, utilising different flours and flavourings. On top of the loaves, there are other smaller bread recipes like pizza dough and burger buns.

If bread doesn’t take your fancy, then you can also check out one of their many cake or biscuit recipes. There are even a few celebration desserts in there to try. It gets even better than that though, as there is also a section at the back with dips and accompaniments, like vegan feta and cultured cashew ricotta.

You really won’t ever grow bored of these recipes! But if you are looking for a simple dinner or lunchtime recipe, you won’t find that here.

Are the recipes difficult?

There is a real mix of recipes in this cookbook. First and foremost, it is a sourdough cookbook and sourdough can be a hard one to master. Breadmaking as a whole isn’t for the faint-hearted. But, this is a big but, they have made it easy for you to learn how to make sourdough with their visual aids and detailed explanations. So if you were to choose to learn to make sourdough, which you should, then this book will be one of your best places to start and end.

A lot of the other baking recipes in the book are less challenging than the sourdough loaves. Any home baker should be able to master these. If you are new to vegan baking, some elements may be a little different for you, but they have provided a lot of useful information at the start of the book on how to bake using vegan ingredients.

I recommend everyone start by reading the full introduction, it has so many useful nuggets of information!

Where can you buy the BReD cookbook?

You can buy the cookbook from a few different outlets, including Amazon and Bookshop. I would recommend purchasing from the latter since you will be supporting local bookshops.

The cover of BReD: The Cookbook which I reviewed
OutletCost
Bookshop.org£32.29
Amazon£28.17
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Lucy the founder of Edible Ethics vegan food blog eating vegan noodles in a plant based restaurant

Lucy Johnson

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