The Tassajara Bread Book Book by Edward Espe Brown -1977 Edition 19th Printing
A recipe doesn't belong to anyone. Given to me, I give it to you. EDWARD ESPE BROWN
In the 1960s in a remote valley in Southern California, the first Zen spiritual center opened in the United States. The only zen monastery outside of Asia, it was known as Tassajara. There, students and guests from all over the world came to practice Zen philosophies and Buddhist principles in order to gain a more gentle approach to life. One that focused heavily on kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness.
Due to its remote location, food for the guests, students, and staff was grown on-site at Green Gulch Farm, part of the Zen Mountain Center campus. In 1970, Edward Espe Brown a head cook at the Center, published his first book, in what would become a series of Tassajara cookbooks. His debut masterpiece was The Tassajara Bread Book and it set the tone for the kind of thankful cooking that the spiritual retreat became known for.
Covering 140 pages of bread recipes, it is of course a cookbook, but at its core, it is also a gentle reminder to practice patience, gratitude, humbleness, kindness, and thankfulness for all aspects of the cooking and baking process. From choosing the most natural ingredients possible to treating homemade dough with the same gentleness as holding a baby to expressing gratitude for a simple meal of freshly made bread and butter, this just might be the kindest cookbook published during the 1970s.
Spanning all different types of bread for all meals of the day from breakfast through after-dinner desserts, recipes run the gamut from muffins and quick breads to more specialized foods like O-Konomi-Yaki (a type of Japanese pancake), Tibetan Barley Bread, and Unyeasted Dutch Rye Bread.
If you are new to the world of bread baking, there is a lot of detailed step-by-step information that will help yield your first successful batches. If you are a more seasoned baker, you'll appreciate the creative variety of recipes included here. Many were favorites of the guests who came to study at the Center and others were made up of favorites from the staff that lived and worked at Tassajara year-round.
The Tassajara Bread Book was an immediate hit and went through many reprintings, as did other culinary subjects in the Tassajara collection.
Tassajara still welcomes students and guests every year for study, retreats, and work programs. Read more about them on their website.
- 19th printing, published in 1977
- 146 pages
- Illustrated throughout with whimsical line drawings by Kent Rush, Frances Thompson and Lucille Harris
- Interesting recipes include: Banana Sandwich Bread, English Muffins, Norwegian Coffee Cake, Tibetan Barley Bread, Gruel Bread, Leftover Cereal Flatbread, Three Layer Cornbread, Peach Kuchen, Torte with Sour Cream Fruit Topping, Sesame Candy, Tassajara Granola and Honey Bars
In lovely vintage condition, this cookbook looks practically brand new. It is free of spots, stains and markings. There is one small hole punch in the top right corner of the front cover. The spine is tight, all pages are intact and the paperback covers are in strong and sturdy condition.
Measures 6" inches (width) x 9" inches (length) x .5" inches (thickness)