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Author Manuel Monade is the current chair of the London borough of Southwark Refugee and Migrant Project, an organisation he has been working with for the past twenty years. Having helped people facing stressful situations in the course of his charitable work, and also having experienced the sense of achievement of his breadmaking students, he is interested in the therapeutic potential of baking. Here, together with psychotherapist Caroline Harrison, he shows how breadmaking can help anyone to enhance their mental wellbeing.

An introduction explains the concept of ‘breaditation’ – breadmaking as therapy and the benefits it can bring for good mental health. Advice on essential equipment and the fundamentals of baking follows: understanding the dynamics of breadmaking; then the stages – kneading; shaping; proving; and baking.

The book includes twenty-one straightforward recipes from different parts of the world, all of which give a sense of achievement in making them. There is nothing too technically demanding meaning that there is an immediate reward in starting and finishing the recipes. The book ends with some sourdough breadmaking for people looking for a bit more of a challenge.

The recipes include: ciabatta; focaccia; grissini; bagels; muffins; pitta bread; lavash; white country loaf; wholemeal loaf; granary loaf; classic bun dough; brioche; scrolls; puff pastry; sweet pastry; shortcrust pastry; crackers; shortbreads; white, spelt and rye sourdoughs.

Reviews

The only breadmaking book you'll ever knead for your mental wellbeing.
Professor David Veale, consultant psychiatrist at The Maudsley Hospital