Suzi was baking this weekend. Here’s what she fashioned, the world’s best cheese roll, from this exceptional book:



And as I looked at this lovely book, published in 2003, I asked myself when had I published a cookbook review. I checked this blog, and checked, and scratched my head. I’ve never told you about The Cheese Board. In Berkeley, California, across the street from Chez Panisse, there is this collective where cheese and bread abound. When they make these cheese rolls, you can smell them three blocks away. And, the line for them is almost that long, too. You need to rush, get in line, and buy before they are gone. I’ve seen some very upset people there. Actually, I have been one of them.

This is a book principally about bread and the four chapters here have a natural division:

  • The Morning Bakery: Scone, Muffins, and More
  • Yeasted Breads
  • Sourdough Breads
  • Rye Breads

The recipes here include familiar classics, like Lemon Blueberry Scones, and some new ideas, too, like Maple Pecan Scones. Here are some examples of the “different” recipes that await your fingertips as you work through this book.

Apple Apricot Muffins

Corn Oat Molasses Bread

Coriander Wheat Bread

Tomato, Caper and Olive Focaccia

Wolverines [sourdough bread with dried apricots, pecans, and dried cherries]

Sourdough Beer Rye

The collective turns out bread by ton, literally. They have honed and perfected these recipes. While the collective makes massive amounts, these recipes have been written for us bread mortals who just need a loaf or two. Although, it must be said, that you may find yourself making bread in ever larger batches.

You can play with the new recipe ideas noted above. Or, if you are just looking for a “better” challah or a richer potato bread, then The Cheese Board has those, too. It’s a universal bread book that you can trust, learn from, and enjoy one slice at a time.

There is, also, a fifty page cheese chapter giving you a thorough survey of how to make a delicious cheese plate and recipes for cheese breads — Corn Onion Cheddar and Provolone Olive. There is guidance here for buying and storing cheese to maximize your pleasure and save some money along the way.

If you visit the Bay Area, then a trip to The Cheese Board is a mandatory culinary stop. If you can’t jet away soon, then find a copy of this brilliantly intelligent tribute to bread and cheese.