Cover Image: Beautiful Bread

Beautiful Bread

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Member Reviews

Stunning presentation of the many different recipes brings a new level to the humble bread loaf. This beautiful book is full of inspiring photos and clear instructions. I loved it. Thank you to Net galley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I’ve wanted to bake focaccia ever since I saw pictures of this beautiful bread on Pinterest several years ago.
The author has some good advice to offer: Draw pictures of the design beforehand to ensure ease of re-creation. Keep toppings to less than half of the weight of the dough.
She also offers tips on what to look out for when buying and storing fresh ingredients and the lowdown on essential equipment. The author also helps us with information on the vegetables to use to get specific design effects. These vegetables include onions, potatoes, leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
She walks us through techniques like lattice work, braiding and stencilling, which are a treat to watch. There is a detailed glossary of essential items, especially verbs I’d never heard of, such as degassing, dimpling and docking, in the context of baking.
There are recipes for various kinds of focaccia dough, including Basic White Focaccia, Basic Whole Wheat Focaccia, Dark Multigrain Focaccia and Sweet Focaccia.
A chapter on Flowers teaches us to craft designs of flowers on the focaccia. They include Sunflowers, Wrapped Bouquet, Spring Tulips, White Irises in a Vase, Dahlias, Cherry Blossoms and Bouquet of Calla Lilies.
Another chapter, Artist Inspired, shows us designs inspired by great painters. These include Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Open Flower, Takashi Murakami’s Happy Flowers, Pablo Picasso’s Faces, Wassily Kandinsky’s Circles in Squares, Claude Monet’s Lily Pond and Alma Thomas’s Brushstrokes of Color.
Nature Inspired, another chapter, shows us designs inspired by Fall Leaves, Under the Sea, Tree of Life, Wood Grain Charcuterie Board, Sandcastle, Happy Trail Mix, Solar System and Pomegranate.
Focaccia for Holidays and Specia Occasions shows designs for Valentine’s Day Roses, St Patrick’s Day Lucky Clover, Easter Basket, Thanksgiving Cornucopia, Christmas Tree, Cinnamon Star, Game Day and Celebration Fireworks.
The chapter on Traditional Recipes shares recipes for Chocolate Hazelnut Filling, Cinnamon Filling, Sweet Lemon Cream, Evergreen Sauce, Basil Pesto, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Quick Pickled Vegetables.
The designs are so beautiful, they’re a work of art in themselves. It seems a shame to have to cut and eat them. Hopefully we’ll just get so good at baking these that we’ll be able to make many more and allow our own creativity to lead the way.
These are details and tips no YouTube videos would share with you. This is a book that serious and first-time bakers of focaccia will consider a treasure.

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Note: I received a free unpublished proof of this book, for a limited time, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.
When I asked to review this, I thought it was about making different types of bread. It’s not! It’s actually about making gorgeously decorated focaccia loaves. This is my fault for not reading the description well enough. Anyways, I didn’t read all the *text* in this book due to limited time (thanks GRE study book…), but even a quick skim suggests it’s great.
Culletto writes as if we’re right there in the kitchen with her while she tells us all her secrets to a great focaccia. The photography is amazing and made me very, very hungry. Furthermore, the instructions of this book are written in really good detail, so the reader knows exactly what vegetables to use and how to cut them to make the perfect flower and leaf shapes.
Personally, I’m not going to purchase this book, because I am not really interested in making decorated focaccias; I’d rather make different *types* of focaccia and actually *already have a book on the topic*. However, for those of you who want to make pretty focaccias worthy of your favorite [insert your favorite trendy forest fairy mushroom flower witch archetype of choice here], I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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Lovely book with instructions on how to make bread to consume with the eye before digging in to eat with the mouth.

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I loved this cookbook, it gives me so many fun ideas! I’ve really gotten into bread baking and this book will help take me to another level. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.

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A delightful and deliciously creative read. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes and wow my friends and family this holiday season!

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***** I have received and read an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for giving my honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.*****

The title is "Beautiful Bread" and the book definitely delivers.

It's not something I can do every day, but the breads in here make me want to cook more often.

It's definitely not for everyone, but I think any home baker would love to look through this book.

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Beautiful Bread is a stunning collection of recipes and tutorials for instagram-perfect baked goods (mostly focaccia) by Theresa Culletto. Released 10th Oct 2023 by Quarto on their Rock Point imprint, it's 176 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is an inspirational guide to creating beautifully styled breads. The designs are mostly floral/botanical in nature and they're all fully edible. Detailing is created by the use of edible flowers, spices, herbs, and vegetables (see cover).

The book's introduction covers tools, ingredients, and supplies, followed by basic focaccia recipes. The following inspiration/tutorial chapters are grouped roughly thematically: flowers, artist inspired (including a jaw-dropping reinterpretation of van Gogh's Irises), nature inspired, and holiday recipes/bakes.

Recipe ingredients are listed in a bullet sidebar for each bread, followed by step-by-step instructions. Ingredient measures are given in imperial (American) units only. Necessary supplies will be available at any well stocked grocery store in most of North America. Access to a wide variety of edible flowers, fresh herbs, and spices will be necessary for many of them.

Although it's undoubtedly a niche genre, making really beautiful and wholesome focaccia for special occasions and for gift giving, the extra love and consideration in these breads will provide both satisfaction to the baker -and- to the recipients. And they are, all of them, absolutely instagram worthy.

Four stars, this would be a great choice for public and/or school library acquisition, for gifting to cookbook collecting friends, and for home use.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Have you ever been in a specialty bakery and been overwhelmed by the beautiful breads there? Most of us have had that experience, and most of us have known that we couldn’t really duplicate those beautiful baked goods at home. For anyone interested in learning to bake and decorate breads, Theresa Culletto will show you how, with step-by-step instructions in her cookbook, Beautiful Bread: Create & Bake Artful Masterpieces for Any Occasion.

The first chapter covers the essentials: ingredients, tools, and tips. The cookbook also includes the recipe for Focaccia with variations. These recipes are presented in the traditional manner with comments at the beginning, followed by a list of ingredients, then step-by-step instructions, making it possible for almost any baker – from beginning to advanced – to successfully make this bread. Subsequent chapters cover the artful loaves using flowers, herbs, and other ingredients to make spectacular bread. The instructions are concise but thorough for each recipe.

One of the best things about this cookbook is that there are beautiful, professional photographs of every artistic loaf making it possible for anyone to duplicate then at home. The designs are innovative and imaginative, and will definitely inspire.

All told, this is a cookbook for those who like to spend lots of time in the kitchen and enjoy creating edible works of art. It is well-written and fun to read and bake from.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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Cookbook | 13-Adult
Beautiful Bread: Create and Bake Artful Masterpieces for Any Occasion, by Theresa Culletto (2023)

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and I am absolutely going to use this book to create a special bread for a shared table. Even for a first-timer like me, decorated bread is a spectacular way to add a bit of flair to a special food occasion. Culletto offers four step-by-step focaccia recipes (basic white, basic wheat, dark multigrain, and sweet) to serve as the canvas for 32 beautiful designs in four categories – Flowers, Artist Inspired, Nature Inspired, and Holidays & Special Occasions, including Game Day and a very pretty Cinnamon Star. I would have liked to see some non-focaccia options, or at least photos of other breads to serve as further inspiration. Having said that, a focaccia is a beautiful canvas for creations, and definitely the place to begin creating artful breads. I tried the whole wheat focaccia recipe when my grandson was visiting, and we made very successful breads – I’ve included a photo of his after it was baked, as it’s truly spectacular. Check out his bee, with tiny onion wings! With Culletto’s guidance, even a first-time creation is definitely impressive, and her guidance makes this resource a terrific tool for the beginning bread artist. The decorating itself is easier than you’d think, and the bread itself is very tasty, even on its own. The book includes an excellent introduction to making decorated focaccia, with tips for making and baking the bread, a discussion of tools and decorations, and special techniques such as lattice and braiding. Culletto finishes with some useful additional recipes for fillings, pestos, sauces, and even a quick pickling recipe. There’s an index, but the advance reading copy I had still needs some work. Why in heaven’s name one would enter “Onions – see red onions, white onions” is a mystery to me. I hope the final version addresses some alignment issues too – the Pesto section is quite confusing as it’s not indented. While you can look up ingredients and recipe titles, I couldn’t find Celebration Fireworks, nor Fireworks, nor Fourth of July. My thanks to Quarto Publishing for the digital reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Book Review: Beautiful Bread: A Masterpiece of Art and Flavor

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars

Theresa Culletto’s Beautiful Bread: Create & Bake Artful Masterpieces for Any Occasion is a delightful cookbook that takes bread baking to a whole new level. Whether you are a beginner or an expert bread baker, this book will inspire you to create stunning edible artworks using rustic focaccia bread as your canvas. With over 30 showstopping creations, this book is a must-have for any food enthusiast, bread maker, or those who enjoy hosting dinner parties.

The book begins with a comprehensive overview of bread baking 101, making it accessible even to beginners. Theresa Culletto covers essential ingredients, tools, and terminology, ensuring that readers have a solid foundation before diving into the art of bread making. Seasoned bakers will also find a wealth of inventive tips and techniques to enhance their skills and take their creations to new heights.

The recipes in this book are well laid out and easy to follow. Culletto provides step-by-step instructions accompanied by vibrant photos, making it a breeze to recreate these bread art projects at home. The author offers four types of focaccia recipes – white, whole wheat, dark multigrain, and sweet – catering to different taste preferences. Each recipe is accompanied by savory and sweet topping and filling options, allowing readers to experiment and create their own unique masterpieces.

What sets Beautiful Bread apart from other bread baking books is its emphasis on turning bread into art. Inspired by flowers, famous artists, nature, and holidays, Culletto provides a wide range of creative ideas for decorating the focaccia. From using vegetables, fruits, herbs, seeds to other edible ingredients, the possibilities are endless. The photography in this book is simply stunning, showcasing the exquisite beauty of these edible creations. It’s hard to believe that something so visually appealing can also be delicious.

This book would make a perfect gift for any foodie, bread maker, or someone who loves to host dinner parties. The artistic nature of the recipes makes them ideal for special occasions or as a centerpiece for gatherings. The creative ideas presented in Beautiful Bread will surely impress guests and leave them in awe of your culinary skills. Get ready to elevate your bread baking skills and transform simple focaccia into mouth watering works of art.

**ARC Via NetGalley**

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Thanks so much NetGalley, Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point, and Rock Point for access to this beautiful arc!

5/5 stars!

This is going to be a perfect holiday gift item! The recipes all sound delicious, and the photographs are beautiful and inspiring! I've already ordered this for my store for the holiday season, and I can't wait to see the physical copy of it!

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Food as art.

Yep. This takes creativity and playing with your food to new heights.
Beautiful heights. I especially liked the Monet's Lily Pond. I know, right?
Clever. I am not that clever. But with handy photos and solid directions, just maybe, my bread could come out a little bit like the ones in this book.

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These are literally the most beautiful breads! This is a very inspiring book - Ms. Culletto has a variety of basic focaccia recipes to use as bases, and then an array of amazing artisan loaves decorated with so much detail and color. The directions are very specific and make these seem quite achievable.

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Very creative and fits a niche that would be welcome in a large culinary collection. I love the inclusion of art-inspired focaccia design, there’s even a Takahashi Murakami, which would be unusual to find. Everything looks delicious but the photography could have been a little better, seems like it needed a little better lighting and definition.

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I bake a TON of bread. Every few weeks I make a batch of dough using one of the recipes in “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” usually making a combination of focaccia, baguettes, and country boules. Recently, in an attempt to up my game presentation-wise, I purchased “The Art of Sourdough Scoring” by Brittany Wood, which is an excellent guide on how to produce beautifully scored country loaves. In this book, however, Theresa Culletto takes the artistry of bread baking to a whole new level; here are focaccia with flowers, landscapes, fields, trees, and even pastiches of Vincent van Gogh. I liked that Culletto includes lots of recipes for dough but that her techniques and decorating instructions would work with a variety of doughs including recipes that you might already use. I look forward to recreating her projects for my text dinner party or whenever someone asks me to bring bread to their party—there will be gasps! (Or at least I hope!)

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I received a free preview of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


I've only recently gotten into baking bread. It's been a few weeks and I still have no idea what I'm doing half the time. I can do the exact same (or at least I think) thing two seperate days and end up with perfect bread one and a dense lump the other.

So I saw this book and said there is no way I'm making that but let's just read it for inspiration.

Omg I love it.

The recipes are so simple and easy to follow. The tools, and methods are laid out so well. The pictures are fantastic and while amazing, are presented in a way that also says hey you can do this too.

The best part is that between the base recipes and then the way it shows you several different decorative ones you're left not only with these recipes but the knowledge and confidence to go make your own as well.

I absolutely have to have this book physically on my shelf when it comes out.

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This was a great book with some beautiful pictures of the bread. I haven't worked up the courage to try one yet, but I'm determined to make at least one of these recipes and have it look similar to the photo!

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Wowza! Honestly I’m going to be lucky to make the focaccia plain but I am sure going to try to make some of these beautiful bread creations! Such cool art that happens to be edible!!

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I liked most of the toppings, they were interesting.
My favourites were The Tree of Life!

Unfortunately this Book wasn't as diverse in its recipes as I would have loved it to be.

The garnishing work was very lovely (if not a little bit too blant at times), but unfortunately for a baking/cooking Book this didn not have enough WIP photographs in it, which was a shame.

Can I recommend it and how will my rating be?
-Well, I can absolutely recommend this… for example to those who like the their <a href="">Focacce</a> to not always be that blant and those who love to play a bit with food in a good way. 😉
-And my Rating will be 3.3 Stars!

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