Mac-compatible Recipe/Cookbook Software

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Sitting in Israel, as I am, trying to find a simple, basic bread recipe, I want to tear my hair out. Seriously, people, S-I-M-P-L-E and B-A-S-I-C. That does not include evaporated milk, two days, potato flakes or a bread machine. Yeesh.

And seeing as how I'm 7 hours ahead of my mother, I don't think she'd appreciate a phone call at 3 a.m. for a bread recipe. Which is, um, what I'd normally do. She's begged us to look for good recipe software for her before, so here it is - what my research has yielded. Maman, I hope this helps. I can't live without your recipe brain for much longer.

Seeing as how you have an iMac now, your software must be Mac-compatible, so I checked out what people were saying about what was available (MacRumors).

MacGourmet, Cook's Books and Connoisseur all got approvals, in that order. (on Version Tracker (scroll down), there was a review in this order: Connoisseur, Cook's Books and then MacGourmet)

Mastercook and Cookware got big no, no, nos. (I think Mastercook only runs on older Macs, in fact). Cookware got blasted for small font, which I imagine you wouldn't like either.

They can all be downloaded for free in order to test them, but all must eventually be bought for about the price of a cookbook.

Connoisseur is $20 and comes with a mere 50 recipes - 'cause I know you don't want a ton of recipes you'll never use!

A Cook's Books Beta version is $25 and version 1.0 "will cost?" $39.95. Whatever - I think only beta is currently available and people seem to be raving about. It also comes with few recipes.

MacGourmet is $24.95 and comes with ZERO recipes.

They all look to be really good. I think if you demo them all you'll probably discover which one has or does not have the quirks you prefer. Let me know how it goes!

Oh, and remember: the most important feature is being able to share your recipes with your children!!!!!! (I suspect MacGourmet is the least friendly about this, but check for yourself)

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Rinse a large mixing bowl with hot water as a cold bowl delays yeast action.
Put in it :
1/2 cup lukewarm water(110 F)
1 packet of yeast
*let stand for 5 minutes

Put in another bowl:
1 cup milk(cows)
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons butter or shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
*stir until lukewarm then combine with yeast mixture.ADD 1 CUP FLOUR

**Mix thoroughly with a spoon or knife. Add another 3 CUPS FLOUR.

***Stir vigorously. Add a little more flour to make dough firm enough to keep it from sticking to sides of the bowl. You can add in pinches or tablespoonfuls.

****Knead, let rise, shape, and bake in 400 F oven for 40 to 60 minutes.

To knead bread put 1/2 cup flour in a cup on a bread board or cloth. Use some to lightly dust the board or cloth. Keep the rest ready to mix into bread if necessary. Turn the ball of dough out onto the board leaving a clean bowl.
Cover the bread with the inverted bowl and let the dough rest for 10 minutes; it makes the dough easier to work with.
Rub your hands lightly with melted butter or shortening. Fold the ball double, then push it lightly and quickly away from you using the heel of yur hand. Pull it toward you with your fingertips. Repeat these two motions turning the dough as you work until the surface of the dough is smooth and elastic(about 5-8 minutes).
*****When the dough is light enough you will be able to hold the palm of your hand on the dough for 30 seconds without it sticking to your hand.

Raising the dough:
Use a mixing bowll three times the bulk of the dough ball.
Grease the bowl lightly.
Put in the dough ball and turn it so that a greased side faces up.
Cover with a clean slightly damp cloth.
Place in a warm spot(about 85 F) and let rise until doubled in size.
This rising may take about 1 1/2 hours.
note: you can place it in the cold oven with a pan of warm water on the shelf BELOW the dough. Yeast grows best at 75-85 degreees F.
another note: only let it rise to double the ball bulk. Too large and the bread gets air pockets in it. To test it press a finger into the dough. If the depression remains it is ready to PUNCH DOWN and SHAPE.
You can punch it down several times if you are not ready to shape and bake yet.
To punch down is to take excess gases out of it. So hit it in the middle and slap it hard on the board. You can then cut into pieces to shape and put into bread pans or on a baking sheet in various braids or other designs.
BAKE in 400 degree F oven in metal pans or baking sheets. If using glass pans use 350 degrees as glass holds the heat longer than metal ones.
When done baking remove from loaf pans and put on a wire rack to cool. For crisp crust don't cover the fresh baked loaf. For a softer crust cover with a dish towel.

When cool store in a clean,dry, well-aired box not too near heat. To avoid mold in hot weather wrap in wax paper and store in the refrigerator. If you want to cut into thin slices try refrigerating first and then slicing chiled.

Okay! I'm done on bread now.

By the way all this is what we used to do here at home to make bread daily. It is a basic Fanny Farmer recipe.


A packet of yeast is two tablespoons, I believe, and I put about 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar in with the water and yeast. And you don't have to use milk at all, you can use all water, but your loaf won't be as moist and will get stale faster. Thank you, Daddy, for going to all that trouble.

My parents, folks. Aren't they awesome?

You know, reading this, I remember the greasy hands of my youth. I was always so grossed out by that! But, now, finally, I understand that the alternative is gobs of extra layers of flour, which is, of course, not good.

we have some good recipes too. shaun does, really. but i'm not exactly sure what you mean by mac-compatible?

looking forward to seeing you again, sweetcakes.

love from leila

We keep some our family recipes on our website. They have a decent "fill out the form" type recipe entry system.

Thanks for the mention of MacGourmet. The comment about it containing "ZERO" recipes in incorrect though. MacGourmet comes with 100 recipes that can be loaded the first time you run the application. In addition, Recipes are always being made available for download from as well.

I'm also not sure why you think MacGourmet might be the "least friendly" about sharing, as you can export in a bunch of different ways, including email and MasterCook formats. You can also use MacGourmet to publish recipes to the web too, so there are lots of ways to share.

-- Michael (Advenio)

Thanks, Michael! The zero recipes was actually a selling point for us, as my mother doesn't want pre-added recipes, particularly, but thank you for correcting me. My research was really and truly cursory, and the reason I'd said it was least friendly was because all I found on the front page of the web site about sharing recipes was about getting a .mac account - an additional cost - so that didn't thrill me. Good to know it can be shared other ways. Thanks again for the clarifications!

I like the bread recipe that Mommy and Daddy use. It makes nice bread that makes me feel at home.

I have one that I use in Scotland that's for when I'm feeling lazy.




mix one cup boiling water with once cup cold in a bowl
whisk 2 tsp of salt and 2 Tbsp flour into the water
whisk in 2 Tbsp of yeast*
mix in flour until it feels right - it should start to stick to itself
turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth
let raise until doubled in volume - about half an hour in Israel, about three hours in Scotland
punch down, cut into 2 loaves, knead each until smooth
place in baking trays and let raise until doubled in volume
bake as per Papa

*I keep a yeast colony alive in a jar in the fridge. I caught them by leaving out milk and flour until it went off; at first, I got some mold colonies and sometimes it just dried without going off (this is Scotland, remember - no one puts eggs in the refrigerator here

The iBook Store and iBook app will be limited to the iPad, and as developers come on board, exclusive iPad only apps will begin to appear.

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