File Size: 22872 KB
Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 13, 2010)
Publication Date: October 13, 2010
I'd the publication is perfect for either starters or "experts" like me, as long as you are willing to throw away (or at least forget for a while) everything you find out about baking bread. In my many years of preparing, I learned that you can't freeze dough, yeast wants warm places, and the longer you knead dough, the better. Reinhart has an alternative opinion, and he or she is apparently correct.
The Very good Points
* To date I actually have made baguettes, sourdough and pizza using tested recipes and techniques in the book. All turned out excellent. I can now bake "crusty" baguettes on demand, and will produce that micro-thin, slightly stretchy pizza brown crust area in a kitchen 3000 miles from New You are able to (although with slight additions to Peter's recipe).
* I always "knew" you couldn't freeze dough, but following Peter's advice, I actually now regularly freeze dough for pizza, and it turns out great. Coupled with premeasured bags of frozen sauce, fresh hot french fries is now a "freezer" item. Awesome, except for my diet.
* I actually learned new techniques for working with dough, as well as for the most part they seem to be to work great. The book organizes the basic dough techniques (stretching, proofing, etc) in one section at the front of the book so you will find them easily. (More about this below).
* Subject to some issues described below, the instructions are reasonably easy to follow. These people are written in easy-to-understand terms, and Peter avoids the usual pedantic terminology often found in higher end cookbooks. Nothing worse than needing a dictionary and a translator to make soup.
* Reinhart won't try to convince you that you need to go out and purchase 00 worth of proofing cookware, proofing boxes, special cloths, etc. Just use what is in your house already.
Unhealthy Points (Note first paragraph in review)
* The directions can get a bit carried away with themselves. Personally, volumes like 3 3/8 tsps of salt drive me personally nuts. I might malfunction and use an genuine measuring spoon rather than a teaspoon, but there is no way I will be not going to eyeball the last half teaspoon.
* The directions are written in a narrative format rather than a set of items typical in recipes. As a result I will often finish up re-reading the entire recipe numerous times just to find the next step. This can be a bit of a pain, because many of the recipes have quite a few steps. Standard will be mix for 2 minutes on low, wait 5 minutes, switch to a dough catch, mix for 3 minutes on medium, wait 5 minutes, fold and extend dough, wait for 10 minutes within an uncovered pan, stretch again.... You get the idea. For every step, you will finish up re-reading nearly all of the recipe. A little indenting/change of fonts/highlighting/bold/etc in the layout would do amazing things for the book.
* The directions can get overly detailed, yet somehow unclear-forcing you to interpret multiple directions to make certain you already know just what Reinhart meant. Not just a real big deal, but something one more circular of proofreading should have caught.
* Basic techniques such as kneading and proofing are in a different section of the publication, and then referred to by individual recipes. Apart from when they are not-some recipes include the details, some refer you to the front of the book. Since the instructions are already somewhat puffed up and poorly formatted, I would prefer to just have references to a single section.
* At least one of the tested recipes (sourdough mother starter) has all the quantities in cups, until you get to the last steps when everything has become in grams. I you do not have a metric (or even English) level in my kitchen.
* Some of the steps are explained in painful detail, and them some are skipped over. That takes 5 pages to explain how to make the sourdough starter, but then the "how to refresh the starter dough process" is skipped over. List the quantities of old starter, flour and water (see above), but then makes no point out of what to do with it- proof at room temp? immediately return to the refrigerator? Just how long does it need to refresh?
* Mom always taught me that you can't really measure flour-you have to add it to the dough as needed. The reason for this is that flour can have a vastly different moisture content, so what works once might yield overly tacky/dry dough the next time. Reinhart doesn't seem to be to subscribe to this principle, at least not in every his recipes. After mixing up a batch of the gooiest pizza dough on earth, I'd say Mom was right.
* Some of the baking times outlined are suspect. I believe they are worse circumstance time for very large loafs, not typical times for baguette sized masterpieces. Caveat baker.
* Not one of the recipes I actually have tried so far are for anyone in a hurry. Every menu so far has obtained days to complete. Not a negative... yeast will be yeast. Just something to be aware of.
A great explained breadbaking-both for specific recipes and learning to update your artisan skills. I learned a lot from it, and have made a number of items, all of them unqualified successes. If you are looking to whip up a batch of bread as soon as your bread machine, this is not your book. If you want to spend a few days working with yeast to get a baguette worthy of Paris (OK, maybe New York), this is your book., On the starting weeks I read carefully the first few chapters, where the creator explains in simple words the phrases and methods later used in the book.
After i started making bread based on the instructions, I found the recipes amazingly accurate and tasty too.
My family is very happy, every weekend I will be spoiling them with a new kind of bread.
Till now I baked 5 different recipes (Lean bread, France bread, Biscuit, Cracker, Baguette) and planning to bake the Bagels soon.
The only downsize that I found till now is the vast utilization of " Mother Starter" in the book and the lack of an alternative to it - since it takes lots of time to create such " Mom Starter" I avoided it till now.
Its not that I actually am a new comer to baking, but the simplicity of the book and the very comprehensive description of every step or dough condition can make it very friendly to use.
Attached are some photographs: -), I actually love this book. To date I've tried 4 of the recipes in the book plus they all flipped out very well for a first attempt (knowing that I wasn't perfect in my execution). The tested recipes are simple and straightforward for the novice, but have enough nuances that I are aware of it will take me a while to perfect. I select this iteration of his recipe books as it comprised all of the tested recipes I desired - french bread, bagels, pretzels, and comes.
My complaint is the format of the publication.
one ) The table of contents doesn't include the recipes. Seriously? In case I want to know the positioning of the tested recipes I have to go to the glossary. The only way to find out all the publication contains is to flip delete word. This is my biggest complaint.
2. ) All of the recipes are in paragraph format. This is not as bad as many people make it seem, but it can be frustrating while you are getting specific measurements.
3. ) He got a little lazy sometimes when he or she references other parts of the book. For occasion, after i made rolls, there was a little excerpt that told you how to alter the recipe to make rolls. There were three different roll tested recipes in the excerpt and they all referenced different parts of the publication to finish up (no biggie yet). The difficult part is when the one recipe said " bake based on the recipe. " Which one? The main one of this page, the one for the bread that we altered, or the the one which you referenced 70 pages earlier? An additional word and it would have been much clearer.
All in all, I'm very happy with the publication - I just wish that they didn't get lazy in parts and just wrote things out - like a table of contents., I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn to make artisan bread at home. The tested recipes are a minimal amount of work and produce amazingly good bread. I actually have had this publication for under two months, and have only made the baguettes, ciabatta, classic bread, and lean bread so far. But I have made each of those multiple times, particularly the baguette. Many people for which I have made this bread have raved about it. It does require some basic equipment, such as parchment paper, a pizza stone (but you could use a cookie sheet instead), and a cast iron skillet (though you could also use another cookie sheet instead), and preferably a french fries peel. I had all this stuff readily available already. I do not buy bread anymore, I ensure it is myself. This book is a must-have and in my viewpoint the best starting point. I also bought Bread Baker's Apprentice and am anxious to try some of those recipes, which are likely to be more included from my surface reading.
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