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There are few joys in life as simple yet profound as taking that first bite from a lovingly baked loaf of bread, the crust crackling between your teeth. Maybe you've dreamed of baking a boule, a baguette, or a brioche yourself, but assumed it would be too difficult. Well, fear not. You do not need to be a baking expert to make fine artisan breads at home. All it takes is the knowledge of ingredients, equipment, and techniques found inside this book.
Backed by The Culinary Institute of America's expertise, Certified Master Baker Eric Kastel takes you by the hand and gently guides you through the mysteries of bread baking. Beginning with a thorough discussion of ingredients and equipment, Chef Kastel explains everything from how to shop for flour to how to use a shower cap during the dough's rise. From there, he outlines the twelve steps of bread baking, describing each one in detail. With these steps in mind, you'll be set to mix, shape, and bake anything from ciabatta to rye bread, challah to pizza dough. And once you've mastered these basic breads and are inspired to try something more complex, Chef Kastel will demonstrate advanced techniques such as how to build a sourdough starter from scratch, which you can then use to create more than a dozen varieties of sourdough.
Packed with tips, troubleshooting advice, and step-by-step photographs, the chapters include:
Basic breads and rolls: Using little more than flour, water, yeast, and salt, you can bake Kaiser Rolls, Rustic Rye Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, and the most deliciously simple White Bread you'll ever taste.
Enriched breads and rolls: Made with butter, eggs, sugar, or other additions for a softer crust and a more tender crumb, these recipes include Ham & Provolone Rolls, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread, Cottage Dill Buns, and even several coffee cakes.
Flatbreads: Lightly leavened with yeast, puffed up with steam, or rolled as thin as parchment, these old-world favorites include Lavash, Paratha, Grissini Breadsticks, Pita, and Tortillas.
Advanced artisanal breads: Learn to make and use starters like pâte fermentée, sponge, biga, poolish, and sours to bake Peasant Bread, Apple Cinnamon Epi, Fougasse, Bagels, and more than a dozen varieties of sourdough.
Advanced enriched breads: These rich, complex breads include Panettone, Focaccia, Hot Cross Buns, Gugelhopf, and a spectacular six-braid Challah.
Whether you're a beginner or already an accomplished baker, Artisan Breads at Home with The Culinary Institute of America provides everything you need to bake a perfect loaf of artisan bread.
The ultimate guide to baking exquisite loaves, rolls, and flatbreads at home
"Most home bakers don't have a fancy brick oven, and many people stiffen up at the mere mention of the word 'yeast.' The words 'sourdough starter' can make the blood run cold. Maybe you are one of those people thinking, 'Who, me? I can't control yeast. And besides, who has time for that?' . . . Or maybe you used to bake bread and want to get back into it again and, say, try your hand at that elusive sourdough. You can do it! Have a good time. The last thing baking bread should be is stressful or onerous. There are too many things in life that are not fun, and bread baking should not be one of them. Let the process of baking and breaking bread add enjoyment to your life."
—Eric W. Kastel