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Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home Paperback – Oct 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; Pap/DVD edition (Oct. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534531
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.3 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, USA. Ciril has been recognised with numerous awards, and most recently was named a "2007 Top Ten Pastry Chef in America" by Pastry Art & Design magazine. His work has been featured on the NBC Today Show as well as The Food Network, including The Best Bread in the World, a feature documentary.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss Baker on Nov. 20 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the best bread book for the homemaker I've ever got. I have tried several formulae in the book and they all yield unbelievable great breads, with big holes and nice crust & crumbs. The demonstrations in the DVD are excellent!! I love this book and have bought several copies as gifts to my bread making friends. I have also bought the author's new book and cannot wait to try it out.
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By Kate on Dec 27 2012
Format: Paperback
I've been baking bread for a while now, but was looking for a book with reliable recipes for home bakers that could easily be adapted. I also wanted yeast rather than sourdough recipes. This book fits the bill. I first took it out from my local library, and after every recipe that I tried came out perfectly - the best bread I've ever made - I bought a copy so I could have it on hand always. Though I haven't yet made anything I didn't like, my particular favourites are the challah (sublime - I did a six-strand braid which you can google to find out how to do, rather than the double braid that he suggests) and the whole wheat multi-grain. Also the epi, definitely the prettiest bread I've baked. The quantities are a bit much for some of the recipes unless you are baking for a particularly large household, but it is easy to scale them down, especially if you use weight rather than volume measurement. His recipes call for a stand mixer with a dough hook for mixing, but I have also had success using the pulse feature on a food processor and kneading by hand.
If you would like to make gorgeous breads at home, try this book.
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By R. Mah on May 25 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the last five years, I was trying to make Ciabatta bread with large uneven holes in the crumb. I tried everything from Googling in the internet for recipes and techniques, and even followed suggestions from a book of one of his fellow instructors at Johnson and Wales University. Nothing turned out as expected. I read articles written by Ciril Hitz in baking magazines, but never tried his recipes.I thought I should buy his book and try my luck. I am glad I did. My first attempt at his Ciabatta recipe finally achieved what I was searching for. The book clearly and precisely describe the techniques of baking bread, has the right amount of recipes we could do with available local ingredients. The book even have a troubleshooting illustration so we would see what is under, over, and just right in the art of baking artisan bread. Well Done! I love this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 46 reviews
112 of 125 people found the following review helpful
A Higher Standard March 30 2009
By GBSmith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I get the feeling the folks that rated it 5 stars have never used the book for baking. Mr. Hitz is a world class baker. I have met him and think highly of his talents. He is an innovator and competent artisan, and a teacher at a prominent culinary institute.

Unfortunately, this cookbook is flawed where it counts. I have made two projects from the book and both recipes had errors. The first, Challah bread, the knotted rolls, tells the baker to divide the dough into 100g units, unfortunately it should be 70g, a minor error but one that affects the baking time. The next was Pain de Mie, the metric measurements do not match the US measurements both in the sugar amount nor the salt content - which one is incorrect, I haven't a clue. There are more errors, including using millimeters instead of centimeters (p141), and page referrals to other recipes in the book that are not correct.
I am not a seasoned veteran in the field of baking, I rely entirely on the recipes. If I can't trust the book and the instructions, what good is it?

I wrote to Mr. Hitz, and got the reply that he is aware of the errors and will fix it in the next edition. Great, no erratum sheet, no way to know if there is a problem until after the fact.

My suggestion is wait until the next edition is out, but until then, look at the King Arthur Baker's Companion baking cookbook, it has most of the same recipes, and after making several dozen projects, I have not had a problem with any of the directions. Until then, Baking Artisan Bread is just a 5 star coffee table book.

Full disclosure - I do not work for, nor did I get a discount when I bought my King Arthur cookbook.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Ciril is the Best Nov. 3 2008
By bj - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ciril gives you formulas and instructions that work and taste great. He does not comprise on technique just to make it easy. If you can master Ciril's instructions, you will turn out better bread than your local bakery. If you are serious, go to one of his 3 day courses and you will learn the formulas for what I think are his two best breads--Pain Rustique and Miche.

If you are new to pre-ferments, try starting with the focaccia. It makes use of a poolish, but is forgiving. Also, you don't have to use steam. Cover with herb oil and after 20 minutes with grated Parmesan. You will be amazed with the results.

This book is not for people who want to make bread in 2 hours. If you want that kind of bread, don't waste the 2 hours, just buy a loaf at the store. This book is for people who are willing to do the little bit of extra planning and work to get exceptional results. Most of the recipes will require that you mix a pre-ferment the day before you bake. This extra 5 minutes and 12-18 hours overnight is the step that makes all the difference.

In response to Mr. "folks that rated it fives stars"...
Do you think that people who are serious about baking are interested in making plain old sandwich bread? Pain de Mie? That would be about the last formula I would try in a baking book. Seriously, try something a little more interesting--you might like it. Don't rate a book 1 star because you try 2 formulas.

You will find that in most baking books, you will need to tweak stuff to your own baking environment. The size of dividing units is not an issue. If you don't like the size, adjust accordingly. I make pita based on Glezer's formulas, she calls for 170g pitas, but I find that 85g is more to my liking. That doesn't mean she is off by 100%.

Also, I made the Challah last week and it was perfect. Don't divide into 70g as Mr. grumpy stripes suggests, 100g is correct as Ciril states. 110g if doing a 5 braid.

Baking times are never correct. Each brand/type of flour bakes different, each oven bakes differently, and baking stones bake differently too. Also you have the ambient temperature factor. Things are ready when they look ready. When it looks like the picture in the book, take it out. I set my timer about 5-10 minutes less and then just keep a careful eye.

Here are the good formulas in the book
Foccacia, Ciabatta, Baguette, Bagel, Brioche, Croissant, and Challah

Recipes I won't waste time with or have had bad experiences with..
Pan Francese, Pain de Mie, Whole Wheat, Pizza (I don't like pizza dough made with oil)

Even the best bakeries in the world have items that don't taste good. It is the same with cookbooks, you need to dig around to find the gems. Ignore the filler formulas. Try Ciril's Foccacia or Ciabatta, it will put a couple stars back on your opinion. Even that one formula is worth $16.50, just make 4 loaves. I have made the f/c formula about 15 times. Some people have said it was the best bread they have ever tasted.

Now remember, even if you make the f/c formula and it doesn't turn out right or taste like a million bucks, you have to realize that it would be impossible for you to replicate my environment. I live at 4600 ft, use 14% bread flour from a local producer, use SAF Instant, measure in grams, use a drug scale, and have a temperature controlling proofer/retarder.

Baking is just a big science experiment. You have to get all the variables and factors perfect. It take a lot of practice. A book just gives you a framework.

And yes Ciril did post minor corrections available on his website--which is not common for a food book author.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The author owes consumers the corrections April 27 2009
By Aspasia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Baking Artisan Bread" is an adequate book for those new to bread baking, but it is lacking in some simple, yet important, techniques, such as the autolyse. I'm astounded this basic method of initially hydrating the flour was omitted. More importantly, Mr. Hitz apparently has chosen to ignore the errors in his recipes. Rather than publish a list of corrections at his website, which could be easily done, he has decided to make the corrections in the next printing (if there is one) and the current owners of the book be damned.

Errors in publications happen. However, when one is dealing with a cookbook or baking book, not only has the consumer made an investment in the book, but in the ingredients as well, not to mention his/her time. Responsible and ethical bakers make every effort to publish corrections and make them easily accessible to the people who paid money for their product and presumed expertise.

Caveat emptor.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Baking Artisan Bread Nov. 9 2008
By bakerboy - Published on
Format: Paperback
Baking Artisan Bread by Ciril Hitz is subtitled 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home. It's true that the recipes presented are sized for the home baker, however, serious devotees and professionals can learn from the hints, scientific explanations, production tips, and troubleshooting that are offered. Bakers of all levels of abilities and understanding can learn something from this book. Each formula is presented in weight as well as volume measurements and includes at least one variation. The formulas and procedures are presented in an easy to understand format. The abundance of photos ensures an understanding of the baked products and process shots reinforce the "how to." It scores high on information, presentation, and photography. This is a great book for any bread lover's library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best Bread Book Out There Nov. 6 2009
By Cayorda - Published on
Format: Paperback
Baking Artisan Bread is the best bread book I have ever purchased. And where one reviewer said people who gave it 5 stars probably have never even tried the recipes, well I find that ridiculous. I have baked quite a few of the recipes in this cookbook and they are outstanding. In fact the brioche recipe is the best recipe on brioche I have ever tried. The directions were easy to follow and the results were unbelievable. If you want to master the art of bread baking, then this is the book for you. As an added plus, I checked out Ciril Hitz's website and should you have any questions in regard to bread baking, he responds quickly and graciously. He truly is a class act.

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