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

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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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: 20.3 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #152,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every single recipe I have made so far turned out perfect. Love. I was disappointed it didn't have much of whole wheat options. Fortunately, I bought Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads at the same time. So it worked out okay with me.
Edmonton, Canada
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ff4d684) out of 5 stars 48 reviews
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff407a4) out of 5 stars 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.
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f5e048) out of 5 stars 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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa04f1384) out of 5 stars 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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd89414) out of 5 stars it's good, but... (updated) Jan. 2 2014
By George P. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i am an avid baker and have made breads from no knead, to baguettes, to croissants over the last few years. I bought this book because i watched Ciril's videos online and thought his teaching skills were very good.

The book has the basic recipes for biga and poolish. then come the 9-10 basic recipes which can be used to make different breads. for example, if you make a baguette, you can make an Epi after step 7. once you make the brioche dough, you can make 3-4 other breads.

anyway, the only thing i dont like about this book is that it's written like a textbook, not like a recipe book. for example, i made a ciabatta and the recipe is over 3-4 pages with the individual steps buried in the text. he lists every step (10 steps) and states: "Step 8 scoring - not needed". instead of omitting the step all together since it's useless, he still lists it. maybe it's a good thing for people that will wonder if scoring is needed.

the other thing is the temp he uses. he said to bake the ciabatta at 480F, but i think that's too high and my bread's crust was perfect after 20 min, but still uncooked inside. still tasted amazing.

i am used to KAF's recipes, which are a list of ingredients on the left, and the recipe steps on the right. that's it.

this is different, but detailed and very good. the pictures are great and the steps are outlined. it's only 110 page book, so not like a brick to lug around.

would recommend and buy as a gift. i plan on making all recipes from that book since i am crazy about dough. will update again in the future.

hope this helps.

updated - Jan 13, 2014:

in about 2 weeks i made about 5-6 of his recipes and found out that the temps and the time in the oven are ALL wrong. I made the pizza rolls and it calls for temps between 450-500 for 10 mins. my oven is spot on temp wise and i had to use 425 for 10 mins and 350 to cook inside. at 450 the ball would burn on the outside and be wet inside. i depressed the rolls in quarters and they still puffed up like i never depressed the dough (the bottom shows the "score" lines)

i made the bagguettes and it was difficult to follow directions over 5-6 pages.

i made the bagels and they were VERY chewy (used only bread flour, not high gluten) and were thin, not like panera bagels.

I follow instructions to the T in my day job, so that was not the issue.

Great tasting bread, but accuracy is lacking.

I will use his recipes, but have to tweak a few major things...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0423c3c) out of 5 stars Holla Holla Challah Challah March 22 2010
By A. Ko - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, so if you have not guessed by now, the only recipe I have done in this book is the challah recipe. Like most of the recipes in this book, there are errors. I found the errata online and printed them out. Using the errata fixes the challah recipe and makes it great. It's easy to make (when you cheat using a bread machine to mix the dough and generate the right rising temperature), only takes maybe 1 hour of hands on work, 5 hours of waiting total, etc. The book actually tells you that this is the fastest bread to make. Other recipes in the book can actually take days. Days! That is why I have only done the challah recipe. But, this challah recipe is the best one I have used so far. It actually WORKS. Consistency - great. Appearance - great ( i use a six strand braid. look on utube to find out how to do this). Taste - great. Happy family eating bread - great. One time I was too lazy and busy to make the bread so I bought it at the market like I used to. Store bought bread now tastes nasty to me. It was spongy and had no flavor. I can no longer buy challah bread since my taste buds have become more refined and appreciative. I must warn, I think that buying the ingredients for the loaf costs more than buying the bread in the store. But, the taste and quality of the ingredients (organic eggs, filtered water, yadda yadda) plus the smell of your home while the bread is baking can all make up for this. Just a point I thought I would mention.

In summary:

- recipe after errata have been distilled
- cd helps understand what it means to roll the dough into rounds
- taste of bread is wonderful
- you know what is in your bread
- better ingredients = can eat more and might not make you as fat as store bread
- family loves it
- kitchen smells great

- go find the errata online and print it out to include with your book
- ingredients may cost you more than buying store-bought loaf. might depend on if you use organic ingredients
- might want to invest in a bread machine to do the kneading and rising for you. i put bad since this adds an additional cost and space taken up in your kitchen

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