Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes Hardcover – Dec 10 2012
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From the Inside Flap
When Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread was first published in 2004, it received the Julia Child Award for best First Book and became an instant classic. In this updated edition, Hamelman covers the gradual evolution of the craft, adding 40 new recipes and incorporating the important technique of hand mixing.
Hamelman, a professional baker for more than three decades, was a member and captain of Baking Team USA, which represents the United States in the international Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, the World Cup of bread baking. Here, he shares this experience while putting world-class artisanal loaves within reach of any serious baker. Opening with a comprehensive overview of the foundationsessential ingredients; hand techniques for kneading, scoring, and shaping; and the basic process from mixing through bakinghe guides bakers through all the elements of this richly rewarding craft.
Bread contains 140 detailed, step-by-step recipes for a vast array of breadsversatile sourdough ryes; numerous breads made with pre-ferments; and simple, straight dough loaves. Recipes for brioche, focaccia, pizza dough, flat breads, and other traditional staples augment the diverse collection of flavors, tastes, and textures. You will discover a bread for every season and every palate, including recipes new to this edition, many for underappreciated delights like Swiss Farmhouse Bread, German Farmer's Bread, and Baguettes de Tradition.
Each recipe clearly outlines the key stages, with easy-to-use charts that list ingredients in both American and metric measures, quantities appropriate for home baking, and baker's percentages. Hundreds of drawings vividly illustrate techniques, and handsome color photographs display finished breads. Sidebars accompany each recipe and section with valuable tips, from the subtle art of tasting and evaluating breads to the perfect fare to complement Vollkornbrot. A complete chapter on decorative breadswith instructions on techniques as well as a wide variety of exquisite patternswill inspire magnificent display creations.
Laced throughout the book, Hamelman's personal narrative offers a compelling portrait of a lifelong love affair with bread and vividly communicates the passion he shares with so many other bakers. For those seeking to share a dialog with a real master, Bread is a resource that you will use time and time again.
From the Back Cover
"Bread is worthy of high praise, from the generous number of recipes to the scientific discussions on pre-ferments. I wish that I had this book to guide me when I started my life as a bread baker 42 years ago. The author's sensibility toward bread and his attitude as a bread baker are evident throughout this book."
Toshio Nihei, Advisor, Donq, Japan
"Bread is the masterwork of bread baking literature. It guides us through the journey that harvested grains make from the milling process to their subsequent interaction in the bakery environment with other ingredients and in the baker's hands, the transformations that take place within the environment of intense oven heat, and up to the final loaves' eventual cooling on racks."
Jim Haas, Baker, AgroEast Baking & Milling Co., Ukraine
"Jeffrey's book is an ideal companion in the kitchen. He invites novice bakers to explore the world of bread baking with confidence, building a solid foundation of process and understanding of principles of fermentation and yeast dough production. His clear explanation of challenging ingredient functions and food science are key stepping stones for professionals improving their skills. This book includes inventive and delectable formulas and illustrative graphics that clearly walk the reader through shaping steps."
Milina Podolsky, Instructor, Kendall College, Chicago, Illinois
"This new edition of Jeffrey Hamelman's book brings to light a great diversity of artisan bread making methods. Readers will discover an anthology of recipes from the French, German, Italian, and Swiss traditions, patiently reconsidered and shared with great generosity. It is a milestone in American bakers' increasingly serious approach to artisan baking. With her wonderful drawings, Chiho leads the reader to an easier understanding of hand skills. This landmark book enables both home bakers and experienced professionals not only to make breads of the highest quality, but also to guide them to a thorough understanding of the keys to success."
Hubert Chiron, Institut National de Recherche Agricole (INRA), Nantes, France
"Jeffrey Hamelman has taught and influenced an entire generation of bakers. With his latest contribution, he shares his uncompromising, exacting methods, love for bread, and noble labor, along with the will to never stop learning and improving. This book is a gift to the world of artisan baking."
Markus Farbinger, Owner, Île de Pain, Knysna, South Africa
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is written by a master baker who has perfected the art is science approach, he understands the chemistry and the mechanics of the process and is particularly good at explaining why breads fail and why some kinds of breads need one technique rather than another, or what soaking does to grains you want to add, exactly what humidity level your bread should be at (who would have thought Ciabatta started off as such a wet dough for example).
I have done several of the breads in his book and they turned out like they should. Where there were faults they were mine only and it was very evident why this was. His recipes are 100% trustworthy and will yield the results you want.
In particular his stories around some of the breads, esp the pumpernickel, make you want to do them, although they are difficult to do and very time consuming.
Speaking of time, you will need it. These recipes call for full proofing, there are no shortcuts taken, and where shortcuts are given, warnings about final quality are given as well. But the reward will be there with breads you did not think possible.
All of the recipes are based around bakers percentages and are geared for bakery output. The equivalent for a home batch is given. You will need scales, good equipment, a food processor that does dough (mix and knead) at the minimum and a good oven. Temperatures are critical and you will bake many breads at 450 fahrenheit. This is part of the precision needed to get excellent results on a consistent basis.
Oh, and the book has BRILLIANT techniques and examples on how to knead dough, shape it and the art of the cut.
There are complaints that this is not a good book for a beginner, and I'll grant this is pretty much true. Other books, like Chad Robertson's "Tartine Bread" books, Ken Forkish's "Flour Water Salt Yeast" or Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread", are perhaps more useful for holding new bakers' hands while they carefully take the first few steps into the ancient craft of bread making. However, once one is somewhat comfortable with their baking skills, even if not an expert, this could be an excellent book for the serious hobbyist and definitely for any professional.
And of course, there are countless well tested recipes to suit most any need or taste. With the recipes given in US measures (pounds & ounces), Metric weights (kilos) and Bakers' Percentages for bakery-sized batches of about 24 loaves, BUT ALSO in home-baking portions (ounces and teaspoons) in sizes that make just a couple of loaves, this will be useable by most everyone.
If you're honestly into making excellent breads, this is an absolute Must Have for your bread books collection, whether you're a home or professional baker.
Overall it's a very informative and interesting read. Jeffrey Hamelman loves his craft and it shows in the writing.
Most recent customer reviews
Great reference book once one knows what information is required. The font size is small (about 9) which makes it too straining on the eyes to read for prolonged periods for... Read morePublished 5 months ago by LINDSAY
I have been baking bread for 30 years and consider myself pretty good at it. I found this book dry and and difficult to follow. Read morePublished 5 months ago by gulfislander
Awesome variety of recipes that are detailed and well explained. The only issue I have is deciding what I want to bake next!Published 12 months ago by Sweetpea