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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread Hardcover – Nov 14 2001

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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread + Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day: Fast and Easy Recipes for World-Class Breads + Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor
Price For All Three: CDN$ 77.12

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (Nov. 14 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082686
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 23.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Strauss on Aug. 5 2003
Format: Hardcover
Peter Reinhart outstrips his previous works in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It is, in one volume, a guide to the science and art of great bread, an account of Reinhart's journeys and experiences in the professional baking world, and finally, a collection of some very good bread formulae.
The book's greatest successes are in European-style hearth loaves. His whole wheat bread is great, to be sure, and his cinnamon buns deliver, but for truly excellent work turn to the ciabatta, French bread, pain de campagne, and other lean-dough recipes. (Also worth a rave is his foccacia, which left me wondering why they hadn't had anything this good when I was in Italy.)
A few things to be aware of:
1. As has been true with all of Reinhart's work since Brother Juniper, patience is the key to these wonderful loaves. His delicious rendition of Pane Siciliano, not even a sourdough, takes three days from start to finish! The majority of the recipes in the book require work on at least two separate days, and rising times are longer than in many other books due to smaller amounts of yeast.
2. While many of the ethnic-style breads are very good, they are often Reinhart's personal renditions and are not what I would call "authentic." The most obvious oddity, to me, is the presence of milk in the dough of his New York Deli Rye. Reinhart reminisces about eating roast beef on this bread in several of New York's kosher delis, where Jewish dietary laws prohibit the admixture of dairy and meat products in a single meal. On a less urgent note, I'm surprised that this recipe doesn't call for first-clear flour, also called common flour, which is usually considered essential for good Jewish rye.
3. This is not a beginner's book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DNP on July 15 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a real education in bread baking. You'll learn the science behind the process; as another reviewer stated, you'll feel like you are sitting in one of the author's classes at Johnson & Wales University. You'll learn various dough-shaping techniques, including tips that I otherwise would never have known, like how to create surface tension so that the loaf will rise up and not just out. Basically, you will learn everything you need to know to create really great bread and you'll learn it in an engaging, easy-to-read manner from a person who obviously has a real (and contagious) love for good food.
You may find as I did that to begin with you will have to do a lot of flipping back and forth in the book, to review particular processes. However, once you learn how to shape a baguette or how to judge the dough's gluten development, as examples, you won't have to keep going back to review that information and you'll be able to follow the recipes with more flow.
The Poolish Baguettes are to die for. I often make a batch when I have company (since a good deal of the work is done the day before) and let me tell you, if you want to see people REALLY SAVOR their food, give them a warm loaf of this bread!
Of the other recipes I've tried so far, my other favorite is the foccacia.
Another reviewer felt like you had to have a state-of-the-art kitchen to use this book. I must disagree, as I felt Mr. Reinhart went out of his way to teach the user how to recreate (to a reasonable degree) the commercial baking process, including steaming the loaves to create that delectable crunchy crust.
If you love good bread and want to know how to achieve superior results baking it yourself, don't hesitate a moment to buy this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul on Feb. 14 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are a lot of good bread books out there but only a few get to move up to the top of the pile and The Bread Baker's Apprentice is decidedly one of them. If you haunt bread baking websites, you'll likely have seen this book referenced a huge number of times, likely more than any other book in the last eight or so years. And considering there are some other excellent bread making books available, that's no small feat.

With plenty of instructional text and photographs to follow along, this book will help anyone from the very beginner to the more advanced bread enthusiast as they experiment (and yes, you should play with your food) with the several different styles of bread included in this collection. Well written and clearly explained, Reinhart's stint as an instructor at Johnson & Wales University shows through in the way he presents his information and helps you to understand what's happening to the dough under your hand.

I have but two qualms with this book. The first is that Reinhart offered only US volume and weight measures (cups and ounces) and did not also offer the gram measurements which are the more universal and accurate method of measuring your ingredients. It should be noted right away, however, that his forthcoming new book does include gram weights. Perhaps in a future revised edition, the editors will see that grams are added to the recipes included here.

The second is his instruction for creating a sourdough starter. To begin, he refers to it here as "barm" and although he has since retracted this and agreed it was incorrect, this could be overlooked. This starter is generally referred to as a "mother" or "chief" starter.
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