The Taste of Bread: A translation of Le Goût du Pain, comment le préserver, comment le retrouver Hardcover – Apr 30 2001
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"For all of us English speakers who are passionate bakers of French bread, it is wonderful indeed that at last we have the English translation of this seminal book by its most famous contemporary master, Professor Raymond Calvel. James J. MacGuire and Ronald L. Wirtz have labored long and lovingly to present the Professor’s generous spirit as well as his words, and have also included special information on North American ingredients, especially flours, where they differ from the French. This is essential reading–a real treasure–for anyone interested in this very special craft."
- Julia Child, Author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking
From the Back Cover
At long last, the classic text by acclaimed French baking expert Raymond Calvel is available in English. Professor Calvel is known throughout the world for his research on the production of quality French and European hearth breads, and this new English edition, undertaken by translator Ronald L. Wirtz and technical editor James J. MacGuire, brings Calvel’s expertise to the English-speaking world.
The Taste of Bread is a thorough guide to the elements and principles behind the production of good-tasting bread, including a broad variety of bread products as flavored breads, breadsticks, croissants, brioches, and other regional baked goods. Each important aspect of the process is covered:
- wheat and milling
- characteristics of breadmaking flour
- dough composition
- oxidation in the mixing process
- leavening and fermentation
- effects of dough division and formation
- baking and equipment
The English edition provides notes and information specifically on the use of North American flours and includes recipes in both metric and US units. Enhanced with new black-and-white and color photography, The Taste of Bread will be a key resource for bakers and other culinary professionals and students who must understand the complex elements that yield quality breads.
Top Customer Reviews
Much to my dismay, it arrived with the correct cover but a totally different book inside...."The Rise of Experimental Biology". So far removed from bread making................it's horrificly funny.
I'd love to order it again, but I'm afraid I might end up with the same bizarre copy. Better yet, I believe I should be entitled to a one for a better price or better yet free for my inconvenience. No way to talk to an actual person from Amazon about this..........so Buyer Beware you may end up with the hazzle of returning a much awaited book too!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The original is in French - le gut du pain - and ist is much better!
Even if there are some additions to adjust the recipes to the american (stronger) flour and even if there are some very useful explanations in the first theoretical chapters that are not part of the original still the translation is by far not as excellent as the book.
The pictures are poor (b/w) compared to the coloured ones in the french book, the layout is sometimes chaotic especially when it comes to the formulas.
The worst problem of the translation alas are the formulas - being the core of the book:
* Exhibit 10-3: A basic french bread. The water is given after (!) a dough rest of 15 minutes, but what dough is there without it?
The given number of the total time is wrong. The translation adds 80 minutes from a simple advice to punch down the dough after 80 minutes - these 80 minutes being part of 150 minutes of the 1st Fermentation. The original has it right - why did they change the number?
* Exhibit 14-10: In the formula the sugar is 17.64 oz which makes 25% compared to 70.55 oz for flour. The same amount of butter is interpreted as 15% - another mistake which makes it hard to figure the true meaning of what is written.
These mistakes are just examples to show the problem.
It is often hard to correct these mistakes without knowing the original. I still bought the translation to understand the first chapters - I don't speak French. When it comes to baking I use the french edition which is much safer leading to success. By the way the french book is available at amazon.fr for a lot less money.
By using this book, the quality of my bread dramatically improved due primarily to (1) his mixing techniques, and (2) his autolyse (rest period) for whole wheat breads.
Any other bread book that's worth anything references this one. I think the other bread books probably sell more because they are more user friendly. But this is the foundation upon which all others seem to build.
If you're way serious about bread baking, this is the book for you.
I wish to thank Amazon for removing my purchase of this book from backorder where it remained for half a year and mysteriously canceling without notice, citing The Taste of Bread is "no longer available from any source" as the reason. Days later Amazon reissued this title for public sale at a cost of $15.00 more than they charged me!
Is it really available now? --- Who knows?
I thank Amazon because during those months of waiting for my order to ship, I fell in love with --- Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, By Jeffrey Hamelman and have worked from it extensively with remarkable result. In fact, Professor Calvel, a legend for his autolyse method, also offers his recommendation of "Bread: A Baker's Book." Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
Nancy Silverman of La Brea Bakery occasionally utilizes autolyse method for some of her recipes Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur. However, Jeffrey Hamelman demystifies the autolyse technique and simplifies it to the point of becoming a nonevent in the baking technique arsenal.
My homework on this edition of Taste of Bread quite likely spared me an expensive learning curve, and the much aggravation of struggling with what many have claimed is a poorly edited translation of Raymond Calvel's Le Gout du Pain. It is my hope that they will seize upon the interest in Raymond Calvel's contribution to baking and re-issue a more finely edited version for the American baker at a cost that reflects the current market structure.
Following is the table of contents for this 200 page book
----Those who are not conversant with Baker's percentages will struggle with this information that is aimed at commercial bakers. It is not structured toward the casual cook.
PART I---CHARACTERISTICS OF RAW MATERIALS AND
Type and Condition of Wheat Milled into
Nature of Breadmaking Flour
Technical Characteristics of Breadmaking
The Composition of Dough
The influence of Processing Agents and the
Use of Additives
Additions to French Bread in Certain
The Influence of Ingredients
PART II---THE ROLE OF MIXING AND OF YEAST
FERMENTATION IN THE CREATION OF BREAD TASTE
Mixing: Dough Production and the
Physicochemical Development, Oxidation, and
Maturation of Dough
Excessive Oxidation and Its Consequences
The Role of Bread Fermentation
The Influence of Different Breadmaking
Methods on Taste
Evolutionary Changes in the Different
The Identification of Volatile Organic
Acids and Their Influence on the Taste of
The Relationship of Organic Acids, Mixing
Intensity, Dough Oxidation Level, and Bread
Dough Maturation and Development
The Influence of Dough Maturation Level
The Effects of Changes in pH and Residual
The Effects of Loaf Molding
The Effect of Type and Degree of Paton
The Effects of Freezing Unbaked and
PART III---BAKING AND KEEPING QUALITIES OF
BREAD AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO TASTE
Ovens Used in Bread Baking
Formation, Coloration, and Degree of Crust
Baking and Their Relationship to Bread Taste
The Effects of Oven Steam on Crust Teste
Flour-Dusted Breads and Crust Taste
Scaling of Bread Crust
Frozen Storage of Baked Bread
Foremation and Baking of the Crumb
Crumb Color and Cell Structure
Storage and Staling Effects on Bread Taste
Bread Staling and Factors that Influence It
Consumption of Stale Bread
Shelf Life and Taste of Industrially
Produced Packaged Breads
Types of Bread Spoilage
PART IV---TRADITIONAL AND SPECIALTY BREAD
Basic French Bread
Breadmaking with Levain and with Levain de
Yeast-Raised French Bread (Pain Courant)
Rustic (Country-Style) Bread with
Breads for Filling or Topping
Savory and Aromatic Breads
PART V---YEAST-RAISED SWEET DOUGH PRODUCTS,
COMMON AND DIETETIC RUSKS, BREADSTICKS,
CROISSANTS, PARISIAN AND REGIONAL BRIOCHES
Rusks and Specialty Toasted Breads
Rusks (Biscotte Courant)
Breadsticks and Grissini
Yeast-Raised Sweet Doughs
Chocolate-Filled Buns from Croissant Dough
Brioche-Type Hearth Cakes from Other Lands
PART VI---NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF BREAD, BREAD AND
GASTRONOMY, BREAD AND THE CONSUMER
Qualities of Bread
The Nutritional Value of Bread
Caloric Content and Bioavailability
The Progressive Decline of Bread
Consumption in France
Bread Made from Stone-Ground Flour
Bread and Gastronomy
Comparing Bread with Other Foods
Selected Works of Professor Raymond Calval
Ronald L. Wirtz
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