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

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Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home + Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads: Sweet and Savory Baking for Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond + The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534531
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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Customer Reviews

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See all 43 customer reviews
This book is excellently illustrated and is easy to follow.
Craig A
His instructions are clear and the enclosed DVD is an excellent reference tool.
Spencer Ivery
I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into artisan bread baking.
Steven Dayton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 117 people found the following review helpful By GBSmith on March 30, 2009
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.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By bj on November 3, 2008
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.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Aspasia on April 27, 2009
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bakerboy on November 9, 2008
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.
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