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The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158479934X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799344
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 10.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For more than 25 years, the renowned French Culinary Institute at the International Culinary Center in New York City has been teaching the fundamentals of Western cuisine through its hands-on Total Immersion curriculum. With a world-class facility, a distinguished faculty, and a celebrated restaurant, the FCI is among the leading schools of its kind.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
This is a wonderful book with very clear instructions, and illustrations.
memarkley
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that wants to take their bread baking to the next level.
B. Ross
I think my neighbors are starting to appreciate my dabbling in bread making!
John W. Graham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By John W. Graham VINE VOICE on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I consider myself an avid home baker. I like to bake breads, cakes and other desserts. Recently, I developed a desire to venture beyond the comforts of Brioche, Challah and basic white bread. I wanted to learn exactly what the title suggests: the fundamental techniques of classic bread baking. I also wanted to explore the breads of France, Italy and beyond in greater detail.

Buying this book and using it to teach yourself the FCI way of baking bread means that you will probably need to update some of your kitchen equipment. For me, I ended up buying a better digital scale, a couche, a dough rising bucket, a baker's peel, a better baking stone, some higher quality IDY yeast, and a several types of flour beyond "bleached all purpose" and "bread" flour. I still want to eventually get a pain de mie (pullman) pan, a La Cloche and other specialty baking items.

Armed with new ingredients and baking implements, I read the first several chapters on prep and theory. While I won't be using the Baker's Percentage any time soon in my home baking, this book did its best to introduce the concept (although I like Rose Levy Beranbaum's "dough percentage" concept better). After digesting all of the theory and technique discussions, I was eager to start baking bread. For full disclosure, I have a standard electric oven which goes up to 500F. I also have a 5 quart stand mixer. Aside from that and the basic equipment outlined in this book, I don't have any special commercial grade equipment.

My first gripe with the book is the usage of fresh yeast which is pretty much inaccessible to the average home baker.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eugen on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After having taken a number of baking courses at Le Cordon Bleu it was wonderful to find this book which provided much of the same information gained from Le Cordon Bleu's bread baking courses but in a beautiful book. The book is actually the book used by the FCI and when reading it you see that it is indeed more textbook than typical cookbook, but that's just what I was looking for. I have many bread and pastry books but wanted something the provided an excellent collection of the practical aspects of bread making. I was relying on my notes from Le Cordon Bleu but my handwriting has only regressed courtesy of using a keyboard most days. So being able to verify a specific comment I left to myself by reviewing the practical aspects of a given type of bread has been most welcome.

I'd recommend this for anyone who's taken a course in the past and wants a more pleasant way to remember what they've been taught or as a great addition to the bread maker wanting to have the knowledge of FCI at their fingertips. The fact the course from FCI aligns so well with the ones I've taken at Le Cordon Bleu is a most welcome bonus.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Guillaume Slama on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In our restaurant, we knead and bake our bread ourselves. This book has helped us understand many technical aspects of the process, and has helped us create a better product. It is well illustrated and very well explained. A serious book for serious bakers.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joanne on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a hefty book complete with a stitched-in satin bookmark, like the family bible has. This is the kind of book this is, massive and impressive for sure, but the pages read like a textbook b/c it is--if you read the full description of this book, it is meant for the culinary student sitting in class and turning pages in tandem w/the professor up front. That cuts both ways. A lot of info here, yes, but perhaps in a dry way that is too big on clinical and short on inspirational. In short, this book is made for the "student" of bread, not the home baker who wants ample info without feeling deluged w/every minute detail of information that makes it more like work than play. In that respect, the book doesn't pull you in, it tends to feel unapproachable and boring. THe words on the page are small and cluttered and hard to read, against textbook'ish.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gerardo C. Guzman Lozano on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recipes are very good, very good illustrated on the recipes and breads, but the big secret for bread is a culture you need to make for over 14 days or more. This book explains how to make it but its not easy to understand if you are a beginner.
The explanation is short, and not very well illustrated, so its difficult. Weird that when that is the real key to make a exceptional bread, they didn't spend that much time explaining on detail how to built the culture or seed.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Ross on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great recipes with clear step by step directions. I have several bread baking books and this is by far one of my favorites. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that wants to take their bread baking to the next level.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book with very clear instructions, and illustrations. It is a textbook, but reads like advice from your mom.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I use this book almost ever time I bake bread. I always reference this book for tips and techniques.
I am glad I bought this book!
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