Customer Reviews


197 Reviews
5 star:
 (153)
4 star:
 (27)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


164 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for both novice and accomplished bakers
I was a tester for this book. I tested all of its recipes and almost all of the variations. This book is perfect for either a complete novice or an accomplished baker. It is written in a straight-forward, down to earth manner and has great pictures illustrating all the techniques, various stages, and final products. Even though I am an accomplished baker, I learned a lot...
Published on November 20, 2009 by Pamela Schmidt

versus
107 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Recipes, iffy format
I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter, who is learning to bake artisan breads, but has young children and limited time. I like the color photograph illustrations and the recipes seem good, but I do not like the format. The instructions are all in paragraph format and difficult to follow. My daughter says she finds herself reading and rereading several times to...
Published on December 6, 2010 by Catherine


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

164 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for both novice and accomplished bakers, November 20, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I was a tester for this book. I tested all of its recipes and almost all of the variations. This book is perfect for either a complete novice or an accomplished baker. It is written in a straight-forward, down to earth manner and has great pictures illustrating all the techniques, various stages, and final products. Even though I am an accomplished baker, I learned a lot of new techniques from the information contained in this book that either improved and or simplified my bread making. All of the recipes work. There is not one dud in the entire book! The recipes run the gamut from lean relatively simple breads, e.g., basic baguettes, to more complex products, e.g., croissants. If I could only own one of Peter Reinhart's books this is the one I would choose. There is a lifetime of baking in this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


156 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Work From Peter Reinhart, October 29, 2009
By 
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I have been baking bread as a hobby for a little over 2 years. I have always been fascinated with baking bread but I never found a satisfactory resource until I found Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice." This was a great resource as Peter is a very skilled teacher and conveyor of information. I also purchased a copy of Peter's "Whole Grain Bread's" and was equally excited by the bread baking techniques that he shares. Also, you can see an evolution in the baking style between the two books as the author seems to learn from each publication. I purchased this newest book yesterday, and after reading through it I can see that he has continued to learn and I really appreciate the techniques used in this book as they are even easier to perform, and easier to understand, than the first two books. This book is great for people just getting into bread baking as it contains many of the same fundamental styles of bread found in Peter's other books. However, if you already own Peter's previous publications do not let that deter you from purchasing this one as there are new techniques and formula's for different breads. I am especially looking forward to trying the formulas in the section on Cheese bread, as well as the onion and wild rice bread. The techniques presented in this book are simpler, and more straightforward than previous ones as the formulas are streamlined so that the use of a seperate pre-fermented dough is not necessary. Also, these recipes, although still requiring at least two days, take less hands-on time to make. I am very excited to try the breads presented in this book, and I would highly recommend anyone who enjoys baking bread to purchase this exciting new work from Peter Reinhart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


107 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Recipes, iffy format, December 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter, who is learning to bake artisan breads, but has young children and limited time. I like the color photograph illustrations and the recipes seem good, but I do not like the format. The instructions are all in paragraph format and difficult to follow. My daughter says she finds herself reading and rereading several times to remember the order of all the steps. A 1, 2, 3 style list of instructions would have been so much easier to follow. I, too, like to be able to glance at a recipe quickly (while my hands are all floury) without searching through paragraphs, looking for what I need to know. Imagine trying to keep track of steps with 3 little children at your feet...not so easy.

I own the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart and love it, so I expected this to be in a similar format, just with simpler processes to produce great bread. Bread Baker's Apprentice is laid out with a clear 1, 2, 3, etc. step by step of the instructions. I wish he had done the same with Artisan Breads Every Day.

Another small gripe is that the bakers' percentages are all listed in a table near the back of the book, rather than with each recipe. This is useful, but I would like to have the reference right at hand with the recipe. Some books use a chart format for ingredients, listing the ounces, grams (sometimes cups and spoons volume) as well as bakers' percentage so all is right at hand.

I do like that Artisan Breads Every Day gives measurements in grams as well as ounces and volume. I would like to have seen grams in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. As I make each recipe, I use the unit conversion on my scale and pencil in the grams beside each ingredient. Grams are more universal as well as more precise. I admit that seeing the volume measures, as well, helps my mind's eye to visualize the amount from a lifetime of using this method. So, even though I don't measure by volume, I like that it gives me a rough idea of what is needed to have at hand before I begin a baking project.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, but a few problems, March 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
First things first. I have been baking bread and pizzas for more than 30 years, and within a few days of receiving this book, I learned a few things and saw some improvements. Since baking better bread is the only purpose of this book, it ranks as a success.

I'd say the book is ideal for either beginners or "experts" like me, as long as you are willing to throw away (or at least forget for a while) everything you know about baking bread. In my years of baking, I learned that you can't freeze dough, yeast likes warm places, and the longer you knead dough, the better. Reinhart has a different opinion, and he seems to be correct.

The Good Points

* So far I have made baguettes, sourdough and pizza using recipes and techniques in the book. All turned out excellent. I can now bake "crusty" baguettes on demand, and can produce that micro-thin, slightly stretchy pizza crust in a kitchen 3000 miles from New York (although with slight additions to Peter's recipe).

* I always "knew" you couldn't freeze dough, but following Peter's advice, I now regularly freeze dough for pizza, and it turns out great. Combined with premeasured bags of frozen sauce, fresh hot pizza is now a "freezer" item. Awesome, except for my diet.

* I learned new techniques for working with dough, and for the most part they seem to work great. The book organizes the basic dough techniques (stretching, proofing, etc) in one section at the front of the book so you can find them easily. (More on this below).

* Subject to some issues described below, the instructions are reasonably easy to follow. They are written in easy-to-understand terms, and Peter avoids the usual pedantic language often found in higher-end cookbooks. Nothing worse than needing a dictionary and a translator to make soup.

* Reinhart doesn't try to convince you that you need to go out and buy $1000 worth of proofing pans, proofing boxes, special cloths, etc. Just use what is in your house already.

The Bad Points (Note first paragraph in review)

* The directions can get a bit carried away with themselves. Personally, quantities like 3 3/8 teaspoons of salt drive me nuts. I might breakdown and use an actual measuring spoon instead of a teaspoon, but there is no way I am not going to eyeball the last half teaspoon.

* The directions are written in a narrative format rather than a list of items typical in recipes. As a result I will often end up re-reading the whole recipe numerous times just to find the next step. This can be a bit of a pain, because many of the recipes have quite a few steps. Typical will be mix for 2 minutes on low, wait 5 minutes, switch to a dough hook, mix for 3 minutes on medium, wait 5 minutes, fold and stretch dough, wait for 10 minutes in an uncovered bowl, stretch again.... You get the idea. For every step, you will end up re-reading most of the recipe. A little indenting/change of fonts/highlighting/bold/etc in the layout would do wonders for the book.

* The directions can get overly detailed, but yet unclear-forcing you to interpret multiple directions to be sure you know exactly what Reinhart meant. Not a real big deal, but something one more round of proofreading should have caught.

* Basic techniques such as kneading and proofing are in a separate section of the book, and then referred to by individual recipes. Except when they are not-some recipes include the details, some refer you to the front of the book. Since the directions are already somewhat bloated and poorly formatted, I'd prefer to just have references to a single section.

* At least one of the recipes (sourdough mother starter) has all the quantities in cups, until you get to the final steps when everything is now in grams. I don't have a metric (or even English) scale in my kitchen.

* Some of the steps are explained in agonizing detail, and them some are skipped over. It takes 5 pages to explain how to make the sourdough starter, but then the "how to refresh the starter dough process" is skipped over. List the quantities of old starter, flour and water (see above), but then makes no mention of what to do with it- proof at room temp? immediately return to the refrigerator? How long does it need to refresh?

* Mom always taught me that you can't really measure flour-you have to add it to the dough as needed. The reason for this is that flour can have a vastly different moisture content, so what works once might yield overly tacky/dry dough the next time. Reinhart doesn't seem to subscribe to this theory, at least not in all his recipes. After mixing up a batch of the gooiest pizza dough on the planet, I'd say Mom was right.

* Some of the baking times listed are suspect. I suspect they are worse case time for very large loafs, not typical times for baguette sized creations. Caveat baker.

* None of the recipes I have tried so far are for anyone in a hurry. Every recipe so far has taken days to complete. Not a negative...yeast will be yeast. Just something to be aware of.

Overall:

A great guide to breadbaking-both for specific recipes and learning to update your artisan skills. I learned a lot from it, and have made a number of items, all of them unqualified successes. If you are looking to whip up a batch of bread as quickly as your bread machine, this is not your book. If you want to spend a few days working with yeast to get a baguette worthy of Paris (OK, maybe New York), this is your book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Bread -- Better Organization Needed for Instructions, March 31, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I would like to give Artisan Breads Every Day a 4.5 star review, but, alas, Amazon doesn't give that option. In brief, I give the book 5 stars for the superb breads that come out of these recipes and techniques, but a 4 for the organization of recipes and instructions.

The best first -- so far, I have made two different doughs (basic lean white dough and the 50% whole wheat dough) for a total of four loaves of bread and the neo-Neapolitan pizza dough. The resulting loaves and pizzas were fantastic. Hearty, earthy, great open-hole crumb, thin-but-crispy crust, great flavor. Everything I'd been looking to create at home but had never quite managed.

For about a year and a half, I'd been working through the recipes and techniques of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I baked from that book regularly, several times a week, and the breads had great flavor and that delicious mouthfeel from a "custard crumb." The only thing that disappointed me was I never quite got that "holey" lattice-work crumb the book's authors promised me.

With Peter Reinhart's book I have finally achieved bread-baking nirvana! His technique requires more hands-on work than the AB5 technique, but I welcomed this, as there is nothing more satisfying to a baker than to have one's hands working dough. Yet, Reinhart's stretch-and-fold technique is really simple and requires only a moderate amount of work, not the heavy-lifting multiple kneadings of my earlier bread-baking days. Stretch-and-fold really seems to structure the dough better than AB5's mix-and-let-rise technique, and you can feel it under your hands.

That being said, now some slight criticisms about the organization of the book. Although I enjoy all the backstory Reinhart provides about the technique and the dissection of each step, I found it more than a little frustrating to have to flip back and forth constantly to different parts of the as I was working on the recipes themselves. I suppose that after a while, the technique will become second nature, but at first all this flipping and referencing different chapters was tedious and confusing. Then there was the problem of vagueness with at least one of the dough recipes. The 50% whole wheat dough gave the instruction after the ingredient list to follow the earlier ciabatta recipe. There were no other instructions, such as how long to bake, at what temp, what was the best bread form to make with this dough (as in boule, batard, etc.). Since the ciabatta dough was a white dough and not a whole wheat dough and since I didn't necessarily want a ciabatta loaf, this made for a bit of guessing. Turned out that I baked the bread for too long and it got a little burnt on the bottom. It was excellent, anyway, but, still, the time suggested for baking the ciabatta was way too long for this ww dough when baked as a batard.

So with that caveat so that a beginner might know what to expect, I highly recommend this book and Peter's technique for baking artisan breads. The finished products are amazing and worth whatever extra effort you need to put into them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reinhart-Lite, November 2, 2009
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
Peter Reinhart is a generous teacher who in his last few books shared everything he knew about baking bread. This is a great thing if you're a certified breadhead. If you aren't you can easily be scared off by too much information.

In his latest book Peter turns down the tech talk... and is much more user freindely to the novice baker. The pictures are beautiful and inviting, the instruction clear. A great gift for beginner bakers. Of course there are cute tips for all of us, but most of the information Peter covered in previous books. (The fact that retarding the dough takes the place of making a preferment isn't rocket science - its basic bread science - but good science none the less.)

Did I mention the book is beautiful, clearly written and full of delicious recipes? Well it is..

As I mention this is Reinhert-Lite for your friends that love the bread you make and want to try it themselves...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Delicious, December 18, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I have only had this book a couple weeks, but have been have great success with every recipe I've tried! I can hardly wait to try the next one! I started with some of the simpler ones and all have been terrific! The white bread, everyday whole wheat bread, French bread, and the Many Seeds Bread - fabulous, all of them!

What I love about these recipes and techniques is that 1) they are so easy to put together, especially with my kitchen aid; it does all the work, 2) you make the dough ahead of time, and pull it out of the frig when you are ready to bake. In the morning, or later in the day, I just pull the dough out of the frig, let it rise, and ready to eat! Even for company, its doable to have fresh baked bread, with the work ahead methods.

It utilizes the prefermentation methods, but without the bigas or poolishes, etc. and makes it a very EASY process! I cant recommend this book enough! No sooner is one batch of bread done, and I'm making another!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All day long I think about those bagels, March 14, 2010
By 
Annie (Discovery Bay, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book for people who want to make delicious, bakery quality bread at home. Every recipe that I have tried has turned out excellent. In fact, since I started making the breads from this book, I can hardly stomach the stuff from the supermarket. And the bagels--I swear, those are the best bagels I have ever eaten (granted, I am from the midwest, so...there are no good bagels there). All day long, I think about whether and when to eat the bagels.

These are not quick recipes; they all require an overnight rest in the refrigerator, but it is worth it if you have the time and patience. It seems so obvious, but that slow fermentation step makes all the difference in flavor. So far, all of the recipes have worked perfectly and measurements of the ingredients are accurate. You can tell that the recipes have been tested! I appreciate that in a cookbook.

I also own the Breadmaker's Apprentice, and I prefer this book because the recipes here do not require the pre-ferments recommended in the previous book (although the previous book is a terrific book, it is more like a book that I read, rather than a book that I cook from). For some reason, I currently have an irrational fear of poolish and biga.

I like this book so much, I am buying copies to give as gifts to my friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fabulous, November 18, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I received Peter's book last week, mixed together the focaccia recipe on Saturday, watched it bubble and grow in the refrigerator, and with great anticipation baked up my first attempt Tuesday evening. All I can say is WOW. I was nervous after dumping the dough onto the pan; it didn't seem like it was ever going to be able to rise an inch. But it did (although it took more than one hour - I finally put it in my microwave hood with the light on below it to provide a bit more warmth). I had made the herbed oil (mine's not as pretty as Peter's), I liberally sloshed that over the dough, and popped it into the oven. I also sprinkled about 1 cup of shredded parmesan over the bread right before I considered it done. Quite fabulous and easy. I've made focaccia before with rather disappointing results. This is truly as good as anything I've ever eaten from a bakery. My kids were thrilled - we have a new favorite. And I can hardly wait to try other recipes. Biscuits are on the menu for Thanksgiving. Peter declares they are the best. If they are as good as the focaccia, then I am sure they will be the best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really an "every day" bread book, but still good!, June 17, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (Hardcover)
I've had Reinhart's book for over a year now and very much enjoy it in comparison to other bread baking books that I have. This book is not really an "every day" bread baking book like the title suggests. There is definitely more effort required for these recipes than other books out there, e.g., My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method (which unfortunately produces bread that I find lacks flavor, but which America's Test Kitchen adapted by adding beer, and other quick methods to this technique which makes superb bread) , and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. However, although the recipes do require more effort (and in some cases a little skill) this book produces some of the best breads that I have ever made. I've made the pretzels, focaccia, pizza dough, buttermilk sandwich bread, soft cheese bread, cinnamon buns and challah.

The fact that the bread takes more time, and thus I don't make breads everyday, doesn't really bother me that much. However, what made me give this book only 4 stars instead of 5 is because of two reasons. First, the format of the book has instructions written in paragraph form, rather than listing them in a numbered format. This can be really confusing, and requires you to read the recipe quite a few times before starting, and during the process. Since you need to read while in the process of doing the recipe, you end up searching for what the next step is since it's not clearly listed. Not really a good thing when you have hands covered in flour, etc. Second, I found the instructions for making the wild yeast and sourdough starter hopelessly confusing. I read the instructions at least 10 times, and was still unclear. I attempted it anyway, and was unsuccessful.

Other than those two complaints, I really like this book and turn to it often above others that I have. It's definitely a great addition to a baker's library and has some great photos in there as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart (Hardcover - September 29, 2009)
$30.00 $17.40
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.