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on January 23, 2016
I really like this book. It is helpful for me to have the recipes with yeast so that I can focus on the more complicated breadmaking techniques.
I cannot keep track of the schedule needed for maintaining a starter yet, so to have a 2 day process is simple.
I have baked the sandwich bread and the potato rosemary bread. Both turned out well and they are 100% whole grain flour.

The book's pita recipe is at 75% hydration. I made a couple of changes: 80% hydration and add 2 TBSP of "Manuel's Rye Sour" (found in Laurel's Bread Book) to replace the yeast in the Biga. To cook and puff the pita, I use a stove top method: Heat a flat cast iron pan to dry fry the raw pita circles. Then transfer the pita to a hot electric coil for puffing and toasting.

I am looking forward to converting the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Recipes to this method.

The pita will even puff when reheated in a toaster oven after being made and stored in the refrigerator. The crispness and dough texture are paired so well.

For the hearth bread/boule, I used a lidded cast iron pot method instead of the steam method in the book. The rounded dough was put in a Pam sprayed bowl for the last rise. The oven was preheated to 450-500 with a cast iron pot and its lid. Before taking the preheated pot out of the oven, I inverted the dough onto a thin piece of foil that had been lined with a sprinkle of corn meal and flour. It was easy to control the dough and its shape in this flip. Lifting the dough by the foil into the blazing hot cast iron pot was easy. Then the pot lid was put on and the bake started.
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on January 16, 2016
I agree 100% with the other reviewers that say this is not a book for beginners or someone who just wants to make a quick loaf for dinner. There are no "recipes" in this book, only "forumulas." Having said that I have made 3 different breads so far and they all came out awesome. Even my picky eater who said he hates whole wheat bread loved them! If you make the Whole Wheat Hearth bread for example, no one will believe it is 100% whole wheat. The book also has what he calls "transitional" recipes which use part white flour if you are worried that your family may not want to take the leap to 100% whole wheat all at once.

Could some of the steps be combined? Probably. Might some steps even be eliminated? Possibly. Is calling the recipes "formulas" pompous and ridiculous? Definitely. But if you are serious about wanting to switch to whole grain breads this is the book to buy. I have like 12 different bread baking books and they will all sit on the shelf for now.
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on January 7, 2016
I have Reinhart's first book on Artisan bread making, and after reading negative information concerning bread made with only white flour, I decided to investigate whole grain breads. (See Michael Pollen's book, "Cooked.") My first loaf was a sourdough with only live culture and no additional yeast. I did use half whole wheat and half bread flour, and was very pleased with my first attempt. Reinhart goes into great detail about the different techniques, the science, and the ingredients. Good bread can be time consuming until you get the hang of it...then it becomes a habit, and is worth the effort. A good book for cooks who appreciate bread.
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on December 22, 2015
wonderful book. I have tried many of the recipes. love them all
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on November 6, 2015
I had started baking 2 months ago and while I could get decent rises and oven springs with my white breads, wholemeal bread continued to be a problem. I bought The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book before i got this one and I managed to get a decent bread out of the practice bread but all the others were dense albeit edible. In addition, even if I kneaded the dough 300 times, my dough did not come near to the point where it passed the windopane test. I baked twice using the multigrain straun bread formula only. i found that it was easier to get to the point where i think i have passed the windopane test (why i say i think i have passed the windowpane test is cos not all parts of my dough could do that but majority could. I guess i just have to knead longer), i have been able to get a little oven spring both times and the bread comes out with a crisp crust and soft crumb. Very tasty! This makes me more confident to try the other recipes in this book. I do agree with another reviewer that i seem to have to knead longer than what the author said is required and the bread was too sweet. I halved the sugar the second time and it turned out good. Initially i was a bit hesitant about getting this book as i heard most recipes require 2 days. However, i realised quickly that the first day was just mixing biga and soaker, which if you are experienced, would take you very little time. For me, it took an hour to measure and mix then wash up. The second day, was more time consuming but i don't think it was any different to other bread making recipes where you had to go through 2 or 3 rises.
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on September 18, 2015
Great book for a very specific technique. If you are looking for a simple or general book, look elseware as this book is almost exclusively devoted to a more advanced technique.
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on September 10, 2015
Good book that seems to, from it's instructions and recipes, make good bread, however, be prepared for bread that takes two days to make. I find that excessive for a regular home baker. IT is ok for special occasions or if you are really addicted to good breads, but as a regular thing, it is just too involved.
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on August 25, 2015
I LOVE this book. With this book you can make great whole wheat bread without having to add vitale wheat gluten. Instead you take advantage of the natural yeast that wheat flour can produce.

Another neat thing about this book has the best explanation about the difference in quality of different flours and how it affects the bread you make. I knew that my King Arthur flour made better flour than the generic less expensive flour we usually use. Before this, I never knew why.

I didn't love the challah I made using the recipe in this book. Some things just need white flour. But... every other recipe I've tried has been wonderful.
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on July 15, 2015
Great book
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on July 11, 2015
great recipes and great bread that I made. I had to experiment a little bit, but awesome way to make breads by soaking.
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