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The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens Paperback – July 1, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens + Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves, 3rd Edition
Price for both: $37.88

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890132055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890132057
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In recent years, a revived and burgeoning interest in wholesome, locally baked bread has swept the country, with bakeries springing up in small towns and major urban areas alike, producing an astounding variety of interesting, crusty, tasty, handmade breads. The Bread Builders explains the grains and flours, leavens and doughs, the chemistry of bread, and the physics of baking in a big book filled with helpful drawings, photographs, recipes, and tips. In a unique angle for a book on baking bread, it also includes detailed diagrams and instructions for building your own masonry bread oven from scratch.

As Laurel Robertson, author of The New Laurel's Kitchen says, "This book is ice cream for a baker! We visit legendary bakeries, meet wonderful people, learn all sorts of fascinating scientific information with practical usefulness in bowl and oven, and best of all, get the skinny on masonry ovens, the cherished fantasy of us all." The enthusiasm of the authors in their search for the perfect loaf of bread permeates this detailed but lively and accessible book, and will offer much of use to both amateur and professional bread makers. --Mark A. Hetts

Review

Review from Ecology Action Newsletter-
The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott, is a serious book, written for people who take their bread baking seriously. It is not a cookbook but one whose object is to help the baker understand all parts of the process that go into creating an excellent loaf. As such, it is a technical journal that thoroughly details natural fermentation, bread grains and flours, leavens and dough, and dough development. The second part is about masonry ovens and their construction, since both authors agree that such an oven is a necessary part of creating the excellent loaf. Each chapter of the book includes a visit to a commercial or private venture which is using some or all of the processes being described. The book is not a light read but should prove inspiring to those wanting more information about the baking process, how to construct a masonry oven or anyone who is glad to see that these traditional methods are being nurtured rather than forgotten.



"This book is ice cream for a baker! We visit legendary bakeries, meet wonderful people, learn all sorts of fascinating scientific information with practical usefulness in bowl and oven--and best of all, get the skinny on masonry ovens, that cherished fantasy of us all."--Laurel Robertson, author of Laurel's Kitchen


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Customer Reviews

Very informative and easy read.
Katrien
Dear Readers, this is THE book for learning all about how to build your wood fired brick oven and to learn all about naturally leavened breads.
Chehalis Hegner
A must own book for bread bakers.
frieda sciancalepore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 80 people found the following review helpful By kdenzer on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dan Wing and Alan Scott have answered all the questions I have ever asked about bread and ovens, and then some. After baking regular yeasted bread for years, I learned to make small, wood-fired ovens out of mud, and started making naturally leavened breads. In the process, I stumbled onto some of the "secrets" of good bread, for which I was very happy. For people who don't want to spend years stumbling, however, The Bread Builders is a thorough, authoritative, and inspiring door into the hows and whys of really good bread. For people who already know the "secrets," it's an absolutely brilliant explanation and exploration of what makes good bread (part of which is, of course, the oven).
If you want to understand the principles of what you're doing, this is it. And if you want to build a commercial quality oven for baking your own bread, here are plans and detailed instructions. I have had the pleasure of meeting, and learning a little about ovens from Alan Scott. I am very happy that now, in addition to having a master baker on my bookshelf, I also have a master oven builder as well. Thank you both very much.
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 16:33:05 -0700
From: Darrell Greenwood<darrell_greenwood@mindlink.net>
Subject: The Bread Builders -Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens
I had a very interesting book pop through the mail slot yesterday, 'The Bread Builders - Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens' by Dan Wing and Alan Scott.
When Dan wrote me for my address so he could send me a review copy he noted in his enthusiasm for his newly minted book "It's a really good book." After receiving it yesterday I noted in my enthusiasm for his newly minted book, "It's a really good book" and it is :-).
You get for your $35 the best book I have read on "natural leavens" or sourdough. It has no recipes but sets out to teach you the basics underlying baking bread with no commercial yeast... and succeeds very well. The book is 254 pages, paperback, indexed, and well illustrated with color and b&w photographs, graphs, line drawings and a glossary.
Starting out with interesting introductions by Alan Scott and Dan Wing, the book's chapters wind their way through Naturally Fermented Hearth Bread, Bread Grains and Flours, Leavens and Doughs, Dough Development and Baking, Ovens and Bread.
Interspersed in the chapters are 'visits' where a separate article describes a visit to an interesting bakery or baking related location ranging from Vermont to California. The book's clear and easily readable style is assisted with sidebars and notes clarifying various points. I do like the notes in the margins as this book does rather than at the bottom of the page.
But wait, that is only half the book. You get thrown in for free another book, on how to design, build and operate a masonry oven.
Read more ›
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139 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Plasbo on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not a bread recipe (or formula) book, it is not a learn-to-bake book and it is not a baking reference book. It is a treatise on hearth bread and it is not one you want before you have already become very serious about bread baking and have become a full and fanatical convert to baking with natural leaven ("sourdough"). If you are not already there, then I recommend Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" and Paul Bertolli's "Chez Panisse Cooking" (it has a single great chapter about baking naturally leavened bread). Once you have arrived at good, satisfying, naturally leavened bread and bake it as a matter of routine, "The Bread Builders" will give you a very good understanding of what is really going on or what should be going on and what you can do to make sure it is. Even though I currently bake in a bottom-of-the-line, electric Jenn-Air oven, the book gave me enough knowledge, science, technique, hints, tricks and understanding that I could take my bread one or two steps further towards perfection, and for that it was worth buying. You also get to understand that the ultimate step towards perfection is baking in a brick oven. When I get around to taking that step and building my oven, this is the book that will guide me.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By fortune elkins on February 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
this book teaches you how to bake the best bread you've ever ever had. and it's surprisingly easy.i've been making bread on the weekends and such for about 15 years now, ever since i saw a recipe for batter bread in an old joy of cooking. but although i'd tried many recipes and supposed "tips and tricks," i couldn't get a tasty or really beautiful european-style country loaf.so i would go to gourmet shops and spend US$5-7 a loaf and think,"o if i only had the fancy steam oven, the expensive mixer, then...."but daniel wing shows you how anybody with the most simple equipment can make incredible bread. although a lot of the book is devoted to building a brick oven, he explains how you can get that brick-oven effect with a regular home oven for only $50 with a special baking dish called "la cloche."if you've made a lot of bread, or read many recipes, you have certain ideas about"how bread should be made." it turns out a lot of the conventional wisdom is wrong! daniel wing includes a lot interesting scientific information that proves why his methods are superior to the conventional wisdom. following his methods gave me unbelievable results: crusty, tasty, made-in-a-french-village bread. i'll never go back to my old way of breadmaking. the best part -- the methods in this book are actually less work than the supposed "rapid" methods you find elsewhere.
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