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Tools Are Made, Born Are Hands: Baking True Artisan Breads in a Wood Fired Oven Paperback – May 25, 2010


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Tools Are Made, Born Are Hands: Baking True Artisan Breads in a Wood Fired Oven + The Art of Wood-Fired Cooking + Wood-Fired Oven Cookbook: 70 recipes for incredible stone-baked pizzas and breads, roasts, cakes and desserts, all specially devised for the outdoor oven and illustrated in over 400 photographs
Price for all three: $54.21

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451566883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451566888
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Wills, author of Tools Are Made, Born Are Hands, the practical guide to baking true artisan breads in a wood fired oven, has had careers as varied as the books he writes. He has been a motorcycle mechanic, academic, hard rock miner, book editor, a commercial writer, author, mason, an artisan baker/teacher and oven builder. Together with his partner, head cook Wendy Carlson, he has taught the arts of wood fired baking to men and women from across North America, New Zealand, Australia, England and Holland. He lives in rural Ontario with Wendy and, betimes, her daughter, Kate Amies. Other works by the same author include the four part Kavanagh saga of Irish historical novels: A Few Men Faithful, Philly MC, Shooter in a Plague Year and This Hard Gemlike Flame. See www.marygbread.com for more information.

More About the Author

Over the years, I've had many careers. In more or less chronological order, I've been a motorcyle mechanic/race engine builder, a teacher of English Literature, a hard rock silver miner, a book editor/packager, a commercial writer in print and video, a wood-fired oven artisan bread baker and an author of short stories and many magazine articles. Some, if not all, overlap and continue. As a friend puts it, "One of these days, you'll find a hat that not only fits but stays put."

The first of my novels to appear on Amazon, A Few Men Faithful, directly reflects my life-long interest in Irish history and literature, with all their triumphs and failures. It begins the four novel series of Kavanagh stories that includes, in order: A Few Men Faithful, Philly MC, Shooter in a Plague Year, and This Hard Gemlike Flame. Set in Ireland during the tumultuous years of 1916-1924, the first is the bedrock upon which the other three titles are built; they take place in both North America and Ireland between 1948 and 2020. Throughout, the flaws and strengths, demons and angels, inherent anger and inherent gentleness of the Kavanagh clan are the central themes. Irish history ties all the threads together.

I've written other books, mostly trade paperbacks, but another recent work on Amazon is: Tools Are Made, Born Are Hands: Baking True Artisan Breads in a Wood Fired Oven. It's the direct result of many requests by the people from around the world who have come to my part of rural Ontario to attend workshops devoted to rediscovering the arts of wood fired bread baking in much the same way it was done from Pompeii to Paris. In my author photo, I'm looking out from a Napoleonic-era wood fired oven complex in Sagunto, Spain.

More information on all these titles can be found on my website: www.marygbread.com

I live in a small 19th century village amid rolling dairy farms far enough outside Toronto to stay away if I want, yet close enough to visit if I choose. My partner, Wendy Carlson, and her daughter, Kate Amies, are frequent visitors, mostly, I suspect, to visit Cujo, the superannuated, deaf, twenty year old cat.





Customer Reviews

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If you have a wood fired oven and you want a book about how to bake bread in it, this is the book for you.
Gary W. Bouchard
I think any one using or considering a wood fired oven would find this book most useful and certainly better than most of the other published works out there.
Bill Price
Mr. Wills manages to offer up these techniques and skills from basic to advanced without either talking down to the reader or being confusing.
W. Funkhouser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Price on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After building my oven, I came across several other books on "Wood Oven Baking". I eagerly awaited them and then was then disappointed by the content. Ranging from coffee table style books to simple user's manuals and DVDs for commercial products, they had little practical information and lots of gourmet recipe fluff. So I was quite pleasantly surprised to find a great source of info in "Tools are made ...". This book will give the reader a good understanding of wood oven basics, the essentials regarding sequencing of firing and various subsequent baking activities as well as concepts to consider for converting "conventional oven" recipes to wood oven material. The book follows the daily activities of one of the author's on-site workshops, describing not only what the students are doing, but also what he is doing (and watching for) behind the scenes to manage his oven for the classes. While there are some recipes (mainly breads) in the book, they are mostly there to support the dialog and description of the techniques. And the techniques are the value in this book. As a wood oven user, many of these were familiar to me, but many were not (or were at least gentle reminders of things I should have been remembering :-) ). I think any one using or considering a wood fired oven would find this book most useful and certainly better than most of the other published works out there. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Funkhouser on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Mary G's Artisan Bread's master baker Jim Wills offers 2 day workshops to home bakers interested in perfecting their bread and baking skills. For those of us who cannot attend his workshop in Canada, his book "Tools are Made Born are Hands" is almost like being there with him. In it, he walks us through the two day workshop from morning to night each day. The experience is like having a master baker standing over your shoulder offering advice and observations on every aspect of baking. There are plenty of bread books with dozens of recipes on the market, but as most experienced bakers know, bread is more technique and skill than a list of ingredients. Mr. Wills manages to offer up these techniques and skills from basic to advanced without either talking down to the reader or being confusing. Perhaps this ability comes from his background as an English teacher. His writing is clear and interesting while his manner patient yet passionate. He has chosen well exactly 7 recipes, but the explanation behind the mixing, forming and baking of each one offers a lifetime of wisdom. For example, if a baker can recreate the 'Ciabatta' or the 'Pain al'ancienne' they have mastered the art of wet doughs while the techniques for the 'Massa Sovada" are important for understanding enriched sweeter breads.

Jim is a wood fired baker so much of the baking advice centers on these large ovens that more and more home bakers are using. If you are not among these bakers yet, fear not as he gives detailed instructions on how to replicate the breads in a home oven. There is little to criticize in this book if you know what to expect. The intriguing title "Tools are made born are Hands" offers little in terms of knowing what in contained within.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. King on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read over a dozen books during the course of building my wood-fired oven but only this book and one other (Andrea Mugnaini's "The Art of Wood Fired Cooking") really dug into the hows/whys of wood fired cooking. Of the two, "Tools are Made, Born are Hands" offers a far superior view of the baking process and better recipes. In fact, I hope the author eventually writes another book on other wood fired cooking methods and recipes. That would be choice!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sal Sgroi on February 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the best I've every read on brick oven bread baking. It is very easy to understand and covers all the bases from the actual baking right on down to the brick oven itself and how to build your fire.
I would suggest this book to anyone who owns a brick oven or is contemplating building one. The author of this book, Jim Wills, also gives two days classes on brick oven baking which includes all the fundamentals of bread and pizza baking, and he does it all in the brick oven he build himself!
You can visit his website at [...]
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