6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Two Books in One (a blessing and a curse),
This review is from: Brother Juniper's Bread Book (Paperback)
This book is part meditation on the meaning of life (through bread) and part recipe book. Naturally, for a baker with a religious calling (like Peter Reinhart), these two things go together. For the rest of us, we will have to decide for ourselves whether to conflate the two.
First, the meditation (the blessing): Peter Reinhart is interested in how baking bread can help you (as it helped him) find the miracles in everyday life. He asks that you slow down. Instead of trying to force the bread to adjust to your schedule, you adjust to the bread. Kind of the Chevy Chase "Caddyshack" mantra "be the ball"--though here it's a ball of dough. I find much to like in this part of the book (even if I am not quite completely sold--I'll proof my bread in my proofing oven, add yeast even to sourdough, etc.).
And then the recipes. These are really good bread recipes. They focus on taste and artisanal look/feel of the loaves. As another reviewer noted, these aren't necessarily the most "healthy" recipes, but then, who said you couldn't put on a few pounds even as (as Joni Mitchell puts it) you got yourself back to the garden? My beef (the curse) is that there just aren't very many recipes, and it would make for a thin volume, if not for the meditation on finding the spiritual aspect in the mundane tasks of life.
Bernard Clayton's bread book is my go-to book for recipes. But this book is worth reading, as a reminder to some of what is so satisfying about baking bread. And it is worth owning if you want that reminder at your fingertips.