- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Later Printing edition (November 14, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580082688
- ISBN-13: 978-1580082686
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (829 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread Hardcover – November 14, 2001
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"A bread baker, like any true artisan or craftsman, must have the power to control outcomes," says Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice. "Mastery comes with practice." As in many arts, you must know and understand the rules before you can break them. Reinhart encourages you to learn the science of bread making, but to never forget that vision and experimentation, not formulas, make transcendent loaves. The Bread Baker's Apprentice is broken into three sections. The first is an amusing tale of Reinhart's visit to France and his discovery of pain à l'ancienne, a cold-fermented baguette. The second section comprises a tutorial of bread-making basics and Reinhart's "Twelve Stages of Bread." And finally, the recipes: Ciabatta, Pane Siciliano, Potato Rosemary Bread, New York Deli Rye, Kaiser Rolls, and Brioche, to name a few. All recipes include bread profiles and ingredient percentages. Reimagined for modern bakers, these mouthwatering classic recipes are bound to inspire. --Dana Van Nest
From Library Journal
Author of the well-respected Brother Juniper's Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, baker-turned-culinary instructor Reinhart draws on his baking and teaching experience to provide an authoritative but unintimidating guide to baking professional-quality loaves of all sorts. He begins with an account of a recent tour of specialty bakeries in Paris, including Gosselin, where he learned to make the young baker's unique pain l'ancienne which, Reinhart says, would be better called pain moderne, as it uses a modern invention (the refrigerator) to produce a "cold-dough delayed-fermentation" baguette, the best he has ever tasted. He found this technique revolutionary, and he includes the recipe here, along with a wide variety of other artisan and classic breads, from Ciabatta to Poilene-Style Miche to Tuscan Bread. The recipes are preceded by a 50-page primer on the "twelve stages of bread," and there are dozens of photographs, including particularly helpful ones of shaping different loaves. Valuable for both the professional and the novice, this is highly recommended for all baking collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The breads themselves are... well... uninspiring. The breads can't compare in complexity and texture to the kind of stuff you get baking in a dutch oven with Chad Robertson Tartine Bread or Ken Forkish Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. The side notes in the Reinhart recipes are often interesting, whereas the results are not --at least not to my taste. I like the hard, crumbly crust, large air pockets and complex flavor of the Robertson and Forkish breads that are baked in dutch ovens. I was disappointed by Reinhart's naturally leavened breads (my bread preference) in comparison to Forkish or Robertson; which is somewhat understandable, since this books is targeted at a wide audience and artisanal naturally leavened bread is a niche. Also, Reinhart's bottle spray and pan of steam water does not solve the moisture problem of baking in a home oven without steam. For the most part Reinhart's yeasted bread is 'just like all the others' to me: good, but not compelling enough for me to keep the book.
I sold my copy of this book. I knew after trying 4 of the recipes (two of them twice and one three times) and comparing them to other books/authors, this would not be a go-to book for me. Reinhardt does have some nice innovations like using a soaker and making Anadama bread over 2 days, which is an improvement over the traditional 1-day method, so if you have a favorite bread, you might find Reinhart's take on it interesting.
Because the book is mostly about basic method and technique, not the recipes, I don't want to discourage anyone looking for a good beginning primer on bread from picking it up. If you enjoy baking with Peter Reinhart, just remember this is a 'get-you-started' book. There are better books (and authors) for intermediate and advanced bakers with what I believe are superior methods and results.
Having worked through three Reinhart books, I think this is the best Reinhart book overall, since there is more technique and background knowledge, which is Reinhart's strength. The photos are quite good (and plentiful) and the steps are completely and painstakingly described. Reinhart's whole grain book that followed this book feels like pretty much the same book substituting whole grains, with a more abbreviated instructional section. Mr. Reinhart's thinking, communication style and graphics in Bread Baker's Apprentice have advanced from the book prior to this book, Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers, making Crust and Crumb kind of obsolete [there are no photos in that book, only drawings]; not worth buying if you already own this book. However, I have retained my original copy of that book because I like a couple of the recipes.
I found that I outgrew the Bread Baker's Apprentice sooner than I thought I would. The Bread Baker's Apprentice feels like the kind of book that tells you how to make some number of breads and covers techniques as they relate to each bread. It does not feel like the kind of book that builds true mastery of technique in the way that Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread does. If what I had wanted was a good step by step on how to bake a stable of breads, then I would have been satisfied with the book.
In summary, I think the Bread Baker's Apprentice is a good first look at bread making. If you are new to bread baking, read it at the library or borrow the book from a friend for the first 100 pages and the embedded notes in the recipes, perhaps reading it a couple times over, and trying some of the recipes, copying those you try and like. If you want an easy desk reference for baking a stable of good quality breads, then by all means buy it. If you are more serious about bread, I recommend instead purchasing first Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza and then when you want to advance further, Tartine Bread. If you want more recipes after that, there are many competent bread baking books with reliable (and good) recipes [my choice would be Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes] or search the internet.
We will stay with his recipe and the extra step is more than worth it. The bread makes the sandwich no matter what you put in it. Even as my kids say there's nothing like a good buttered roll and coffee for breakfast. So enjoy this book. It is a treasure trove of flavor packed recipes.
I am relatively new to bread baking. I've made white breads and rolls many time before and was looking for a book to up my game - this was it.