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Brother Juniper's Bread Book Paperback – November 8, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Paperback, November 8, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Reinhart is a lay brother in the Christ the Savior Brotherhood, an eastern orthodox service order. He is the author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook Crust & Crumb and the editor of the chapter on bread in the revised edition of Joy of Cooking. After teaching breads for four years at the California Culinary Academy, he is now a faculty member at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762424907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762424900
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jadepearl VINE VOICE on November 12, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful in the sense that it conveys the writer's joy and love of baking and bread. Some might argue that it is just too touchy feely but for the more thoughtful baker it is a good read.
The book is not that geared to the beginning baker unless that beginner is ready to work by 'feel'. The assumption is made that you know what a dough looks like when it comes together and what the right temperature water and room should be. The book also does not even deal with making breads with heavy duty mixers or bread machines -- this is back to the old fashioned way of doing things where you. have a greater connection to your product.
Now, I happen to enjoy this book but I would begin with a better beginner's book like, Baking with Julia before tackling the breads in this book because you will have a better technical understanding. But once you do the breads of this book you will be amazed and deeply grateful for the generousity of Reinhart for sharing his recipes.
Caution --
If you plan to use a mixer make sure it is a very heavy duty mixer otherwise, your machine will break with heavy, tough doughs like Struan. I tried the dough with both a KitchenAid and a Magic Mill DLX and both had trouble with Struan. In the end it is best to hand knead the final 10-15 minutes, but you will get quite the workout.
Further, I suggest that you read the recipes ahead because the layout is not easy for those into glancing at recipes as they work. And no, there are no pictures to help the baker.
But get this book none the less, because it is a book done with love and is a good addition to the collection.
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Format: Paperback
A very interesting book to read, notwithstanding the recipes. I purchased it on the advice of a chef from whom I took a bread baking class. She told told me it was the best and cheapest bread book she ever bought... not an exaggeration. The recipe for Struan bread alone made it worth purchasing. If you like this one, he has a new bread book out titled "Crust & Crumb: Master Formulas For Serious Bakers". Needless to say, I had to have that one too!
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Format: Paperback
This is possibly my favourite cookbook of all in my collection. I was privilledged enough to have baked cakes for Brother Juniper's San Francisco Restaurant before it closed and this brought back alot of my fondest memories. I always regretted never having gotten recipes for the muffins and breads so when I saw this book I just had to have it. I have read the book from cover to cover over the last few days and challenge anyone to refrain from buying a pantry full of ingredients after reading this book!! It is all you need to motivate you to make bread - something most of us shy away from. Brother Peter writes from the heart and from his obvious love of making bread. The secret ingredient in baking is always love and this is evident in Brother Peter's book. Having eaten Brother Juniper's breads I can say that the effort is more than worth it. You'll never want any other bread again.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
I've been baking bread for about 6 or 7 years now -- spurred by the desire to have good, affordable, SAFE bread for our nut-allergic son. I quickly moved from the bread machine to the KitchenAid to making whole wheat sourdough loaves by hand each week as the family staple. Increasingly, I try to embrace a 'less is more' approach in the kitchen.

I picked up the hardcover version of this book a little over two years or so ago, and really enjoyed it -- but not for the recipes (tho' there are some intriguing ones here). Mostly too complex for my liking.

Rather, I was captured by the author's infectious love of and approach to baking. Mr. Reinhart wrote this volume with a solemn candor tempered by wit and humor. I found (and find) it wonderfully refreshing.

So ... delighted with the purchase but, paradoxically, more from a philosophical than a culinary perspective.
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