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Crust & Crumb: Master Formulas For Serious Bakers Hardcover – October 1, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reinhart is the author of the well-regarded Brother Juniper's Bread Book (1991. o.p.) as well as the charming Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe (LJ 9/15/94), about the cafe that grew into Brother Juniper's Bakery, in Santa Rosa, CA. Now he's teaching baking at the California Culinary Academy, and his latest book is a detailed and authoritative guide to artisan breads. The book's subtitle basically says it all, though Reinhart explains that he uses the word formula rather than recipe because he's included the "why" as well as the "how" for making his "world-class breads," from sourdoughs of all types to brioche and challah to flatbreads and pizza. A worthy addition to the elite group that includes Joe Ortiz's The Village Baker (LJ 12/92) and Daniel Leader's Bread Alone (LJ 10/15/93), this is highly recommended for all baking collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

1999 James Beard Award Winner --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580080030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080033
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This title would have been ironic for two reasons: this baking book has greater claim to the "Bread Bible" moniker than several other books that actually use this title; further, the author is a lay Brother in a religious order (I gather that he is not ordained clergy as such). This is not one of those "throw it together and toss it into the oven" sort of baking book; for these, look up Betty Crocker. The bread recipes in this book are rather long and designed as complete lessons to teach you how to properly make bread. It is a valuable educational tool, and not a happy-go-lucky affair.

The author of this wonderful book has personally perfected all of the bread recipes, and has even taught them to culinary and baking students in professional programs. Many currently popular baking books, despite a well respected reputation and big name on the cover, are "authored" by someone whose only experience with bread baking is tossing in a loaf made by a prep cook into a hot oven (and then leaving it to a sous chef to actually watch the bread and take it out of the oven when it is done) or who does not seem to actually like bread, but uses it as a springboard for creativity. Most of these books are full of inaccurate recipes lacking in necessary detail that will never produce a decent loaf of bread; this book is a happy exception.

Baking bread is not difficult, but it does require planning (in some cases, several days ahead of time), plus the home bread baker has to pay attention to what he is doing. This book will show you how; it is one of the few I have seen that teaches the home baker how to properly make a loaf from beginning to end. The recipes are thorough, complete, leave nothing out, and very reliable.
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Format: Hardcover
I have for my entire adult life had the ambition to bake what Peter Reinhart fittingly calls "world-class" bread, but in spite of buying and reading several books dedicated to bread and much work and experimentation, the good bread eluded me. When I saw Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" advertised, I was reluctant to buy another baking book, having resigned myself to the fact that good bread cannot be baked at home. "Crust and Crumb" got me over the hump. It made me understand the chemistry and process of bread baking, and the result is that I now bake bread which is as good as any that I have had anywhere - and I have eaten a lot of good bread, including in Italy and France. And it made me understand that in order to bake good bread, you have to take it seriously, be dedicated and take the time it takes - there are few shortcuts ("poolish" starter being one of those few) and really no compromises. "Crust and Crumb" is really the only bread baking cookbook you need. Well, maybe Joe Ortiz' "Village Baker" too.
4 Comments 217 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I am always a little nervous reviewing a book such as Joe Ortiz? ?The Village Baker? published over ten (10) years ago when there are several unread books which are known to me as leading authorities on the subject. This situation means I can praise a book while knowing there may be even better, more recent books on the market. Well, I am beginning to correct that situation with this review of Peter Reinhart?s ?Crust and Crumb? which is just one of his two major award winning books on bread baking. I am pleased to say that not only is ?Crust and Crumb? just a bit better than ?The Village Baker?, Reinhart, in ?Crust and Crumb? recognizes ?The Village Baker? as one of the most highly recommended books on the subject of artisinal bread baking. Both books are so good, it may be hard to recommend one over the other, but I will make some suggestions in this regard at the end of the review.

For people knowledgeable about and committed to the task of creating artisinal breads, this book is hands down one of the very best in English, readily available to people living in the United States. The subtitle says it all: ?Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers?. The term formulas should not put you off. The author is not turning bread baking into a mathematical exercise. Reinhart is simply using that term to replace recipes in order to reflect the well-known fact that written bread baking procedures are a different sort of thing from savory recipes where measurements can be approximate, with a variation to suit taste of up to 300% in things such as seasonings. Serious baking writers get nervous about statements that may lead to a variation of 10% in the weight of flour or water.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book first and tried some recipes from it. Then I found how he had published another book that was far superior, the Bread Baker's Apprentice. It has tons of pictures and detailed descriptions on shaping, scoring, and general techniques that this book is lacking. This book is ok, but there are minimal illustrations and I find it's a little harder to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
I received my book about 2 weeks ago, and have made 2 fairly extensive recipes in it..One I took to a dinner party, and they didn't believe I made it..I had to go home and get the book!! I've baked for years, but bread is new in the last few years..Peter gives great explanations, directions, etc in the book..It's not just a book, it's a story..one you won't want to miss.
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