- File Size: 22872 KB
- Print Length: 226 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1580089984
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 13, 2010)
- Publication Date: October 13, 2010
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0045OUJ58
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day: Fast and Easy Recipes for World-Class Breads [A Baking Book] Kindle Edition
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--Mario Batali, author of Molto Italiano
“I’ve been using Peter’s overnight pizza dough technique religiously for years--mix, knead, chill overnight, shape, bake. So simple, and minimal planning is required. In this book, many of the recipes use a similar approach–no poolish or pre-fermenting. From pain au levain and pretzels to panettone and pizza dough, all the greatest hits and every day favorites are covered.”
--Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Cooking
“Peter Reinhart’s thoughtful, steadying presence combined with his matchless teaching skills and down-to-earth approach make reading and using Artisan Breads Every Day a great pleasure. His information demystifying the preparation and use of sourdough starters is both much needed and superb.”
--Nancy Baggett, author of Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads
“For most cooks, artisan bread baking is close to metaphysics. And each succeeding book about it only tends to deepen the mysteries and make trying it even more unlikely. Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day is one of the first books of its kind that actually made me want to stop reading and start baking.”
--Russ Parsons, author of How to Peel a Peach
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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I'd say the book is ideal for either beginners or "experts" like me, as long as you are willing to throw away (or at least forget for a while) everything you know about baking bread. In my years of baking, I learned that you can't freeze dough, yeast likes warm places, and the longer you knead dough, the better. Reinhart has a different opinion, and he seems to be correct.
The Good Points
* So far I have made baguettes, sourdough and pizza using recipes and techniques in the book. All turned out excellent. I can now bake "crusty" baguettes on demand, and can produce that micro-thin, slightly stretchy pizza crust in a kitchen 3000 miles from New York (although with slight additions to Peter's recipe).
* I always "knew" you couldn't freeze dough, but following Peter's advice, I now regularly freeze dough for pizza, and it turns out great. Combined with premeasured bags of frozen sauce, fresh hot pizza is now a "freezer" item. Awesome, except for my diet.
* I learned new techniques for working with dough, and for the most part they seem to work great. The book organizes the basic dough techniques (stretching, proofing, etc) in one section at the front of the book so you can find them easily. (More on this below).
* Subject to some issues described below, the instructions are reasonably easy to follow. They are written in easy-to-understand terms, and Peter avoids the usual pedantic language often found in higher-end cookbooks. Nothing worse than needing a dictionary and a translator to make soup.
* Reinhart doesn't try to convince you that you need to go out and buy $1000 worth of proofing pans, proofing boxes, special cloths, etc. Just use what is in your house already.
The Bad Points (Note first paragraph in review)
* The directions can get a bit carried away with themselves. Personally, quantities like 3 3/8 teaspoons of salt drive me nuts. I might breakdown and use an actual measuring spoon instead of a teaspoon, but there is no way I am not going to eyeball the last half teaspoon.
* The directions are written in a narrative format rather than a list of items typical in recipes. As a result I will often end up re-reading the whole recipe numerous times just to find the next step. This can be a bit of a pain, because many of the recipes have quite a few steps. Typical will be mix for 2 minutes on low, wait 5 minutes, switch to a dough hook, mix for 3 minutes on medium, wait 5 minutes, fold and stretch dough, wait for 10 minutes in an uncovered bowl, stretch again.... You get the idea. For every step, you will end up re-reading most of the recipe. A little indenting/change of fonts/highlighting/bold/etc in the layout would do wonders for the book.
* The directions can get overly detailed, but yet unclear-forcing you to interpret multiple directions to be sure you know exactly what Reinhart meant. Not a real big deal, but something one more round of proofreading should have caught.
* Basic techniques such as kneading and proofing are in a separate section of the book, and then referred to by individual recipes. Except when they are not-some recipes include the details, some refer you to the front of the book. Since the directions are already somewhat bloated and poorly formatted, I'd prefer to just have references to a single section.
* At least one of the recipes (sourdough mother starter) has all the quantities in cups, until you get to the final steps when everything is now in grams. I don't have a metric (or even English) scale in my kitchen.
* Some of the steps are explained in agonizing detail, and them some are skipped over. It takes 5 pages to explain how to make the sourdough starter, but then the "how to refresh the starter dough process" is skipped over. List the quantities of old starter, flour and water (see above), but then makes no mention of what to do with it- proof at room temp? immediately return to the refrigerator? How long does it need to refresh?
* Mom always taught me that you can't really measure flour-you have to add it to the dough as needed. The reason for this is that flour can have a vastly different moisture content, so what works once might yield overly tacky/dry dough the next time. Reinhart doesn't seem to subscribe to this theory, at least not in all his recipes. After mixing up a batch of the gooiest pizza dough on the planet, I'd say Mom was right.
* Some of the baking times listed are suspect. I suspect they are worse case time for very large loafs, not typical times for baguette sized creations. Caveat baker.
* None of the recipes I have tried so far are for anyone in a hurry. Every recipe so far has taken days to complete. Not a negative...yeast will be yeast. Just something to be aware of.
A great guide to breadbaking-both for specific recipes and learning to update your artisan skills. I learned a lot from it, and have made a number of items, all of them unqualified successes. If you are looking to whip up a batch of bread as quickly as your bread machine, this is not your book. If you want to spend a few days working with yeast to get a baguette worthy of Paris (OK, maybe New York), this is your book.
I soon figured out that dough older than 4 days doesn't hold any shape, and is best used as a pre-ferment mixed in a new batch.
And I don't like volume measurements! I grew up with a cheap scale, simply dumping the ingredients into a mixing bowl on the scale, taring between measurements - so much faster and easier, and more precise, but not if the recipe doesn't come with weight measurements.
I finally 'upgraded' to Peter Reinharts 'Artisan Bread Every Day' book, and have been much happier ever since. Not only does it come with measurements in grams and ounces (and volume too, if you must), I also believe that the 'stretch and fold' technique helps developing a better crumb, and thanks to the great instructions in this book I have been baking with pure sourdough starters ever since.
Starting a wild yeast culture was really easy - only after baking happily with it for weeks I realized that many people online aren't quite that lucky with their 'catch' from the get go. Reinhart suggests to use pineapple juice to start the culture, or to try any acidic liquid like lemon or orange juice. I had an old organic grapefruit in the fridge that I had bought by accident, mistaking it for an orange, and used that for the initial mix, and plain orange juice on the second day. My seed culture broke all speed records in regards of foaming and bubbling from day one.
I have had this first culture in my fridge for 1 1/2 years now, refeeding it on average once a week, and it still works great. In fact, it is so active and leavening that even in the recipes that call for commercial yeast on top of the pre-ferment due to eggs or fat, I get away with just the sourdough starter - I haven't bought instant yeast in a year (but if you don't want to bake with sourdough starter, there are plenty of recipes that use store bought yeast only, too).
It still was a learning curve - it took me a while to ignore all the time cues and to just look at the dough. Living in an hot and humid climate like South Florida, I can easily cut all the proofing times stated in half. I ended up with tons of loaves flat and gummy simply because I always ended up over proofing the dough. Now I make sure that I proceed to the next step in the recipe after the starter doubled in size, the dough doubled in size, and the shaped loaf grew by 1 1/2 in size. If I let the shaped loaf grow any further, the yeast has nothing left to give in the oven for any oven spring. Best results always come if I stick the shaped loaves in the fridge and bake them cold the next day. But that is Florida, I might do it differently in a colder climate.
All recipes I tried worked wonderful, provided I didn't end up over proofing, and I feel I was able to take my bread baking attempts to a whole new level. 'Artisan breads in Five' was great to get me into baking to begin with, but real good bread takes a little more effort, more so in managing time, temperatures and techniques than hands on work - but it is so worth it!
(I uploaded a picture of crusty cheese bread, leavened with sourdough starter only, no yeast added)
When I started making bread according to the instructions, I found the recipes amazingly accurate and tasty too.
My family is very happy, every weekend I am spoiling them with a new kind of bread.
Till now I baked 5 different recipes (Lean bread, French bread, Biscuit, Cracker, Baguette) and planning to bake the Bagels soon.
The only downsize that I found till now is the vast usage of "Mother Starter" in the book and the lack of an alternative to it - since it takes lots of time to produce such "Mother Starter" I avoided it till now.
Its not that I am new to baking, but the simplicity of the book and the very detailed description of every step or dough condition makes it very friendly to use.
Attached are some photos :-)
Top international reviews
The most obvious alteration of his old technique is kneading the bread for short bursts of time several times rather than one long 15 minute knead (a technique similar to Dan Leppard's in The Handmade Loaf for example). Another change he introduces is overnight fermentation of the dough in the fridge to enhance flavour.
The positive aspects of the book for me are that the technique of retardation in the fridge allows you to keep your dough in the fridge for up to 7 days (though ideally it should be used up until the 4th day for maximum flavour). You can have your dough ready for baking any time using this technique without having to mix, knead and proof a new batch. I also find the long overnight fermentation in the fridge very useful - this is great for when you mix your dough but have no time to let it rise and bake it 4 hours later... simply put in the fridge and use it whenever you want for up to a week.
However, some of Mr Reinhart's new techniques are also a bit bothersome. I do not really like the short kneading method as it requires you to knead the dough 5 times every 10 minutes. That means 5 times of washing your hands and scraping the dough off them. I'd much rather knead once for longer and deal with sticky dough all over my hands and sink just once! Also, because you're going back to your dough every 10 minutes, there's not much you can do in between... read 3 pages of your book and then it's time to get up, knead and clean your hands again, and so on for 50 minutes. I actually find this much more time consuming than one long knead of 15 minutes. You also need a good oven for these breads - 260 C is the norm. As my gas oven only heats up to 220 C I have not achieved the oven spring that Mr Reinhart writes about.
Despite this, however, Artisan Breads Every Day is a useful addition to any bread book collection as not many books use the techniques that Mr Reinhart uses here. The overnight retardation has been a great time saver as I can bake fresh baguettes first thing in the morning. And if you're ever called out of the house in an emergency with dough rising in the bowl, this technique will save your bread for the next day - or even a week! It is a beautiful book, printed on smooth paper with lots of luscious photographs that will make you want to start baking straight away. There's a lot of variety and recipes for baguettes and other white breads, rye breads, wholewheat breads, breads with grains, sourdough loaves - though if you're weary of cultivating sourdough you will still find plenty here to bake. Definitely recommend to home made bread fanatics!
Easy to follow recipes and covers off the basics really well. The only real criticism is the layout - the recipes are quite protracted, I'd prefer a clear bulleted layout to follow easily when I'm covered in wet dough, and the ingredients in cups, with imperial and direct metric conversion emphasises the US roots. Also, over 200 pages, but only 39 recipes.
Overall, a good book
It is almost the same as" the Bread apprentice" + amounts in grams instead of only in ounces and pounds.The pictures of breads and pastries remind me of those I could find in the SUNSET BOOK OF BREADS years ago, and it is not inspiring.The photographies in the BREAD Apprentice are far more better and appetising than those in this book. If you already have The bread apprentice, do not buy this book, you will waste your money.
if you have never baked bread try this one - you will become a convert too.