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Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor Hardcover – September 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Bread is back, Reinhart (The Bread Baker's Apprentice) asserts, and it's better than ever after being villainized during the anticarbohydrate diet fads; his manifesto of renewal, this enthusiastic tome featuring the kinds of whole grain breads he sees as the way forward, will be eagerly received by serious bakers. In three useful preliminary chapters, Reinhart describes how he developed the delayed fermentation process that makes these breads delicious as well as wholesome, dissects wheat's route from stalk to loaf and patiently walks through the new technique's theory and process, in order to arm bakers with every bit of information before they start kneading. The level of technical detail and demand for scientific precision may overwhelm amateurs, but anyone with some experience working with bread dough and starters, as well as a desire to get to the next level, will be gratified by Reinhart's intense but friendly approach. In the more than 50 recipes, from a variety of breads including multigrain loaves, whole wheat cinnamon buns, brioche and crispy lavash, Reinhart builds on the first chapters with detailed commentary on ingredients and preparation, encouraging bakers to own the process but never leaving them in the lurch. Whether or not a home baker is looking for healthier recipes, Reinhart's peerless way of writing about bread is sure to inspire a new respect for whole grains. Color photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“We’ve always known how good whole grain breads are for us, but we’ve also known how they’re usually heavy, dense, and sort of boring. Now here comes Peter Reinhart, a passionate bread scientist who has figured out fifty-five different ways to make whole grain breads light and delicious. His work is nothing short of revolutionary.”
–Sara Moulton, Food Network host and author of Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals
“No one is better qualified–either as a teacher or as a baker–than Peter Reinhart to tackle the complex subject of whole grain breads. His techniques and recipes are easy to follow and yield excellent results every time. Peter and his breads are the real thing.”
–Nick Malgieri, author of How to Bake and A Baker’s Tour
“Whole Grain Breads is a beautiful and important work, which is no big surprise coming, as it does, from Peter Reinhart. Everything here is a gift: the breads themselves (both described and pictured), the poetic voice, the story, the technique, and the generous spirit. Read this from cover to cover, and you will find yourself looking at all food differently, from a new height and a deeper appreciation.”
–Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook
“I’ve spent years following directions from more than a dozen bread baking books. I’ve babied bowls of dough in various stages of fermentation, and I’ve only ended up with bread that tastes like an inner tube. Peter has unraveled the mystery of baking, and I now approach this intimidating subject with confidence.”
–James Peterson, author of Cooking
“Peter Reinhart is a gifted teacher who explains the science of bread dough in easy-to-understand language. Using Peter’s innovative techniques for enhancing both enzyme and yeast activity and following with his gentle, clear-cut guidance, even a beginner can master sourdough starters, pre-ferments, soakers, and mashes to make incredibly flavorful whole grain breads.”
–Shirley Corriher, author of Cookwise
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The recipes take two days to develop the dough in two parts, and then more flour is added when mixing. It's been thoroughly researched and tested, and there are no shortcuts to this that work. Tomorrow's loaf must be started today, but it doesn't take long to do.
The bread made with this method is extra delicious, moist, healthy, and high quality, and is even better the second day. It doesn't shed crumbs all over when it's sliced or eaten (except for cutting the crunchy crust the first day). The recipes turn out just as described.
In the first three chapters there was a lot of new and unfamiliar information about what happens to grains and bread doughs in the whole process (I had to read it more than once and take notes before it really came together in my head). After that there are recipes for all sorts of loaves, even some traditional "fancy" breads and rolls in whole-grain versions.
This bread is so hearty and healthy I can identify with my medieval ancestors, living wholesome lives on bread and cheese!
From start to finish on your very first loaf it may take 5 days. This is just to get a permanent mother starter established. Past this point it takes two days per loaf. This is not arduous, painful work. It is more like 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I would say though it does require organization. I am slightly OCD with almost every element of my life though so this works quite well for "Type A" personalities like me. I do want to point out however that perfection, scheduling and constant watching isn't required and the amazing breads can be crafted with a more relaxed personality. I am just not that type. Whatever your personality, if you have the passion Peter gives you the knowledge with this book to create absolutly stunning bread. Enjoy!
First, it helped me start my own wild starter. This was worth the price of the book on it's own. I have been trying to start a wild starter for years and have never been successful. I used the pineapple method described in this book and it worked first time. To say I was thrilled when the starter rose for the first time is an understatement. Wow!
Second, the first loaf I made with this starter (100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread) was the best whole wheat loaf I've ever made. Terrific rise (using the wild starter) and delicious bread. Did I mention that it was easier to make than the normal Clayton bread? It went together so fast and so easily that I really couldn't believe it.
I know I'm just one of many, but I am happy to heap my praises in with the rest. This is a great book if you are serious about great bread.