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Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home

Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home

3.9 12
by Ciril Hitz

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While “bread” once implied a simple, sliced white loaf from the supermarket, consumers have begun to consider the product in a more sophisticated light. Bread enthusiasts are more aware of the diverse array of high-quality breads than ever before and are seeking out handmade artisan products at local farmers’ markets, organic grocery stores,


While “bread” once implied a simple, sliced white loaf from the supermarket, consumers have begun to consider the product in a more sophisticated light. Bread enthusiasts are more aware of the diverse array of high-quality breads than ever before and are seeking out handmade artisan products at local farmers’ markets, organic grocery stores, specialty shops…even the Internet. Baking Artisan Bread will show that finding these specialty breads is as easy as looking in your own kitchen!


Baking Artisan Bread provides a simplified, formula-based approach to baking bread at home, making the mixing, the rising, and the baking itself more approachable and less intimidating. With step-by-step full-color process shots and clear directions, chef Ciril Hitz will show you how with just 10 formulas you can create more than 40 different products—how’s that for streamlined?

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Quarry Books
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Meet the Author

Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, after which he returned to his native Switzerland and completed a three-year apprenticeship as a Pastry Chef/Chocolatier. He was first introduced to bread baking while in Europe, which laid the foundation for the skills that led him to where he is today. Hitz has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous awards and accomplishments. He was selected as a Top Ten Pastry Chef in America in both 2007 and 2008 by Pastry Art & Design magazine. In 2004 he competed in the National Bread and Pastry Team Championship, winning the overall team Gold Medal as well as all individual bread awards. He was a member of the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA that competed at the 2002 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris, France, where the team captured the silver medal. He has been a guest instructor and expert at many national and international culinary events and schools and serves on the Advisory Board of the Bread Bakers Guild of America. Ciril Hitz is frequently seen on The Food Network and has been featured on the NBC's The Today Show. His work has graced the pages of numerous magazines and the interiors of exhibition halls and museums, including COPIA in Napa, California. He is the producer of his own line of educational DVDs. For more information on his work, visit www.breadhitz.com.

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Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
mbailey186 More than 1 year ago
Initially, we thought this was just the book we needed. The DVD was a plus to see techniques. HOWEVER, as we went through the book and made a few recipes, we found errors in measurements. We are now gun-shy and worried about the inaccuracies we find. While doing research on the errors in this book, I found a post where someone contacted Mr. Hitz regarding the errors in the book. He said they were aware of the errors and would correct on the next printing! Having spent over $20 for this book, I think an erratum sheet should be posted on the internet for those of us who have purchased the book. The other problem with the book is that the techniques are explained in the front of the book and then referred back to in the recipes. I suppose that saves printing, but it makes for a lot of flipping back and forth while making a recipe. For these reasons, I would not buy this book.
Pastry_Baker More than 1 year ago
I have made several things out of this book and they have all been amazing! My Ciabatta looked like it came right from a bakery. The tool and formulas he provides are ones I plan on coming back to again and again. You wont be disappointed. Each recipe has at least 2 other types of breads you can make from the main recipe. This allows you to really experience all kinds of breads and methods for accomplishing bakery quality bread. This book is great for the beginner, the advanced and the professional. The clear pictures, DVD demonstration, and well thought out directions can make you into a great home bread maker. Now these are not going to be those 20 minute recipes that are so popular now, but the extra time you spend will be well worth it - I promise!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a cookbook collector and avid cook I was rather upset with the book. The entire book is laid out talking about materials needed for baking the various breads. Even to find recipes within the book you weren't sure if you were looking at a recipe or just more recommendations of how to obtain ingredients.
AnotherDarnReader More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the author's reputation and thought it would be a good book for learning to bake bread without having any experience. The space and tool requirements are too overwhelming. I know plenty of people make bread at home and don't use specialized tools for it like this guy does. All of his instruction was done from a professional kitchen, not a typical home kitchen. There are far too many recipe errors in the book. Even though there is an errata on the website, it's lengthy and only convoluted the learning process.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an easy to understand book even if you do not have any bread making experience. Have made quite a few of the recipes and they have all been excellent but I have also tweaked some when it came to the baking temperature. Set off the smoke detector when baking the chiabatta rolls! Ingredient lists are in several formats depending on your preference. Would suggest buying a scale as the book suggests. You will be amazed at the difference in quantities when "scaling". Have not watched the dvd that came with it but there are plenty of pictures that show you how each stage should look. Well worth the price. My family is always asking me when am I going to make more bread!
mother_of_sons More than 1 year ago
I have been baking most of my own bread for the last 20 years, either by hand or breadmaker. I bought this book specifically to learn recipes using the two-step poolish methods. The book provides very, very detailed instructions for 10 recipes. There are several variations for each recipe. Good points: Following these recipes gives me the absolute best crust and most consistently delicious bagettes, ciabtta, pane francese, and croissants I have ever made. No other recipes have ever gotten as good results. Variations include the lovely loaf on the cover, foccacia bread, nice twists and bread sticks, etc. There are extremely detailed instructions with illustrations (I haven't looked at the videos) showing what dough looks like with fully and partially developed gluten, etc. The book is based on using a stand mixer for dough and give very accurate times for mixing. In addition, the book is based on weight, rather than on cup measures (both are given), which is important in variable weather for producing good results with flour. The description of detailed techniques are superb and the pictures and ideas inspiring. Bad points: First, there are only 10 recipes. Of those, the pizza crust, white bread, and whole wheat loafs are very pedestrian. There is no recipe for sourdough or rye. These seem like important omissions. The organization of each recipe is presented as a variation of an overall strategy for breadmaking. That works okay, but seems a bit forced for some recipes. It also makes it very hard to follow. I rewrote several steps in order to make work flow easier or more efficient. For example, you are pre-heating your oven to 475 degrees. However, in the bagette recipe, they have you do so perhaps four steps before your baking - solidly two hours. You can fully preheat in 30 minutes, even with a baking stone and two hours is excessive. I consistently find myself searching for the next step of what to do because it is buried in text, pictures, and explanation. Finally, and this is a warning, not a lack in the book, the recipes are very time consuming. For example, the delicious bagette is set up the night before to get good gluten development. It sits 12-16 hours. Then it takes four hours the day of preparation with 30 minutes between steps. I work, so following the directions, that means I set it up at midnight the first day and begin it at dinner time during meal preparation the next day to pull it from the oven around 9 or 10. That's why it tastes so good, but be forswarned this is not a book of fast recipes. Finally, the book would be improved by more variations in flour as well as form. For example, by using whole wheat or rye in the poolish stage, and bread flour in the rest, I get delicious loaves that have a sourdough or rye taste (although they are neither). However, those very simple variations aren't mentioned. Overall: This book improved my breadmaking - and I was pretty good to start. But it isn't a book for someone not committed to finetuning this skill. It would also be improved by filling some obvious gaps (sourdough and rye).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short but to the point is my review!! If you are interested in learning "how to" then this is the book for you!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ciril Hitz is an inspired, life-long learning, and top-flight instructor at Johnson & Wales University located in the state of Rhode Island. His book is one of lessons distilled through a life's worth of dedication to the art and science of baking, and his gently coaxing and inspiring method of teaching reaches out to his students the readers. My college professor, upon completion of our 2009 Spring semester coursework on Artisan Breads, recommended Ciril's book for further reading, and he -- in fact -- based the very fabric of the design of his course upon it. It is an investment, "in gold," for the inspired.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clearly written and illustrated.
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