BN.com Gift Guide

Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

( 47 )

Overview

Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper’s Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter continues to refine his recipes and techniques in his never-ending quest for extraordinary bread.

In The Bread ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$20.83
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$35.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $17.49   
  • New (11) from $20.59   
  • Used (10) from $17.49   
The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$18.99
BN.com price

Overview

Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper’s Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter continues to refine his recipes and techniques in his never-ending quest for extraordinary bread.

In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter shares his latest bread breakthroughs, arising from his study in several of France’s famed boulangeries and the always-enlightening time spent in the culinary academy kitchen with his students. Peer over Peter’s shoulder as he learns from Paris’s most esteemed bakers, like Lionel Poilâne and Phillippe Gosselin, whose pain à l’ancienne has revolutionized the art of baguette making. Then stand alongside his students in the kitchen as Peter teaches the classic twelve stages of building bread, his clear instructions accompanied by over 100 step-by-step photographs.

You’ll put newfound knowledge into practice with 50 new master formulas for such classic breads as rustic ciabatta, hearty pain de campagne, old-school New York bagels, and the book’s Holy Grail–Peter’s version of the famed pain à l’ancienne. En route, Peter distills hard science, advanced techniques, and food history into a remarkably accessible and engaging resource that is as rich and multitextured as the loaves you’ll turn out. This is original food writing at its most captivating, teaching at its most inspired and inspiring–and the rewards are some of the best breads under the sun.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bread-heads, rejoice! Now you can dramatically improve your bread-baking skills by apprenticing yourself to Peter Reinhart, a leader in America's artisanal bread movement for the past few decades.

At Johnson & Wales University, the world's largest culinary school, Reinhart presides over a 22-day bread lab that teaches students the classic stages of bread baking, from mise en place fermentation, degassing, shaping, and panning to storing and eating. His cumulative knowledge, visits to the Parisian bread shrines of Poilâne and Gosselin, and recent set of technical breakthroughs are all in this book. Step-by-step color photographs clearly illustrate the techniques.

This is a book that succeeds on many different levels -- as a beautiful art-style cookbook, a well-illustrated teaching manual, and a gracefully written reflection on the art of bread making. Reinhart's passion for making artisanal bread is contagious.

"My goal is not to make you into a dogmatically doctrinaire baker, what I call a letter-of-the-law baker," writes Reinhart. "Instead, I want to help you become a spirit-of-the-law baker...one who has a sense of what the options are and thus is free to choose the options that will bring about the desired outcomes."

Reinhart provides 50 new master formulas for rustic ciabatta, New York bagels, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, classic rye, miches, boules, and his award-winning version of the famous pain à l'ancienne. The chapter on sourdough breads alone is probably worth the price of admission for any serious home baker.

A final chapter on resources leads you to many excellent bread books, baking and culinary web sites, schools and training programs, and grain suppliers across the country. (Ginger Curwen)

From the Publisher
"Peter has combined the knowledge, passion, and expertise of a professional baker with the clear persuasive language of a born teacher. I predict immense well-deserved success for this extraordinary book."
–Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker

"As we continue our bread-making journey into the 21st century, Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice should emerge as the definitive text on the subject. There is simply no other work where a student, and for that matter, many seasoned bakers, can turn to understand how the magic of great bread baking works."
–Charles Van Over, author of The Best Bread Ever

"Peter has yet again woven a fine tale about great bread, and his passion abounds. In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, he delivers a tool box of information and insight–tools that empower us to roll up our sleeves and keep those ovens full!"
–Peter Franklin, Chairman of the Board, The Bread Bakers Guild of America

"This remarkable book is written and designed to bridge the information gap between professional artisan baking and simpler home baking. The tricks, the tips, the checklists, the math, the lingo, the path to perfect fermentation, are all here at my fingertips."
–Beth Hensperger, author of Bread Made Easy

"If you are a serious home baker and wish to raise your level of baking several notches, then apprentice yourself to master bread baker Peter Reinhart in his new cookbook, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. He instructs with gusto in this delightful and comprehensive volume."
–Bernard Clayton, author of The Breads of France

"Just as bread nourishes the body, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice nourishes the baker’s soul. Peter Reinhart’ s explicit recipes and detailed instructions are so well written that he takes the mystery out of mastery, giving you the sense that he is standing right beside you, coaching you to success."
–Flo Braker, author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking

"Both novice and experienced bakers have cause to celebrate Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Peter’s years of hands-on experience combined with his excellent teaching skills make this book the closest thing to having a master at your side as you bake."
–Lora Brody, author of Basic Baking

Library Journal
Author of the well-respected Brother Juniper's Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, baker-turned-culinary instructor Reinhart draws on his baking and teaching experience to provide an authoritative but unintimidating guide to baking professional-quality loaves of all sorts. He begins with an account of a recent tour of specialty bakeries in Paris, including Gosselin, where he learned to make the young baker's unique pain l'ancienne which, Reinhart says, would be better called pain moderne, as it uses a modern invention (the refrigerator) to produce a "cold-dough delayed-fermentation" baguette, the best he has ever tasted. He found this technique revolutionary, and he includes the recipe here, along with a wide variety of other artisan and classic breads, from Ciabatta to Poilene-Style Miche to Tuscan Bread. The recipes are preceded by a 50-page primer on the "twelve stages of bread," and there are dozens of photographs, including particularly helpful ones of shaping different loaves. Valuable for both the professional and the novice, this is highly recommended for all baking collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580082686
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 34,141
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER REINHART is a full-time baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the author of the acclaimed Brother Juniper’s Bread Book: Slow Rise as Method and Metaphor, Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Café, Bread Upon the Waters, Crust & Crumb, the winner of the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook Award in 1998, and Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, the winner of the James Beard Cookbook Award in 2008. Peter is a regular commentator on food and culture for public radio’s One Union Station.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


What Is It About Bread?


On August 7, 1999, on a drizzly, chilly day typical to the region, thousands of pilgrims flooded a four-block area of southwest Portland, Oregon, in a park near Portland State University. They didn't come for religious reasons but to venerate with religious zeal their newly emerged passion for the world's most symbolically evocative foodstuff: bread. Not just bread, but good-as-it-gets bread, made by artisans of the Pacific Northwest using techniques discovered either accidentally or from the dissemination of arcane knowledge brought to this country only recently by European bakers through the Bread Bakers Guild of America, itself a throwback to days of yore. The Summer Loaf Festival, as it is called, is one of the first of what may soon be a nationwide parade of tributes to the hottest food trend since, well, sliced bread. (Note: The Summer Loaf Festival is not the actual first bread festival, which occurred two years earlier in Sonoma County, California, and was called, cleverly, the Grainaissance Fair.)

    The French call it simply pain ordinaire, "ordinary bread." What the new, young American bakers have discovered, and what they proudly displayed in dozens of booths at Summer Loaf, is that there are many layers of flavor hidden within the four ingredients of flour, water, salt, and yeast that are the sole components of true French bread. They have taken up the timeless baker's challenge of evoking from the wheat its fullest potential, finding ways of unraveling the tasteless starchmolecules that comprise the bulk of a loaf by attempting to spring free the simple sugars that are woven within the complex but unassailable carbohydrates. When they successfully accomplish this, using bakers' tricks that are both ancient and modern, layers of flavor emerge as if from one of those magic-eye, three-dimensional, there-it-is, wait-where-did-it-go paintings. Flavors slowly come into focus as the palate, with its five flavor zones, aided by the chewing process and the release of salivic enzymes, encounters it first in the sweet zone, eliciting an "ahhh, this is nice," reaction. Then the salty zone kicks in, an "oohhh," followed by another level of either sweetness or sourness (depending on the bread), along the sides of the tongue, calling forth a "hmnnn, whoaa...." Finally, just at the swallowing point, the mouth floods in the umami, or rich zone in the back central region, with a nutlike flavor that perfumes its way into the sinuses, where it lingers for as long as fifteen to thirty minutes, re-creating with every inhalation the inimitable finish of a proper, world-class bread—the inevitable "yessss!" (accompanied by appropriate arm pumping, in rare instances). This flavor joy is in addition to the various auditory pleasures of the sound of crust, crackling and crumbling under the pressure of the chew, and the visual satisfaction caused by both the rich, dusty, reddish gold caramelization of crust and the blooming of the loaf along the slash marks. The blooming produces what the French call the grigne, an ear of crisp crust that neatly separates from the loaf like a proudly curled lip. Bread this good must also be beautiful; after all, in our culinary schools it is taught that we eat first with our eyes.

    I teach bread baking in a large culinary school. My students are mostly young wannabe and soon-to-be pastry chefs and bakers, and I have less than five weeks to teach them everything, or nearly everything I know about bread. What I'd like to do is first send them to Summer Loaf and Grainaissance festivals, or to Paris with its two hundred and fifty bread shops, so they can be swept into the romance of the bread revolution as I have been. Instead, what I am required to do is teach them formulas and how to safely work the ovens and use stationary and spiral mixers, powerful tools that will rip off their hands if they get too anxious and prematurely feel their dough. Since feeling the dough is really where the magic begins, I rapidly make my way through the boring but necessary safety requirements to get to the stuff of which baker's dreams are made. Usually somewhere around the third or fourth week, it—the magic—happens for most of my students.

    In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that came out, coincidentally, around the same time as the Tassajara Bakery began selling bread made by American Zen Buddhist students in San Francisco, Robert Pirsig wrote of two kinds of motorcycle riders. Some like to tinker with their bikes, making sure they are tooled just right, and the others just like to ride and feel the wind against their cheeks. Bread bakers are like that, too. The more technical and mechanical bakers often go to Manhattan, Kansas, where there is a superb school called the American Institute of Baking. There they learn all about the properties of wheat and the effect of multitudinous sugars upon various strains of yeast. They learn dough formulas, and they learn about equipment options and methodologies. Graduates of this program become valuable technical bakers, usually for large companies, and earn good salaries, troubleshooting problems and guaranteeing consistency in operations that may produce forty thousand or more loaves a day.

    The other type of baker, the wind-on-cheek baker, often opens a small bakeshop and makes what has become known as artisan bread, the term artisan having been driven, sadly, to near meaninglessness by its recent ubiquity. These are the bakers who tend to rhapsodize about their loaves. ("They are loaves, please don't call them products.") Many of them travel to Europe, making pilgrimages to the house of Poilâne or Ganachaud, and gather at bread bakers' guildhall meetings, held whimsically throughout the year, to discuss the merits of various baguette-shaping techniques or the hydration potential of their latest experimental ciabatta. They philosophize, read and write books, and argue about the ever-shifting line between the true artisan and the mass producer or the merits of supporting small-scale wheat farmers who grow heirloom strains. These bakers get very excited every time they learn a new technique or hear that the French professor Raymond Calvel might be coming to town. (That's not very likely these days, as the bread teacher of bread teachers is in his late eighties and has already committed his knowledge to a superb series of videos he made with the Bread Bakers Guild of America in 1994.) When they go to France, Germany, or anywhere where good bread might be found, they come back with new ideas and add ever more dialogue to the still-building buzz.

    My students, being younger than these entrepreneurial bakers who have now changed the American bread paradigm, may become either technical or romantic bakers, or a hybrid of the two, or they may never get grabbed by the bread-geist. Many of them initially view my class as a necessary prerequisite to get them to the plated-dessert or wedding-cake class, but then find themselves inexplicably falling under the spell of pain au levain, ciabatta al funghi, or pain à l'ancienne. Some fight against the discipline of repetitive drills, shaping baguette after baguette—not a simple matter—and trying in vain to match their slashes, or scoring cuts, in a consistent pattern. I never know on the first day who of my twenty or so students will emerge on the twenty-second day as bread revolutionaries, but I know some of them will. It usually happens before they taste the pain a l'ancienne, but if it hasn't happened by then, that is the bread that seduces them. If it still doesn't happen, I pray, having taken my best shot, that they will discover their culinary awakening in the chocolate or cake class.

    Many of my former students have long since graduated and are working in the field, sending e-mails or dropping in from time to time to share their "war" stories. A number of them tell me it was the pain à l'ancienne that first grabbed hold of their imagination, and now that they are out and exposed to even more varieties, they can't seem to get bread out of their systems, even if they have become pastry chefs rather than bakers.

    I learned about pain à l'ancienne in Paris in 1996, when I went over to collect on my prize for winning the James Beard National Bread Competition in 1995. I won with a simple sourdough, a country boule (ball), made with an unusually high proportion of sourdough starter. I baked my winning loaves at Amy's Breads on the west side of Manhattan, rushing them straight from Amy's many-thousand-dollar Bongard steam-injected oven into the trunk of my friend Joel's car. He's a locksmith and thus knows the fastest ways through town, and he safely delivered me and the bread to the James Beard House in Greenwich Village.

    The Beard House is one of the meccas of the American food scene. When James Beard, the rotund food writer and America's most famous gourmand, died in 1982, a group of his friends and colleagues started a foundation in his memory to perpetuate interest in the burgeoning American culinary explosion. They eventually paid off the mortgage on his house and turned it into a sort of museum and dining showcase for upcoming and seminal chefs, regularly hosting theme meals prepared by various culinary artists brought to town for the occasion. They also bestow prestigious cookbook awards and honor the top American chefs every year at their gala, an Oscar-like ceremony aptly called the James Beard Awards.

    The bread competition was organized for the Beard Foundation by author and teacher Nick Malgieri, the head baking instructor at the Peter Kump's New York Cooking School and a onetime acquaintance of the late James Beard. Prior to the finals, Nick traveled around the United States staging regional competitions, inviting the eight regional winners to New York for the final bake-off in January 1995.

    I had won the California regional in October by unexpectedly defeating Craig Ponsford, who a few months later would win the world championship of breads at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie competition in Paris, the so-called Bread Olympics. I believe the California regional Beard competition was the only time Craig ever lost a head-to-head competition. When I, in false modesty, whispered to him after my name was announced, "I can't believe it," he understandably responded, "Me neither." His loaves were a multigrain sourdough, perfectly formed, loaded with complex flavors, made at Artisan Bakers, his bakery in Sonoma. My two large sourdough boules, made from a starter I'd been cultivating for about three months, were baked at home on a pizza stone and spritzed with water from a plant mister. It was an experimental dough, using a ratio of about 80 percent starter to flour, very unusual as most sourdoughs use only about 25 to 35 percent starter to flour. The loaves came out of the oven somewhat misshapen, having spread sideways and upward. The cuts were okay but not particularly attractive, blooming to form only a slight grigne but without creating any ears. The crust had a wonderful golden glow and was blistered from the long overnight proofing in my refrigerator. By true French standards this would not have been a winning bread, but on that particular day, with those particular judges, the rustic quality and the bold sour flavors gave it a small edge over Craig's perfect, but less rustic, loaves. I happily collected my regional prize, which was a free trip to New York City to compete in the finals, knowing I would have to do better to stand any chance of winning the real prize: a week in Paris to study with the boulanger of my choice.

    There is a huge difference between baking bread in a real bread oven and a home oven, but even the best oven cannot produce great bread if the dough itself is not fermented properly. Fermentation is the key to world-class bread, assuming that the flour and other ingredients are good. I was able to win the regional event because I had great dough going into the less-than-great electric oven in my home. Compensating for a lack of real steam with plant misters and other oven tricks to simulate the blast of steam a good Bongard, Tibbouletti, or Werner-Pfleiderer hearth oven produces was an audacious, but successful, attempt to prove a point. In my opinion, the quality of the dough is responsible for at least 80 percent of the finished product, while the oven is worth only about 20 percent. When I got to Amy's Breads, I was able to create an even better dough than my regional batch, having had three months of practice to refine my formula and mixing times.

    Amy Scherber and Toy Dupree, the owners of Amy's Breads, were kind enough to let me work around their production schedule during the competition. Amy is one of the leading personalities in the American bread revolution, a founding board member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America, and a smart businesswoman. One of the signature items at Amy's Breads is a semolina twist that simply flies off the shelf. Her bread confirmed my own growing interest in semolina breads, or pane siciliano, which is a good example of how the bread revolution spreads.

    Making bread in someone else's bakery is a challenge, and I had to estimate fermentation times based on ambient temperature because Amy's did not, at that time, have a temperature-controlled proof box. One of the keys to my formula is leaving the shaped loaves in the refrigerator overnight for their final slow-rise fermentation (we call it retarding the dough). This allows the bacterial fermentation to catch up to the wild-yeast fermentation (two types of fermentation plus a whole lot of enzyme action are at the heart of sourdough bread) and allows the starches to unwind into sugars as the dough slowly rises to its appropriate prebake size. When I arrived the following morning to bake off the loaves, I discovered I had miscalculated the temperature of the walk-in refrigerator, and my loaves were far from ready to go into the oven. I had to find a way to warm them, to wake them up, so that they could complete their rise. Without a proof box on a cold, snowy New York morning, I was at the mercy of ingenuity. Amy told me the warmest place in the bakery was at the top of the stairs leading to the basement. "That's where I put my doughs when they're too small," she advised. "But watch out for the stairs—don't let the racks roll down," was her final warning. I rolled my two racks of shaped bread dough, each loaf nestled in a canvas-lined bentwood willow basket (or banneton, as it is called in France) to the top of the stairs where a warm breeze drifted from the basement. It was 8 A.M. and I needed to have finished bread ready to transport by noon, when Joel would arrive to wend us through the icy streets to the Village. There was nothing I could do but wait and hope the dough would wake up and respond to the warmth with some movement. I parked the rolling racks at the top of the stairs, warning everyone on the production team not to jostle them lest they tumble into the abyss. I then went across Ninth Avenue to get a bagel and read the Sunday Times, a pleasure I had been denied during the twenty-five years I lived in California.

    Two hours later I returned to the bakery, relieved to find the racks still at the top of the stairs, but the dough was still undersized. I decided that 11 A.M. was my drop-dead time. I killed the hour by hanging out with the bakers, shaping loaves with them, talking bread philosophy—the usual baker stuff—and then took my loaves, still looking too small, to the oven, hoping they'd give me a good oven spring when the steam engulfed them. I had made two sizes: a nineteen-ounce bâtard, or torpedo-shaped loaf, and some three-pound miches, or large boules. I lined them up on the conveyor loader, scored them with either crosshatch pound signs, angled slashes, or asterisk stars, and pushed the conveyor into the eight-foot-deep oven deck. This action engaged the flanges of the loader into special brake slots, and then I pulled the conveyor out of the oven as it neatly dropped the loaves, one by one, onto the stone deck. After the deck was loaded, I pushed the steam button, causing a large blast of steam to billow out into the oven for twenty seconds. The steam moistened the skins of the dough to prevent them from gelatinizing too quickly, allowing the loaves to spring to their full size as the yeast completed its final feeding frenzy, at least until the center of the loaves reached 140°F, killing the last of that most useful of fungi. The oven kick, as it's called, usually produces a size increase of 10 to 15 percent. But on this particular day, in that particular oven, with my particular dough, the loaves kicked a whopping 20 percent, bloomed open perfectly, producing grignes distinct enough to allow me to carry each loaf by its ear. The caramelization of the crust, the distinct Maillard reaction unique to bread and just a few other products (see page 95), was a rich golden brown with tones of red, so soothing to the eye, so appealing and appetizing that it could, and did, induce tears.

    As if on cue, Joel pulled up to the shop, moved his locksmithing tools around in the trunk to make room, and helped me load the bread, about thirty loaves, into empty flour sacks. Then it was hugs to the bakers, good luck, good luck, good luck, thank you, thank you, thank you, and we were off to the Beard House. Once there, we chose the two most perfect specimens for the judges, placed the others under the table, went around the corner to a café for cappuccino and hot chocolate, and caught up on old times knowing there was nothing more we could do but wait for the judging. Joel had just sold a book of locksmith stories to a publisher, and I had just sold a bread-book concept to a different publisher, so we talked writer talk instead of bread talk. It's very similar.

    An hour later we went back for the announcements. The competitor whose bread impressed me the most was Biagio Settepani of the Bruno Bakery in Brooklyn. His loaves were not as visually stunning as mine, but the flavor was spectacular, with a sweet, creamy crumb that was as satisfying as a bowl of Cream of Wheat on a cold winter morning. He and his young son worked at the opposite side of the table from me as we, and the other finalists, cut small slices of our loaves for the hundreds of guests and spectators to taste. The other competitors had flown in from Texas, Oregon, Washington, St. Louis, and Boston. All the breads were wonderful. One was a four-pound rye bread with a cocoa-stenciled floral design baked onto the crust. Another looked just like my loaves, but the inside, the crumb, was tighter and a little dry. Mine were probably the best I'd ever baked: the inside and outside, the crumb and the crust, perfectly matched, the flavor and texture of the crumb, its mouth feel, cool and creamy even while still warm from the oven (with bread, the antithesis of cool is not warm but dry). The sour was properly complex, changing flavors in the mouth with each chew. What I call the "loyalty factor" kicks in just after swallowing, as the lactic and acetic acids produced by the bacterial fermentation work their way into the sinuses for the "thirty-minute finish." When the judges announced that I had won, I was relieved but not shocked. If not then, then never. I called my wife, Susan, in Santa Rosa, and when she answered the phone, I sang the first few words of "La Marseillaise." She squealed with delight. We were going to France.


It took a year and a half to arrange the logistics for the trip. The prize money made available from Godiva Chocolate through the James Beard Foundation was supposed to be used to underwrite a one-week stage, or training session, with a baker of my choice in Paris. Stephanie Curtis, an American living in Paris, was the liaison and I was told to contact her to work out the details. I asked her if it would be possible to meet with five bakers for one day each, rather than one baker for five days. I didn't really want to spend my time in Paris making bread while Susan went out alone to sightsee and shop. What I really wanted was a crash tour of the best bread bakers and enough time to interview them and pick their brains. I figured two hours per baker. My interest was as a writer and teacher more than as a commercial baker, and I was looking for a thread, something to bring back to my student that I didn't know and that they might not hear about any other way.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. Copyright © 2001 by Peter Reinhart. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments - ix

Introduction - 1

I. What Is It About Bread? - 7

II. Deconstructing Bread: A Tutorial - 27

Assumptions and Rationales - 27

The Twelve Stages of Bread:

Evoking the Fullness of Flavor from the Grain - 48

III. Formulas - 103

The Final Grace Note:
Wood-Fired Baking in Bennett Valley - 273

Resources - 285

Index - 293

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2006

    A Bread Baker's Dream Come True

    Odd as it may sound, I read this book cover to cover after buying it yesterday at my local B&N. I love to bake bread, and the author's philosophy when it comes to baking the perfect loaf made the book impossible to put down. Reading through the formulas, even the beginning baker can see how the 12 steps described in the first chapter apply to each type of bread. Today I made the Greek Celebration Bread, and the Brioche based bread with cheese and salami (certain to delight my father-in-law).

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    SUCH A GREAT BOOK .. SUCH GREAT BREADS

    I truly love this book .. in fact I keep it on the coffee table so that I can pick it up every day and seek out my next baking adventure .. which I have to say .. thus far .. have been very lovely.

    I have lots of experience with baking .. cookies and cakes .. but not much at all when it came to breads .. so .. I have to tell you I was a bit apprehensive when I ordered this book .. it seemed a little intimidating me .. but I love learning new things and the Bread Baker's Apprentice certainly did not let me down : )

    I attacked this book like it was text from a class .. I worked until I learned the formula for baker's math .. I savored the twelve stages of bread baking .. I graduated to the mixing and kneading .. the hot oven and the baking stone .. and finally .. the reward of eating delicious breads. It was well worth the effort. I've made five different breads so far .. some of them several times .. and I have to say .. it can be done .. even by a 'newbie'. I think one of the nicest things about the way this book was written is that I can grow into it .. that the same recipes that I conquered in the beginning .. that they'll get even better with time and a few more trips around my flour dusted kitchen. I have to warn you though .. these breads .. they are addicting and this family of mine .. they've become quite spoiled by them .. but O' what a way to go : )

    Thanks to all of you who wrote reviews on this book .. it was the encouragement I needed to take the leap and order the book .. you haven't let me down : )

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Completely new to breadmaking.

    Having never baked a loaf of bread in my some 50 years of life, I approched the book with more than a little trepidation. It's been an extraordinary experience. In my family I'm now the homebaked bread guru! The directions are amazingly precise and easy to follow. I've had excellent results virtually every time. The cinnamon/raisin loaf recipe is worth the price of the book all on it's own!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A stress inducing cookbook

    I spent a few days reading this book, trying to decide what bread I would make and just became more and more stressed about it. I have a huge collection of cookbooks and cook extensively, but this one was over the top for me. It is very esoteric. I'm sure the bread would be great if you had the time to learn the techniques, find the ingredients, and make it. I returned it and bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It's much more accessible for someone who isn't ready to bake bread full time!

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    I learned it all here!

    This wonderfully written, articulate masterpiece is the reason I no longer fear flour and all things, yeasted. Peter Reinhart has taken the fear out of breadmaking with his easy-to-follow instruction. Building a starter, maintaining it, and learning to go beyond the simple loaf, is easier than ever imagined. I'm living proof that an old dog can learn a new trick. My breadmaking skills have grown ten-fold with the written instruction of this master. Thanks, Peter!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2001

    A Classic

    This is an exquisite book that will improve your baking by demonstrating the why and how of breadmaking. The book is well thought-out and clear in its explanation of baking techniques and the science of baking. The recipes or formulas are not simply guides for something you bake once and then forget about. These are amazingly good baked goods, and you will, no doubt, find yourself coming back to this book again and again. Don't hesitate to buy it. It is clearly the best baking book in recent years.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Best Cookbook I have bought

    Wow. After reading and cooking along with this book I have a much better understanding of what it means to bake bread. The science of bread baking is provided along with the recipes but that never gets in the way of the fun.

    The layout of the book allows you to skip around to different types of breads. Techniques are well documented with plenty of high quality photographs depicting each step.

    The bread was really good the first time trying a recipe. By the third effort, the bread was wonderful. I now enjoy bread more because I understand the impact of each step of bread baking.

    Wow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2003

    By far the best of the best

    Peter's methods are simple and precise. He is extremely descriptive and leaves no unanswered questions. His recipes and techniques are easy enough for the beginning baker, and can be utilized by any bakery. This is the best of its type in my collection. Thanks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    How & Why

    The Bread Baker's Apprentice continues from Crust & Crumb. It goes beyond Crust & Crumb by giving more information on how and why of the baking process. It empowers everyone to make fine artisan bread.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    Excellent!

    I recomend this book to anyone who is serious about bread making. It has indepth instructions. I have made several of the "formulas" and they have all turned out great. This book is not for someone who wants to make a quick loaf of bread, but for someone willing to study the book and follow the detailed instructions. Great variety also--you can learn to make many different types of bread.

    I reviewed many books on bread making before selecting this one--and although complicated to some degree, I feel it is an outstanding guide.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Textbook For The Serious, But Non-Professional, Baker

    Having received the book well after the publication date, it serendipitiously came after many years when I was determined once again to learn how to bake real bread--having then just read some French papers on the subject. Much of it is counter-intuitive, which is why bread baking is the hardest thing in the world to do with only four ingredients, but it certainly puts "paid" to the question of how one village baker could supply enough bread for the whole village. Through the years more chemistry has been understood in the baking process, so this book will be, in my estimation, the new foundation of the science of baking. It is not a particularly good book to actually bake by while at the oven however, but see Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day" for that.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    Splendid Book

    I greatly enjoyed reading it front to back, something I have not done with any other cook book (if one could call this a cook book). I now a much more confident baking by feel--rather than by strict recipies--and enjoy altering recipies to see what tastes better to me; however, this book gives me one problem in this area, I have trouble improving the excellent bread formulae in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Baaaaaaaad

    This sucks! Neve ever read it or your eyes will melt out of your head!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Great book

    This is must have book. Everything is so clear explained and you cannot made mistakes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2013

    It's like a classroom in a book!

    Reading this book is like sitting in a classroom with a wonderful instructor. I want to keep reading but I also want to start baking!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Awesome book! Must read

    This is an excellent book and all the recipes I have made out of it have been great. Several that I need to make again and again (and get better at, but they still tasted good the first time).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    I understand bread now !!!

    Best cookbook I've ever had.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2012

    A definite must have for any bread enthusiast!!

    So here's my story: I visited several monasteries last year; and the baker at one of the monasteries said, "Oh, you want a good bread book? Look at this one." He opened the cabinet and pulled out one of two copies of this book. One was totally tattered - used daily for years. The other was brand new, because he wanted to get another copy that was easier to read.

    I bought three Reinhart books when I got back home. I've made several recipes from this book in the last month or two; all of them have come out marvelous.

    I particularly enjoyed the "Poolish Baguettes". I have been asked for several of the recipes already by folks who have tried the breads.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    Inspirational

    I went to the school where the author teaches and his classes are well taught. Everytime I went to the school's library this book was always on the shelf with the classic cooking books of all time. I am finally looking to expand my bread baking skills and this book was the first on my mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Very good

    My go-to recipe books are usually from the America's Test Kitchen series, but I wanted to go further with how to make really good bread. This book was everything I was looking for:

    -Reinhart is a conversational author, which works really well with the apprentice theme the title hints at.
    -The list of included bread "formulas" has a lot of delicious sounding things, and I want to try most of them.
    -The bagels and white sandwich bread I made were both very tasty.

    You'll be surprised how much you didn't know about bread when you're done reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)