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The Bread Baker's Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering The Art Of Extraordinary Bread

Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of ten landmark bread books, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for more than thirty 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 this new edition of the award-winning and best-selling The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter shares bread breakthroughs arising from his study in France’s famed boulangeries and the always-enlightening time spent in the culinary college 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 more than 100 step-by-step photographs.You’ll put newfound knowledge into practice with fifty 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,  as well as three all-new formulas. 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. In this revised edition, he adds metrics and temperature conversion charts, incorporates comprehensive baker’s percentages into the recipes, and updates methods throughout. 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.

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 15 Anv edition (September 6, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1607748657

ISBN-13: 978-1607748656

Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #241,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #267 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Bread #2120 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods

This is the 15th anniversary edition of Peter Reinhart’s now-classic work The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Reinhart is a strong proponent of slow rise baking and using pre-ferments, and having started with this work I have turned out some of the most amazing breads in my kitchen, far and away better than when I first started baking bread. My older copy is well worn and the binding is starting to show its age. As soon as I discovered that this new edition was being released I ordered it, not only to find out what’s different in this edition but also to have a fresh, strongly bound copy with which to work. Much is the same as before, but there is some new material here too.The author explains the ideas and concepts behind slow-rise baking in very good detail, through a series of steps with detailed explanations. Granted, some of these steps to not require a lot of thought or detail (organization, punching down the dough, etc.), while other steps benefit from a lot more detail and explanation. If you already use a slow-rise method, even if it is different than the author’s, it is good to read through this material and get a good feel for his approach as it is very possible that you can glean some good ideas from his methods.Pre-ferments (or “starters” if you prefer) are another important topic, and Reinhart uses them heavily in his formulas. These really do have an important impact on the dough and the resulting bread, from the texture, the rise and of course the flavor. He explains the differences between the different pre-ferments, poolish (similar to a young sourdough starter) and biga (much like a small pre-made dough ball) in particular.

I was gifted the first edition in 2006. This review represents a decade’s perspective on the book, along with my initial impressions of the new 15th anniversary revision.I was still actively baking from this book at the time I learned of the new edition. Just three days earlier, I’d made a double recipe of the Vienna Bread, making both some pull-apart rolls and a pan loaf. This has been one of my favorites in the book. I also had a pan loaf of Reinhart’s Anadama Bread in the freezer at the time. My wife enjoys the Anadama Bread as dry toast, stating that it’s so good that it doesn’t need any accompaniment to be enjoyed. So, the book was not sitting on the shelf collecting dust after a decade. My family was eating and enjoying these recipes. My copy was well-worn, and I had actually been thinking about getting a fresh copy. The decision to purchase the 15th anniversary revision was easy for me to make.Both the original and 15th anniversary dust jackets claim that the “book’s Holy Grail” recipe is the pain a l’ancienne. I’ve really enjoyed that recipe myself, and I’ve been aware for some time that it has been influential on some other authors. For instance, my wife sometimes enjoys baking out of “Kneadlessly Simple” by Nancy Baggett--who was influenced by this book. Reinhart writes, “One of my proudest achievements in the original BBA was the introduction of the delayed fermentation method, which was inspired by Philippe Gosselin in Paris and is illustrated in the recipe for pain a l’ancienne on page 199.

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