A couple weeks back, Shiao-Ping picked up a new book and did a nice review on it here. I was intrigued by what I saw and ordered a copy from Amazon which arrived early this morning.
I will not go into great detail about the book except to say that I am a visual person. I appreciate seeing what the finished product looks like in vivid color. The BSB is stunning in this regard. Every bread and pastry is artfully photographed in a way that make me want to try every one of these recipes. The method for each is carefully worded to be clear.
One interesting aspect is that they have several base recipes that are then modified or added to to create something different. For example the Mr. Potato Bread (page 92) calls for 830g of sourdough (pages 50-51) . "Once you have a basic white sourdough, millers sourdough (multi grain), or spelt sourdough you can create other variations from it." These are called Derivative Breads.
This is how I have organized my thoughts about the breads I bake but I didn't really have a good grip on the variety I could create with the base recipes. This book is loaded with unusual breads you have never heard of or tasted unless you happen to live down the road from this bakery or perhaps in Oz where some of these couplings might be common. Fig and Barberry loaf, Spiced Fruit sourdough, Mr Potato Bread and on and on. Each one looks better than the last.
This is a great book and is proclaimed to be "The ultimate Baking Companion" on the cover. From what I can see I wouldn't dispute that statement at all. I'll be selecting some of the more unusual breads to highlight here as I suspect will Shiao-Ping in the future. One can not help but compare this book to Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastry. The last 200 plus pages are dedicated to pastry and deserts, starting with laminated doughs.This a serious book for any serious home baker or want to be pro baker.