The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

I get a lot of books from publisher, most of which I don't post about, but I received one today that I really like. 


Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project comes out in a week or so.  It is a little book but contains a really nice selection of cookie, biscotti, and meringhe recipes.  There are a nice range of recipes, everything from basic sugar cookies to fava bean cookies, and while a few require ingredients that I don't keep around the house (fava beans, pine nuts), none of them that I've looked at strike me as terribly complex or inaccessible.


What else.  The photography and typography are nice, the paper feels nice, it is just... a really lovely little book, one that feels more expensive than the thirteen bucks you can pick it up for right now. It'd make a nice, inexpensive gift for anyone you know who likes to cook and bake but hasn't yet caught the bread bug. 


I've not baked any of the recipes from it yet, but I shall soon.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Baker Ben suggested that since the testing is over and we had such a great group come together, that I continue to blog about the actual process we'll be going through to actually get the book into print.  I think it's a great idea, so, with thanks to Ben, here goes:


July and August were simply insane.  I was putting out a couple of dozen recipes each month, keeping track of all the testing and feedback and trying to get all of the other stuff written.  It was madness, to the point where everything else on my to-do lists (several) simply had to be pushed aside so that I could get the manuscript done by the 9/1 deadline.  


Norm and I were on the phone at least weekly -- usually more often than that -- going over recipes, fine points and all of the background stuff that needed to be included in the book we wanted to write.  If I tell you all that I got very little sleep over the last couple of weeks, it wouldn't be an exaggeration.


Those last 2-3 weeks are a blur now, writing, researching, fine-tuning, making sure all of the measurements and conversions were right, all of the steps and procedures consistent and all of the narrative smooth and where it was supposed to be.  


9/1 came around and I had about 99% done ... everything except for the Acknowledgements, Picture Credits (since we hadn't yet made final picture choices), and a couple of last-minute recipe tweaks.  Nonetheless, I assembled what we had -- about 280 pages, including somewhere around 130 recipes -- and emailed it off to our publisher and our agent.  


So of course the publisher said, "Well, no rush.  Just put everything together, print it all out, burn the files into a CD and send it off to me when you can."  When I met with him back East the beginning of July, he didn't seem like he was terribly concerned about deadlines, but I like to honor my commitments.  


So Norm and I went back at it, doing illustrations of the challah braiding, strudel dough stretching, and a couple of other recipes, including the rye flour honey cake (lekach) and revised plum cake (flomenkuchen). I figured I'd take a couple of weeks to make sure we got it all in shape. So naturally, less than a week later, I get an email from Edward (the publisher) asking, "When will we get the package?" Shift into high gear, put the final touches on it.


At that point, my laptop died.  I mean really died: motherboard, display, keypad, who knows what else?  Of course, I'd been backing up to spare hard drives, pen drives and whatever, so I had three or four backups and didn't lose a thing.  Switched to an old Dell that we had lying around ... slow as honey on a cold day ... got the manuscript all put together and start printing .... now at 260 pages, after some cuts and consolidations.  


Print, print, print.  At page 243, my printer dies <sigh>, so I load the finished file into a pen drive, take it downstairs and finish on my wife's printer.  That's Monday morning a week ago (9/12).  Then I discover that the old Dell's CD drive can only read; it doesn't burn.  Back downstairs to burn the CD on Syl's puter.  Pack it all up into a FedEx box and drive it down to the local Kinko's/FedEx office. 


A week earlier, I had asked our agent, Stephany, about typical production schedules and she said, "Be patient.  It usually takes a publisher 9-12 months to get a book into print." Nine months to a year ... feels like an eternity.


At that point, I had such mixed feelings ... so much intense work, suddenly ground to a halt, all this energy with no place to go and exhaustion suddenly setting in.  For two days, I could barely think.  But at the same time, I felt the same way I did when I took my kids to their first day of kindergarten:  proud, full of anticipation, a little bit afraid that they wouldn't do well and also sad that in an instant I was no longer as needed as I'd been the day before.  Norm and I spent a lot of time on the phone, talking about the closure of that part of the process, which he said was less real for him, since he wasn't involved in any of the writing.  


It was strange, the sense of loss finishing the book created -- first the dissolution of our tester group, which had brought together well over 100 people and created a very intimate bond of shared experience, and then the departure of my youngest child (the book). 


I waited until today (9/23) to phone Edward to find out how things were going with the book and whether he could give me more information on the production schedule, other next steps and how much more work would be needed.  Instead I got Brad, the head editor, a very kindly man who clearly loves books.  "It looks very good," he said.  "We just need to get it to copy editing and then we'll have a better idea of what else needs to be done, but I don't think it will be very much."


Then I asked the question I really wanted answered:  "Any idea of the publication date?"


"We want to get it out before summer ... probably in the March-April timeframe.  We want this book to look terrific, so we're choosing our designer carefully."


March-April! Six or seven months!  Wow!  .... Other things to think about now ... promotion and finishing up all the remaining tweaks and revisions (there are still a few), getting all of the photo permissions in place ... 


We've entered a new level of reality.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com


(to be continued)

HokeyPokey's picture

Peter Reinhart Whole Grain Bread Recipes - too wet and too sweet

July 24, 2010 - 5:39am -- HokeyPokey
Forums: 

I live in the UK, and purchased a copy of Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain recipes book as soon as it came out on sale. I was really looking forward to his book, and trying out complex, wholegrain flavour breads.


However, every recipe i have tried so far has came out too sweet, and my biga and poolish always come out too wet, much wetter than the consistency in his pictures.


Has anyone else had a similar problem with Peter's recipes? Am I doing something wrong?


 


HP

Mason's picture

Reinhart: BBA vs. Whole Grain Breads?

January 1, 2010 - 6:45pm -- Mason
Forums: 

Hi all,


I have been baking (mostly whole grain) breads for many many years, but need to add some variety to the repertoire.  My sourdough is almost perfect, and I can adjust timing I'm going to buy one of Peter Reinhard's excellent looking books.


I'm tempted to buy the Brea Baker's Apprentice, but Reinhart's "whole Grain Breads" is also tempting me.  Which is better for an experienced enthusiastic baker looking for a deeper understanding and more inspiration?


Is there much replication of content?  Is it worth having both?

jembola's picture

Rinehart, Hammelman, or Lepard?

September 1, 2009 - 11:24am -- jembola
Forums: 

With the kids home for the summer, I pretty well abandoned my bread baking/learning routines but school is coming and I'm ready to get down to it again.  Meanwhile I got some birthday book money (the only way I get to buy books these days) and am looking to order two books.  Trouble is, there are four on my list. I'm hoping you folks can help me.  Which two would be the best combination for a wanabe whole grain bread/sourdough bread baker?


Peter Rinehart's Whole Grain Breads


Peter Rinehart's Bread Baker's Apprentice


Dan Lepard's Handmade Bread

jembola's picture

book recommendations

August 31, 2009 - 5:52pm -- jembola
Forums: 

With the kids home for the summer, I pretty well abandoned my bread baking/learning routines but school is coming and I'm ready to get down to it again.  Meanwhile I got some birthday book money (the only way I get to buy books these days) and am looking to order two books.  Trouble is, there are four on my list. I'm hoping you folks can help me.  Which two would be the best combination for a wanabe whole grain bread/sourdough bread baker?


Peter Rinehart's Whole Grain Breads


Peter Rinehart's Bread Baker's Apprentice


Dan Lepard's Handmade Bread

Mitch550's picture

Errors in Hammelman and DiMuzio Bread Books

July 31, 2009 - 10:39am -- Mitch550
Forums: 

Hello to all,


I've read book reviews here, on Amazon, and other places about apparent errors that were noted by readers in Jeffrey Hammelman's and Daniel DiMuzio's otherwise wonderfully rated books. Both of these books are published by Wiley, and I was surprised and bothered that Wiley hadn't posted Errata pages for either of these books.  Dan's book only came out this past February so one can possibly excuse the fact that there isn't an Errata page for that one, but Jeffrey Hammelman's book was published in 2004, so it's hard to find an excuse for that.

RFMonaco's picture

A couple of selected books.....

February 17, 2009 - 9:51pm -- RFMonaco
Forums: 

...I just purchased from Amazon are worth noting.


Baking Artisan Bread by Ciril Hitz, ISBN 1-59253-453-8, $16.49...List $24.99...SUPERB. I wouldn't like to be without this one.


The Cheese Board: Collective Works, Fwd. by Alice Waters. ISBN 1-58008-419-2... $14.93...List $21.95...Very good, nice Bread recipes throughout.


 

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