The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Bread Book

Altaf's picture
Altaf

New Bread Book

Hello,

If you got the jeffry hamelman "Bread" book, tell us what you think of it? and post a recipe....please :-)

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm next in the queue for it at the library, so I should get it in the next week or two.

I will definitely post about it. :)

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I just got that book last week. It is very intense reading and I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. I've just barely gotten halfway through it. I haven't made any recipes yet. The book has very detailed text on techniques, but not a whole lot of pictures. What else would you all like to know about it? I'll answer whatever questions you may have.

Altaf's picture
Altaf

Hi sourdolady , Floydm, and thanks for the quick reponse.

I'm thinking of buying a comprehensive bread book for a begginer baker, and in front of me are 2 options:

1- The bread baker's apperentice OR
2- jeffry hamelman "Bread"

I don't know which one to go for. People rate them both

:-?

Any suggestions?

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I wish I had a copy of "The Breadbaker's Apprentice" here so I could compare the two for you. I ordered Hamelman's "Bread" through Amazon for $25.20--free shipping, so it was a good deal. I can't justify buying another one just yet. Maybe I will get a chance to go to the bookstore and browse through it tomorrow.

I did use Jeffrey's dough folding technique on a loaf of cinnamon swirl sourdough that I made a couple of days ago, and I must say that I was amazed at the difference it made in the dough strength and the texture of the bread. For such a simple technique, it had dramatic results. I am anxious to try another loaf, of a plainer bread such as a free-form loaf.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The reviews I've read suggest that "Bread" is geared for a fairly advanced, if not professional, baker. That may not be the case, but that is the impression I've gotten.

I heartily recommend "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" to new bakers because the recipes are well adapted for the home baker.

Once I get "Bread" I'll compare the two side-by-side. But until then, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend "The Bread Baker's Apprentice."

Altaf's picture
Altaf

Thanks both of you.

sourdolady: Does it require alot of bread flour?

Floydm: i`ll be waiting for your posts.

I love making breads. I consider my self at the stage of learning. Because mt country's bread is soft, my only fear is that i wil not gain any benefit from buying the books :-(

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Altaf, the recipes in the book do call for bread flour. Is bread flour not available in your country? Bread flour is just flour made from hard wheat rather than soft wheat. It is sometimes called 'strong flour' in countries outside the USA. Can you get gluten flour? The addition of a few spoonfuls of gluten flour to soft wheat flour would make it similar to bread flour.

Altaf's picture
Altaf

Hello Sourdolady,

We have 2 imported bread four such as: billsburry and goldmedal. other wise i have to buy stong flour from bakeries which is quite expensive for bread experements.

regarding gluter flour or vital wheat gluten, it's not recomemded any more because of the taste in breads.

Thanks for your corcern.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Altaf, Gold Medal Bread flour is fine to use. I use it all the time with excellent results. I have also used plain old AP flour and the bread isn't all that bad. It is softer in texture but it still tastes good.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I got the Hamelman book from the library last night.

I'm in agreement with SourdoLady that it definitely is not for beginners. It has a more comprehensive set of recipes than the Bread Baker's Apprentice, but it is much less amateur/home baker friendly.

I'm going to need more time reading it before I can say a lot more about it. It is a dense read.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Floyd, I've had my book for 2 weeks and I'm still reading and re-reading. I have got a lot of useful information from it. The technique that I am most impressed with is the dough folding. I tried it and I was amazed at how it strengthened the dough.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

No doubt it is a good book. I read it for an hour or so last night and suspect I will order a copy from Amazon once mine is due at the library. I just think it is quite advanced and would be intimidating to a beginner.

For example, did you catch his pretzel recipe? With the lye and the wire screens? I need to reread it to be sure, but I don't recall him saying anything about how you can recreate that (or whether you can skip it) when making pretzels at home. And I catch him mentioning things like "open the oven vents" all the time. As a new baker I know I would have been like "WTF? Oven vents?!?"

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I definitely agree that it isn't a book for the beginning bread baker.

Let me tell you how I opened and closed the vents on my oven :lol: I put a pan of water in the oven for steam while it was preheating and I stuffed a dishtowel in the vent opening on the top of the stove. That kept the steam in the oven. Once the bread started to color (about 15 minutes) I removed the dishtowel (opened the vents--hehe!). It worked like a charm. You should see the beautiful blisters I got on my bread crust. I took a picture but haven't uploaded it yet. I'll post it later.

I have made soft pretzels before, and you definitely can skip the lye bath. That sort of grosses me out anyway. When I used to live in Ohio they had an "Auntie Annes's Pretzels" at the mall and I watched them make their pretzels (which were awesome). They didn't use a lye bath either.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Here's the picture of my bread that I baked in my "steam oven". It's a sourdough loaf. Pretty nice blistering on the crust, huh?

Altaf's picture
Altaf

sourdolady: your loafs looks professional.

I maneged to doen load a chapter from the book in the publisher website, and i found out that it is not suitable for a begginer baker (like me :oops: ). So i will order the bakers apperetice from amazon soon.

Any one got the book, please post us something for a biggener.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Gorgeous loaves.