The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brother Juniper's Bread Book-Updated

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Brother Juniper's Bread Book-Updated

The other day, as I was in the process of purchasing a book on Amazon when I noticed the "Other people also bought this" feature that was pointing out a book I have wanted to look at for a long time. Brother Juniper's Bread Book by Peter Reinhart is a classic and I think his first published book.


Paging through it today, I am taken by the variety of good looking bread recipes. There isn't a single photo in the book so when I say good looking I mean the recipes look interesting.Reinhart's writing style is clear and easy to follow as is the case in all of his later works.


The currently available version has been revised in some interesting ways. In the section on Sweet French Breads, Peter says he changed the formula slightly, now calling for bread flour and less yeast and salt. This allows for a slower rise and better flavor. I'm glad to see that he re-visited the basic concept of how to produce good bread. We have all learned that the path to full flavored bread winds down a path of slow fermentation. All of the recipes reflect this emphasis on time.


Finally, there are some great muffin recipes and a chapter on The World's Greatest Brownies. How could you not like that?


This would be a good starter book for a person who is baking impaired like I was. All of Peter's later books have a considerable amount of space dedicated to natural yeast or Sour Dough. In this book he is focused on getting great flavor with dry yeast products. This is a well written classic that has been updated and has many wonderful breads and other baked goods. I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes.


Eric

Comments

Marni's picture
Marni

from our local library, but it was due back before I could get a good look at it.  I'll have to request it again.


Have you read Sacramental magic in a small-town cafe : recipes and stories from Brother Juniper's Café ?


That was a lot of fun - getting some of the history behind how everything started.  I enjoy cookbooks with stories behind them.  I don't know if Peter Reinhart is writing his own books now, but this is easy reading - fun.


Marni

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Eric - was the book updated so it now includes measurements by weight?


I have the "old" version which lists ingredients only by volume and had emailed PR asking if he ever intended to update the book for more accurate measurements.


Never got a response.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Nope, it's all by volume. It's a distraction but the first time I do a volume recipe I usually make a note to myself on the gram weight. If I like the recipe I end up typing it and saving a scaled copy for future use so I don't have to drag the book out. I print a copy, scrawl all over it while I'm using it and toss it when I'm done.


Eric

LindyD's picture
LindyD

If I use the scoop and sweep method three times, I'll get different weights each time.  That's why I hate volume measurements.


Maybe I should take an average?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When I se a recipe that calls for 3 cups of AP, I automatically write 405 grams (3X135) and it works pretty well.


Eric