The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Which book?

eb16's picture
eb16

Which book?

Hi everybody,


I have been making bread for a little while but only from recipes for my "normal" cook books.
I'd like to get a bit more serious (not too serious, though :) and would like to get a book dedicated to bread making.
I've read here that The Baker's Apprentice has no metric measures (?) which puts me off.


Which one book would be best to have? I'd like a variety of recipes, some technical background, metrics and preferably nice photo(s) for each recipe.
Thanks for your recommendations!


 

rolls's picture
rolls

Hi this question always comes up, lol, and never gets boring. I asked something similar once too. I remember the consensus was hammelman. Though, I don't think that fits the bill for you.


I would reccommend Richard Bertinet's books, perfect for what you are asking. gorgeous pics and I think you would really enjoy his method, and technique and breads :) let us know which you go with. will try to look up link for my thread if it helps.

rolls's picture
rolls

If you're into no knead then there's jim lahey's 'my bread', gorgeous pics and recipes. or Artisan Bread in 5 mins a day, which got me back into bread baking again.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)


Hamelman's has metric measures, but only for large quantity (commercial baking). It's easy enough to reduce using basic math skill, but some might find that annoying. I don't. It's a great book!




Leader's has everything you're looking for, but it's a less forgiving book IMO because of sourcing, advanced technique, and heavy reliance on natural leavening.

  1. Jeffery Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes

  2. Daniel Leader's Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers


As for BBA, you're right in that it has no metric. When you're at the level of bread baking in the BBA, however, you should be using a scale. It's not so difficult to traverse the entire text if you have a scale (that weighs ounces).

 


 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I hapen to keep my copy of Hamelman's "Bread" next to my favorite reading chair. I ordered it about a year ago and find that as I refer back to its pages that I'm still learning. I've read BBA, AB5D, "The Bread Bible", "Secrets of a Jewish Baker", Jim Lahey's book, and others


All the books are interesting, some more so than others, but there are a couple of things that I've found that have to go along with the reading. First, you've got to have a scale. Especially one that can go from grams to ounces and has a tare function. Next, I found that I had to learn how to think in terms of bakers' percentage to recreate formulae for my one loaf at a time baking. Maybe it's just the way my brain is wired but I found that after those two steps I didn't have to fret about formulae. Procedure came to the forefront and my technique improved slowly. The concepts that I read about became easier to grasp and apply.


Wasting a little time to find YouTube clips will return dividends in the long run. If you want to pursue no knead breads, you'll find a lot of clips at YouTube. Shaping a loaf is much easier after you've seen it done. A book can only take you so far when it comes to shaping.


By all means, you should read everything that appeals to your imagination. However, after you've read a few books, the actual doing is more important in finding the curiosity that drives the desire or passion to become a better baker.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

I am a new to YouTube but I have become addicted.  As you said, it is a great resource and a great way to preview many cookbooks.  Have fun, Pam

eb16's picture
eb16

Thanks for your replies, everyone.


To clarify...the problem I have with American/imperial measures is not that I can't convert them or that I don't own a scale that does both. I just really dislike them being an enlightened European :) and find the extra effort annoying. But the books (and most of you guys here) are American so I'll just have to get on with it.


I have looked at a review of Hamelman's book (on Amazon) and some people seemed to think that it's the best one, however I am worried that it focuses too much on the commercial baker and half the stuff would be irrelevant for me.


I don't need any shortcuts like no knead bread -  I am happy to put some time and effort into baking. I saw Dough by Richard Bertinet in a shop and didn't like it. That is actually the problem - the shops where I live don't sell any of the "big" bread books so I can't have a peek...otherwise I wouldn't be asking here. I also read about Daniel Leader's Local Breads and it appears that the book has a strange design and lots of mistakes...?


I'm looking at Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Fast now - would that be a good option or is too simplistic? Or is Hamelman the consensus here? I am so indecisive...


Thanks again everyone!


 

Chrissi's picture
Chrissi

I asked for BBA for my birthday (and got it :) ) after seeing it recommended and used so much on TFL.   I didn't know that it didn't have any metric measures in it.  I, like you, hate imperial measures and never use them.  What I did is, before I'm going to use a recipe, I look up and convert all the measures and just write it all beside the existing measures.  Then I don't have to bother looking them up.


Yeah it's an annoyance, but, I think the book is worth it.  I'm glad to have it as my first bread-dedicated cookbook.  I understand so much more now about what's wrong with my breads when they fail, and what I can be aiming for.


PS You can read much of the intro on google books: http://books.google.ca/books?id=yHGBOXSNogsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=bread+baker%27s+apprentice&hl=en&ei=uGteTLicAo_0swPYvKHeDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=... That intro made me REALLY want the book.  Reinhart just has such a talent for making everything sound so wonderful.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hi! I buy European additions of US cookbooks when I can as they are published with metric measurements.  Not always possible or easy but I really prefer metric.  Pam

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Rose Levy Beranbaum's _The Bread Bible_ seems to me to fit all your criteria.  It gives detailed, precise instructions for a variety of breads (good way to move from traditional cooking to artisan baking), has very thorough sections on breadmaking techniques and ingredients with excellent drawings and pictures, and all recipes are shown in a matrix with metric and ANSI weights and ANSI volumes.  It is an excellent book to get started with especially for people who are experienced cooks but have little experience or success with baking.  Many would say that the results taste good but not as sublime as a well-made Glaser, Hamelman, or Reinhart recipe and I might agree, but they are good enough to give you the feeling of satisfaction and success that will keep you moving forward.


The only problem with Rose's TBB (and note that there are two books long in print with that title; the other one is good too but not the same as Beranbaum's) is if you are in Europe.  Rose has a long blog entry about arriving at a cousin's house in England assuming she could just crank out her standard breads and award-winning cakes (did I mention _The Cake Bible_?), but ended up spending two weeks trying to figure out why her recipes, which are very successful in the US/Canada, didn't work right in the UK or Europe.  Something you would need to read if you are using European ingredients, although that would apply to any US-published cookbook.


sPh

EvaB's picture
EvaB

have inter library loans? I can ask my librarian here in Canada to find a library elsewhere that has the book I need and borrow it from them for me. The major problem being of course it the length of time you have to study the book, as there is usually a time limit of a month on the loan, but its a way of seeing books that your library doens't have and then if you like the book, you can always buy it when your finaces allow.


I have the Artisan Bread in 5 and the Healthy Bread in 5 which are no knead bread books, and I have bought the Bread Bakers Apprentice which I do like. Its at least in rather plain English, and doesn't go into esoteric things like percentages to the exclusion of regular folks.


I will eventually convert the recipes to metric as well, and then I can use my scale better. I do use the scale though as it does work better than just measuring with a cup,

womanbread's picture
womanbread

Hi there. I too am on the lookout for a good bood on bread making, but at the moment, the one I really want - Reinhart's Bread Baking Apprentice' - is slightly out of my reach, financially.


What I do have, though, are what I believe to be excellent books. One is a classic - ' The Tasajara Bread Book,' by Edward Espe Brown, (really lovely book, and my first-ever bread-dedicated book) and the other is an oldie but goodie that I found at a jumble sale about a year ago,by Rachael Holme, called 'Baking Better Breads.' It's from 1983, a small paperback with no photos, but I used to use it quite a bit...that is, before I found 'Bread' by Eric Treuville and Ursula Ferrigno. I've not seen many reviews one way or the other about how good this book is, but I quite like it. It's user-friendly/not too intimidating for a beginner, yet not off-putting to an established/confident baker. Lots of amazing photos, and a bit of basics at the beginning of the book. The recipes range from basic breads to flat breads to celebratory breads to regional breads.


Anyone else like these three books, or have them and use them regularly?


Hope I've been of some help in your search for that perfect book. Then again, part of the enjoyment is the search itself. At least, with books it's like that.

copyu's picture
copyu

Peter Reinhart's 'Crust and Crumb'. It's a "serious" book, in that it involves 2-3-day 'builds', but it's not difficult to use. From my perspective, the only weak point is that it doesn't use metric measures


It's a paperback, so only about $13 new. It's mainly focussed on formulae and I'll admit that I use it as often as I use BBA or Hamelman for actual formulae...the rye breads especially, are really good!


Best,


copyu

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

It's also available for free on Google Books. All of it, not just sample pages.


Here's the link

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Does anyone know if Amy's Bread (the revised one) uses metric measurements? Her Sweeter breads does and I LOVE that book. I currently have Amy's Breads from the library - the older version and I really like it, but the newer one is supposedly even better. I would love it if it were in metric.


 


Melissa


http://bumblingbuddingbaker.blogspot.com/

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Yes, the revised book has metric.  Have fun, Pam

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

You might really like Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf.


It's metric, will certainly give you the workout you seek (even if you can do all of them with a mixer), and has lots of interesting, unique breads. Oh, and it's beautifully photographed.


Careful not to buy his The Art of Handmade Bread. It's the same book as The Handmade Loaf in every way, but it's for an American audience (i.e. imperial (and metric) measures).


Did I say beautifully photographed?


 



wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

The only thing that prevents me from baking from it more is that I always seem to be missing a special ingredient, usually a strange one that I can't easily buy/source.


The following ingredients appear as I flip through it: millet flour, golden linseed, toasted buckwheat, walnut paste, cobnuts, chestnut flour, saffron, sour milk (considering pasteurized milk doesn't sour, it's not as easy to source this as you'd think), barley flour, lard, etc.


These might be easier to source in the UK, but in the US, finding them is usually a head-scratcher: Where in the world would I buy that? 


(Our grocers aren't very helpful here. They can sometimes tell you which aisle Coca-Cola is on, but ask for golden linseed and they wouldn't even know how to spell it.)

spacey's picture
spacey

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax it's a really common thing in the states - look at vitamin stores, health food aisles, etc.  It seems like some of these things may just be cultural.  E.g. toasted buckwheat may be easier to find as "kasha" anywhere with an eastern european population.


For most of the grains, look for bags branded "bob's red mill".  They seem to package and distribute a lot of grains that would have been dificult to find in the past, and grocery stores seem to buy a bunch of their bags at the same time for the baking and health-food aisles.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Thanks.


I patron their (Bob's) online store often.


http://www.bobsredmill.com/


I find it's better to shop online because no store (or not any that I've found) stocks their entire product line. Online, I can get anything they sell, I just have to wait a bit for it.


They have rather good monthly special too (and shipping doesn't break the bank).


http://www.bobsredmill.com/monthly-specials/

EvaB's picture
EvaB

to sour milk is to ad 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk (take the tsp out of the cup before adding or the measure will be incorrect) this has been used in my world for over 100 years, it works with canned milk, dried milk, and or fresh from the store milk. also works with fresh cows milk.


Stir into the cup of milk and let sit for a bit on the counter, or iff really warm weather, in a cooler spot.


I do beg to differ, pasturised milk will sour, it just takes longer, and the milk in cartons is not only pasturized its got stabelizers added etc, which means when it does go bad it doesn't just sour, it rots! I've had milk go bad within a day of its best before date, and had other milk be fine for two weeks after its best before date, so I dn't think pasturization is all that has been done with it.


By the way do you know that before pasturization, people put a silver dollar into the milk jug to keep it from going bad. Considering that money is actually full of germs, its a wonder they didn't kill themselves, but some people now use colloidal silver (silver water really) to put into their fresh unpasturized milk to keep it fresh longer.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Trader Joe's has Golden Flax, which is the same thing as golden linseed.


Lard is available at most grocery stores, particuarly in urban areas, if you look, but Whole Foods actually has organic lard! 


Most of the other ingredients you name can be found by poking around a large urban grocery store, or ordered by mail from King Arthur.


sPh

jonalisa's picture
jonalisa

Hi eb,


What was it about "Dough" you didn't like?  The reason I ask is that I am also considering my first books and had considered "Dough" after watching his sweet dough kneading video.


Thanks,


Jonalisa

rolls's picture
rolls

I have Dan lepards's (with richard whittington) Baker & spice exceptional breads, has anyone else heard of this and what do you think? I haven't tried anything yet, the pics are beautiful though, and there are step by step pics too.


I have heaps of bread books, but not hammelman or BBA. I have bread bible, village baker, reinhart's ABEV, Carol Field's italian baker, ABin5, dough and crust, jim lahye's my bread. 100 great breads (paul hollywood) and  many other miscellaneous bread books.


In the end it does come back to practice, and I agree that video's help the most along with the reading. let us know what you end up deciding :)


you didn't like 'dough'? really? lol, I borrowed it from the library and fell in love. I love that it comes with a dvd too.

eb16's picture
eb16

I didn't like Dough because it didn't seem like a "serious big book", which is kind of what I'm after - I want just one book. But that's the one the shop here actually has in stock so I might look at it again when I'm in town.

I'm not sure about Dan Leppard's book after reading this review: http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/1845333896/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addTwoStar
Also it's comparatively small & paperback. (I know I'm picky :)

I'm thinking Hamelman might be the right choice for me.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Explain the "one book" to us. Most of us here have 20 (or more) of them. (And the breads from each of them are different enough that that owning them is worth it).


If it has to be one and metric, go with Hamelman and be prepared to reduce the recipe by 10.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Also, I'd say the more important variable is "does it have baker's percentages?"


If you have baker's percentages, you can use whatever weight system you want and scale up or down as needed.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Yes, Dan Lepard's book does rely heavily on natural sourdough leavening, but so does much of Hamelman.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I have taken part in this very discussion more than once in the past.  General consensus always pointed to Hamelman's "Bread" as THE book to get.  It was one of those early discussions that caused me to buy Hamelman's book as I did not own it at the time.


Now that I have had the book for some time, I agree that this is THE book to get if you are looking that one book.  It does not lean heavily towards commercial bakeries and will take the home baker to new levels of bread baking.  I have a library of bread books and there are many great books available.  Without hesitation I say, Hamelman's book is the book to get if you are looking for just one book.


Jeff

copyu's picture
copyu

if I could only have ONE...this would be my first choice (despite the difficulty for beginners of learning bakers' percentages...)


Bakers' Math is easy and it's SO worth it, that Hamelman's "Bread" leaves the 'picture-books' for dead. It's the first book I turn to for good, solid information or explanation. 


No contest...but I still keep buying more baking books...it keeps amazon.com happy!


Best,


copyu

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I love Hamelman's _Bread_, and I agree if you can put only 1 bread book on the intersteller colonization ship it should be that one, but...  for me it very definately falls into the "clear only if already known" category that is characteristic of much technology documentation.  If you already understand generally what Hamelman is explaining, and have already had some success with similar techniques to the point where you have a minimal level of confidence, then you can easily pick right up on what he is saying and greatly increase your understanding and skill range.  But if you don't already understand the basic terminology and processes, and haven't successfully made at least a few different recipes, most people will get lost and discouraged.


That's why I generally recommend RLB's _The Bread Bible_ as a first "big book".  If a person with even miminal experience in cooking or baking from mixes reads RLB's technique chapter and then follows her detailed instructions step-by-step then they will get a darn good bread 90% of the time; whereas after 5 years my success rate with Hamelman is often less than 50%.  Also, Hamelman's terminology is often based on commercial bakery terminology and equipment ("second speed" - does that mean I set my home KitchenAid to 2 or 5?).  Essentially RLB's TBB is a very good high-school level chemistry lab text; Hamelman's is a college- or even graduate-level chem lab text that assumes you already passed high school chemistry. [1]


sPh


[1] When my then high-school age child was writing his first chem lab report I suggested he read through a few Rose Levy recipes for an excellent example of how it should be done.

LucyBee's picture
LucyBee

But I like Bertinet's "Dough" and 'Crust' just as much.


 

eb16's picture
eb16

I have tons of cookery books and no space. Also we are a 2 people household and I make bread about once a week or less often. I love making bread and would like to learn more but I guess I am not as serious about it as most people here... it is simply an extension of my passion for cooking. I would definitely like try making my own sourdough starter but also want recipes that use yeast.



I would prefer making one bigger well informed purchase rathen than collecting books which will not suit me. I don't know if this makes sense... but anyhoo, at this stage I want one proper good book :)

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

That's understandable. I just lost a shelf yesterday under the weight of too many books. Scared me half to death!


Try the library too.


If they don't have a few of the books mentioned here, maybe you can request a purchase or interlibrary loan.


I don't know how libraries work where you live, but I can get just about any book in circulation via interlibrary loan if I'm willing to wait a week (or three).


I once got a book on mixed drinks via interlibrary loan shipped all the way from Valdez, Alaska (apparently the only library in the country (or in their network) that had a copy). I'm on a waiting list now for Raymond Clavel, as I refuse to pay $73 for a copy.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

I really like Ciril Hitz new(ish) book 'Baking Artisan Breads'.  It is thorough without being technical and has a wonderful DVD that helps a lot.  It is scaled in g, oz, and cups. (I really prefer metric) Have fun.    Pam

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Does anyone know if Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible is in metric?


I have her Cake Bible and Pie & Pastry Bible (and love them both), and they have metric.


I'd be surprised if the Bread Bible didn't.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I don't know how good of a book it is, so maybe someone can speak to that too.


If her other books are any indication, it's probably quite good. 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Each of the recipes in Rose Levy's _The Bread Bible (not to be confused with the other book of that name) has a chart with all three of metric and ANSI weights and ANSI volume measurements.  At the end of each recipe she also gives the breakdowns by what she calls "dough percentages", a modified form of bakers percentages which to my mind is much more usable for the home baker than most of the professional percentage systems (yes, there is more than one system) I have seen.


sPh

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The thing with the crashing book shelf could have happened to me, too, wwiigggiinnss  (couldn't you have picked a more user friendly alias?). In my opinion you can never have too many cook books.


As a European I also dislike volume measures (or those that hail from the dark, pre-metric ages). My first serious bread baking book was the "Bread Bakers' Apprentice" and I converted the ounces into grams and wrote those into the recipe, along with my comments. BBA and the other books by Peter Reinhart are still my (American) baking book favorites.


I still don't own the Holy Hamelman ("verily, verily I say unto you") or St. Lepard (praised be his name), yet - but I will eventually get there.


Though I like Bertinet's books I don't like his preferred workout: slamming the dough for half an hour on the countertop is not my idea of how to spend my time (when there's something called "autolysis" out there) - and the enormous amount of clean up effort afterwards, scraping and scrubbing dried dough leftovers from the work surface doesn't appeal to me, either.


Karin

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

If this is the Bertinet method, I say he can keep it, especially the part about doing THAT for 20 minutes:


copyu's picture
copyu

Whew...I got tired just watching the guy pounding the table with that dough!


I'm not saying I absolutely wouldn't try it, once or twice...I have this goal of making my own Chinese 'pulled noodles' one day and that takes about 20 minutes of similar hand-processing, if I'm reading the methods correctly...


Most Chinese noodle restaurants have several workers, I believe, where they rotate the jobs. One processes the dough and then takes a well-earned rest while another actually makes the noodles from that dough and so on...


Best,


copyu

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Karin,  I am an American but I was married in Germany and then lived there for 3 years. I was given a scale as a wedding present, and then learned to cook from both metric and volume cookbooks (in English from US and GB) all at the same time!!  It was a bit confusing. But, I am certainly flexible.


I have always baked with a scale and have an illicit stash of European editions of American cookbooks since the European versions are published in metric!  


Loved your comment about the holy Hammelman. I admit to owning his book as well as at least 50 other bread cookbooks including a french addition of Raymond Clavel.  I am a shameless collector of bread cookbooks and have both a French and English shelf.  I find it hard to pick ONE baking book.  AHH, if I could just read German or Swedish.  Have fun Pam

Elagins's picture
Elagins

you might consider borrowing one or more of the standards and give each of them a test-drive. then you can go ahead an buy the ones you like.


Stan Ginsberg


www.nybakers.com

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Wiggie (sorry for the name mutilation!), I did just this, and more than once, for 30 long minutes, just as shown in the video. I really like Bertinet's breads, and they turned out nice and tasted very good - but the procedure is just too painful! My suspicion is that Bertinet likes this really as a sensuous workout - and my husband made endless fun of my "slapping the dough around".


I also think that in these times of little kneading thanks to cold fermentation and autolysis this technique is a bit of a relic - I took Bertinet's recipe and worked the dough with this method, and it turned out just as nice and tasty (really no difference!) than the one I "slapped around" until I "glowed like a pig" (according to my dear spouse).


Karin

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Ha! I'd glow like a pig too.


And if I was that dough, I would refuse to rise just to spite the baker! ;D

womanbread's picture
womanbread

Emmm...so I guess Eric Treuville's 'Bread' as well as Espe Brown's Tasajara 'Bread Book' aren't the best books to recommend, then?

eb16's picture
eb16

Hi everyone, thanks for your replies again.


I might try looking in the library or ordering through a store here which has Hamelman  and Lepard for a near-Amazon price.


I have RSI so the video is hilarious...I'll just get my bionic arms and get kneading and throwing :)
I have been exposed to Dan Lepard's instructions on kneading (he's published in the paper I read and even did a baking supplement once) so I never really knead for any amount of time. (I don't own a robot and don't intend to buy one for now). I don' really want a no-knead book though because I feel it might be a bit limiting.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I looked into this - it's nice, but really a bit old-fashioned. I don't doubt that the breads taste good, but the techniques are just old-style, long, "honest hardworking" kneading, nothing about the newest developments and insights how to utilize autolysis and long, cold fermentation as a better and much easier way to work the dough and achieve taste.


I would buy this little book only as interesting information, but not as serious teaching material.


Karin

womanbread's picture
womanbread

Hi Karin - I take your point(s) on why this probably isn't the best or most useful bread technique book out there. I think I'm biased and partial to it because it was recommended to me by a dear friend and also because it was my first-ever bread book, once I became interested in baking more than muffins, cookies, pies and pastries (which I still love doing, but making bread is a whole 'nother thing altogether - almost an alchemy of sorts, which is what attracts and intrigues me).


And I also agree with you in that it's quite 'old style.' But then, it was first published in 1970, and was written, designed, illustrated by a Californian Zen Buddhist monk in the monastery's kitchen, so 'old-style' and 'honest hardworking kneading' would be the name of the game, there. It's a lovely book, though, and I love looking through it (and using many of his recipes) and having it on my kitchen book shelf.


Any thoughts on Eric Treuille's (and Ursula Ferrigno's) 'Bread' book? Now, I do realise that it's not in the same league as, say, Reinhart 's or Hamelman's books, but as a novice bread baker, I found it very user-friendly and non-intimidating, easy to understand and follow along, explained clearly, and the photos were helpful as well as a feast for the eyes.


I would definitely like to get other bread books, but I need to look at and look through them first before choosing. Unfortunately, my local library has very little to choose from (the Eric Treuille book being the only one they had). That's one of the many reasons TFL is so brilliant - to be able to come here and get as much help, advice, information and encouragement as you could ever wish for.


I'm torn between 'The Bread Bible' and 'BBA' at the moment. Actually, I want both! I'm sure they're both excellent, each in their own unique way. I'm looking for something informative and detailed, but not too technical or too intimidating or too daunting for a beginner. Which of these two would you recommend?


 


 

tempe's picture
tempe

For what it's worth, I just bought Dr Ed Wood's Classic  Sourdoughs for the Home Baker, it has a very interesting chapter on the history of sourdough as well as method and over ninety recipes. I find it informative and well written.  It doesn't delve greatly into the technicalities ie. bakers percentages etc but it does go into the chemistry and cultural anthropology of sourdough. It has recipes for different sourdoughs from all around the world.  Dr Wood uses cups and tablespoon measures and it hasn't got photographs, other than on the front and back cover.


I have looked at Hamelmann's at the book store and the only thing that stopped me buying it was the $73 AUD price tag.  Ed Wood was under $30 AUD.  Hamelmann's will have to go on my Christmas list I think!!


I think Stan's Ginsberg's comment about test driving books through your local library is a great idea. 


Best of luck in your search for your bread baking book eb16:)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Womanbread: I cannot say anything about Eric Treuille's book - there are still "a few" bread baking books missing on my overcrowded bookshelves - but if I had to choose between the "Bread Bible" and "The Bread Bakers' Apprentice" I would rather take the BBA.


Though Rosa Levy Beranbaum's tome is very informative and has good instructions, it includes too many recipes that I - as a European - would not consider as real "breads", but cakes, like banana bread, monkey bread, muffins etc. These belong into a totally different category, and have nothing to do with the art of bread making.


For me the BBA was my first really usable bread baking book, though I had nice looking German ones with interesting breads, they were all one-day-quick rise recipes and the results had not been very satisfying. Therefore Peter Reinhart's book was a real revelation, his descriptions and explanations convincing and understandable, using the steam technique for the first time and achieving a good crust a heureka moment.


His Pain a l'Ancienne and Pane Siciliano (which I both sell) are some of my most favorite breads, and I think he is a very good teacher, too. Of course you always have to change recipes a bit around according to the performance of your own oven (baking times, temperature), and your own preferences (less sweet).


For whole grain breads P. R.'s  "Whole Grain Breads" is my "bible". After I learned about pre-doughs and long fermentation, and also stretch & fold, I adapted my old German recipes to this technique and - lo and behold - those breads all of a sudden turned out great!


Since I don't know Hamelman's book, yet - I know it is a shame, but it's the next on my list - I can't tell you whether it is better for a beginner than Reinhart's book. It is really a pity that your local library doesn't have more to offer.


I oftern buy books used on amazon - maybe you'll get lucky there.


Karin


 

sphealey's picture
sphealey


=== Though Rosa Levy Beranbaum's tome is very informative and has good instructions, it includes too many recipes that I - as a European - would not consider as real "breads", but cakes, like banana bread, monkey bread, muffins etc. These belong into a totally different category, and have nothing to do with the art of bread making. ===



I have read comments similar to this in several book review threads, and respectfully I have to say I find them a bit puzzling.  RLB's _TBB_ is 604 pages, of which 67 pages are quickbreads, leaving 537 pages for gluten-based yeast-raised breads.  And including her very detailed chapters on ingredients and doughmaking techniques and the appendices of additional useful information.  One would choose not to buy a detailed 537 page cookbook due to annoyance at its including an additional 67 pages on quickbreads?  Conversely, Hamelman's 300 page advanced treatise contains 75 pages and 8 full-color plates on making candied braided bread-based artwork which I suspect is (1) inedible (2) less than 0.5% of the home bakers who buy the book will ever even attempt.  Should I reject Hamelman because I find that annoying? 


Personally were I Rose's editor I would have suggested putting the chapter on simple straight bread doughs immediately after the chapter on technique to get people started, and deferring the chapter on quickbreads until later.  I suspect however Rose would reply that breadbaking is all about confidence, and pedagogically she prefers to get readers started with recipes that are fairly easy and will allow them to experience immediate success, thus building momenum for later chapters. 


Oh well, to each his own.


sPh

womanbread's picture
womanbread

Hi again, Karin. I appreciate your taking the time to reply once again.


Although I'm not a full-fledged European (I'm from the US but have been in Ireland for many years now), I definitely agree with you that baked goods such as monkey bread, banana bread, muffins, scones - lovely as they are and as enjoyable as they are to bake - they're definitely not my definition of bread, either.


What I'm looking for (and for most of Treuille's and Ferrigno's 'bread' book - you pretty much do get mostly instruction on how to make actual breads, not pastries or baked goods) is something more along the lines of 'Bread Baker's Apprentice,' from your description and comparison of the two (the other one being RBL's book, I mean).


I lament every time I go into my local library of the lack of 'real' cookbooks and baking books, although on the increase are the 'celebrity chef' style cookbooks, which are fun and user-friendly and have great food photos and I do every once in a while browse through a Nigella one or a Rachel Allen one (who has a book out that I do quite like, simply entitled 'Bake!') but again, they're not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a bread-specific/bread-dedicated book.


The same goes for the bread making books in my local library. With the exception of Treuille's (sorry - I don't mean to belabour the point and no, I'm not related to him, LOL), our library just has nothing that inspires or could help me by having a proper look through it before I make a decision on which book I'm going to save up for and one day (hopefully soon) purchase.


I've even filled out those little request order cards, where a local branch can contact a main branch and 'import' it to the smaller branch, for a minimal fee. Each time I've requested any of the books mentioned in this excellent thread, I come away from my library feeling deprived and denied, for not even the main branch in Dublin has any of them. Very frustrating!


I'm always browsing on ebay and amazon for good (as in cheap, LOL) deals, but the problem with that usually doesn't stem from the asking price of the book itself, but the shipping either from the UK or the US to Ireland. It can get very, very expensive - even if you're lucky enough to find a fantastic book for something like a euro or two - once you tack on the postage....sigh...


Enough of my whinging, though. I appreciate and thank you, once again, for your help and advice and great suggestions, and also, although I didn't start this thread (thanks eb16 who did start this lively discussion), thanks to all those who've added their own favourites and list of must-haves or ones to think twice about, before purchasing.


From all I've read here, most TFL compasses seem to point to Reinhart's 'BBA,' so that's the one I hopefully will have on my groaning-from-the-extra-weight kitchen book shelf before too long. If I ever win the Lottery, I think I'll go a bit OTT and buy all of them. And of course, cherish them all, and use them all and learn from them all.


I love, love, love TFL!


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Sphealy, you took the time of actually counting the pages - I didn't. You are right, in the Bread Bible the emphasis is on "real" breads, and the cake-like ones are only a smaller part. It just annoyed me to find those at all in a bread baking book.


I have to admit, too, that in Peter Reinhart's books there is also some cake-like stuff, like buns and Cinnamon Raisin Bread.


I saw once a "Baking with Julia" show about "bread art" and I also doubted it's edibility. I absolutely agree with you that making inedible, stone hard breads only for decorative purposes appears to me a great waste of time and material.


Most likely there are things in all cookbooks that don't appeal to you and you will never even try preparing them once.


Karin


 


 

eb16's picture
eb16

On the one hand I'm really pleased that so many people joined this discussion, on the other hand it has not helped my decision making - obviously there are too many good books :)


I've noticed The Bread Bible get mentioned a couple of times and seems like it could be the right book for me...however, as sphealey points out in his/her post:
"The only problem with Rose's TBB [...] is if you are in Europe. Rose has a long blog entry about arriving at a cousin's house in England assuming she could just crank out her standard breads and award-winning cakes (did I mention _The Cake Bible_?), but ended up spending two weeks trying to figure out why her recipes, which are very successful in the US/Canada, didn't work right in the UK or Europe. Something you would need to read if you are using European ingredients, although that would apply to any US-published cookbook."


Well, quess where I live. Would all the American books be a bit useless then?


 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

just a learning curve. The differences are mostly in flour types, the wheat and grains they are made from, and of course the obvious differences in measurements, and terminology.


I have a number of recipes from an Australian cookbook, copied many years ago, and the main differences with that are the fact that Aussie cooks then used a 10 ounce cup and 20 ounce pint rather than my Canadian Standard US measure of 8 ounces per cup, so its a matter of realizing that things may not work just so the first time, and figuring out what the differences are. Such as trecle which I read as molasses or Roger's golden syrup, but then again, such esoteric items as beet syrups, and other things that might be used are not findable in my way out of the way town, so one has to learn to pick the recipes carefully, and watch for any things that might show up on the shelves as "ethnic" foods such as tamerind and lingon berry jelly!

sphealey's picture
sphealey


=== Well, quess where I live. Would all the American books be a bit useless then? ===



A good question, which several members of this site (both USian and EUian) have made some attempts to answer but with no definitive results.  A full explanation would probably require a large-scale research project conducted along scientific lines but I see no advantage to any commercial or governmental entity is funding that project, so we'll have to do the best we can.


My guess (and I'm in the US with very limited access to European flours) is that the books would still be useful for (1) technique (2) proven recipes that won't work the first time with local flour but are generally correct in terms of ingredients and proporations, needing some adjustment for flour types and hydration. 


After all the basis of Daniel Leader's recipes, for example, are classic European bakeries and traditions.  Presumably at some point he adjusted them for US flour but it can't have been complete redevelopment or he would have noted that in his book.  And it is likely that the high-gluten portion of flour anywhere in the world came from Manitoba or Montana in North America since that is where the vast majority of first-quality hard wheat is grown. 


That's just my e0.005 though.


sPh

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I can tell you the flour equivalents for some European countries, if you tell me where you live.


As Eva said, it's a learning curve, you might have to experiment a bit. But I use my German cookbooks here in the US and, when I'm there, I cook from American recipes.


Beet syrup, by the way, is the European equivalent for molasses, since sugar is usually made of sugar beets there, not of sugar cane.


So, please don't be discouraged - it's really not rocket science to adapt recipes.


Karin


 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hi eb16!  There has been an ongoing argument between bakers for years with one side saying you can't REALLY make a true French baguette with American flour only with French flour.  OK But the ones I bake still taste wonderful.  I would think it would be the same where you are.  Perhaps the bread would be a bit different then the 'original' recipe , but still wonderful. As Karin says, it's not rocket science.  Pam

eb16's picture
eb16

so I can live with small differences and I'm happy to look up stuff or even experiment in the worst case scenario. I suppose having a good educational book and not just a collection of recipes would really help.


I live in England, Karin. I think we can get even bizarre ingredients here, if not in the supermarket then in the health shop. I'm more interested in classic bread anyway.


I think I might get Hamelman's book - the more I read about it the more it seems like a good choice. I can't wait to start making my own sourdough!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Eb16, I just looked it up in the internet, it appears that British flour types are not so different from American ones:



  • Cake & pastry flour = soft flour

  • All-purpose flour = plain flour

  • Bread flour = strong flour, hard flour, bread flour

  • Self-rising flour = self-raising flour

  • Whole-wheat flour = wholemeal flour, wholewheat flour


I just ordered the Hamelman book from amazon, so that I will know firsthand what everybody's talking about. In the end you find out with which baking books you feel most comfortable - and others, like the one from Bertinet (The Great Slapper) you like looking into, but realize that their way of bread making is not for you.


If you are more familiar with modern and (in this case) better techniques like pre-doughs or stretch and fold, you basically can adapt most recipes to them, and work with your doughs in the way that suits your lifestyle and preferences best.


And then there are always the good folks from TFL to inspire you and help you out in case of need.


Karin

copyu's picture
copyu

You made some very good points. Well done!


As a Hamelman "Bread" fan, I'd be very curious to know what you think about it, when you get the chance to read it. Please let us all know.


Thank you,


copyu

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

The binding on Hamelman's bread leaves something to be desired. 


I just picked it up and a whole section of the book fell out! Grrrrrr. I think they may have used a flour-water binding instead of glue. <I jest.>


I don't use it more than my other books, like BBA, so it's quite the disappointment that the binding didn't hold. The content, however, is worth a problematic binding. I'd buy it printed on paper bags.


FWIW, mine is the 7th printing, so you may not have a similar experience.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Karin,


Actually "All-Purpose" and Plain Flour do not really equate.   Both these flour would generally be manufactured using each country's own domestically-grown wheat.   It would be fair to expect US wheat to be harder, and of better milling quality than UK wheat; largely due to climate and growing conditions.


In the UK you would expect Plain flour to be around 9% protein; if you hit 10.5% you would have come by an exceptional quality grade, and certainly not the norm.   At commercial levels it is easy to obtain a "Baker's Grade" flour around 10.5%, and that would equate with US All Purpose flour in strength, and to the flour typically used in French bread doughs.


I have seen great looking breads made with the US All Purpose; I can't think I've seen any decent bread made with UK Plain flour.   To my mind  the categories you list as Plain Flour and Soft Flour are exactly the same on the High Street shelves.


Best wishes


Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

My own usage of the term 'Plain Flour' is derived from my experience of Australian flours, which I've always imagined came drectly from British usage. [Actually, now I think about it, people may use the term 'plain flour' in Australia, mostly to distinguish it from Self-raising flour, which is a ubiquitous item in Oz supermarkets [but unheard-of here in Japan]


In my baking experience, on several continents, 'Plain Flour' has been exactly what Americans call 'All-Purpose'. The organic, unbleached Oz "plain flour" that I have in my Japanese kitchen, at the moment, contains 10% 'protein'


In Japan, the 'regular' flour (as opposed to "bread flour") that I use ranges from 9.7%-11%. I always buy the "stronger" one, as it's much cheaper. The 'weaker' flours in Japan are often marketed as 'tempura' flours for making batter, cake, noodles, etc...they often cost more than stronger flours


If I really want 'weak' or 'cake' flour in quantity, I have to go to a specialty shop or an 'import store'...The brands they sell don't specify the protein content; they just state it's 'weak' flour, for cake and pastry, but they also say on the pack that it's 'OK for French bread'. I don't know what to make of that, quite honestly


However, to MAKE or PROVE your point for you, sir, it also says on the pack: "Country of Origin: America (=USA in Japanese) /Canada/Australia"...


Warmest regards, sir,


copyu

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi copyu, I trust you are well,


Yes, indeed, Plain is used to distinguish from Self Raising.


Typically, again, Australian wheat would be a better quality than British, and makes good bread across a range, much akin to US All Purpose flour.   Note, here again, we are talking about the anticipated quality of the protein, and thus anticpated gluten development and strength.


I'm thinking that the Japanese climate is not really conducive to growing good wheat, copyu?   Perhaps you could confirm that?   Whatever, the world market for wheat is very complex, and it is traded as a commodity and the prices are affected by any number of complex factors.   Currently British millers and bakers are facing up to huge price rises on account of floods in Canada wiping out a sizeable amount of this year's crop, and a serious heatwave blasting through Russia, resulting in an export ban.   Result is a £20/tonne price "spike" on milling wheat.   This is important for the production of the regular flours we are discussing.   Plain flour is ideally produced avoiding any premiums if possible.   So, using as much home-produced, non premium wheat is an obvious route.   Naturally, that means UK plain flour will be weaker than US All Purpose flour...that is due to the wheats produced in the different climates and conditions.


Interestingly enough, more and more bread flour is now being produced in the UK for use in domestic bread production.   Strong strains, traditionally grown in Canada have been successfully adapted to grow in the UK.   The production is very intense, significant crop spraying is involved unfortunately; however the yield is far greater than that achieved in Canada.   Sadly the economic constraint is that we live in a tiny island populated by nigh on 70 million people!   However, Companies such as Hovis and Sainsburys have created a steal by moving over to use of All-British flour in their breads.


Meanwhile I would just like to champion specialist mills such as Gilchesters in Northumberland, and The Watermill in Cumbria who turn out fabulous flours akin to those in Giovanni's wonderful post of this evening.   Please read it here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19263/visita-al-mulino-marino


These are the real flours I'd like us all to celebrate; they are genuinely special, where most British flour is as "ordinary" as might be typical of something classed as "a commodity traded on the world market"!


All good wishes


Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

information or evidence of actual wheat-growing in Japan, but they sure do import a lot of it. Indeed, they are the USA's top customer for hard red (spring and winter) wheats and for soft white. From that, Japanese millers create at least 30 different "blends" of flour. They are, apparently, very fussy about quality, as well


I think most of the millet I've used here and some of the barley is produced domestically, but to be honest, I've never seen wheat flour for sale that was milled from domestic wheat


Here in Honshu, the weather is humid for almost half the year, and very rainy throughout the rest of the year, apart from the coldest winter days. These conditions suit rice very well, but might cause wheat to 'rust' or go moldy in the field.


Conditions would probably be OK up north, in Hokkaido, but I don't think it's economical to produce wheat domestically. Additionally, Japan has to keep up its imports from the USA for 'Balance of Trade' reasons...all those Toyotas and Sony products, etc, that we want to export


Best wishes,


copyu


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Yes, indeed, copyu.   As I said the global market for wheat is indeed complex.   One cannot help but think that much of it centres around the good old US$.   I'm sure I've had similar conversation with Franko!!!


BW


Andy

rolls's picture
rolls

just to confuse you even more, 'village baker' is a nice bread book too in my opinion :)

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I second this opinion. It also has a lot of perspective on artisan bakeries and, if I recall, lots of plates/graphics that describe specialized equipment like dough dividers, etc.

womanbread's picture
womanbread

That's the one by Joe Ortiz, I think, right? I've been trying for a long time to find a copy of it, but, as it's deemed a classic and out-of-print (I think I read that somewhere), whenever I do come across a copy on ebay, it's way, way out of my budget. His wife has her own book too, doesn't she? Titled something along the lines of 'The Village Baker's Wife,' I think? I saw that only once on ebay, and tried to win it, but the bidding went mental (just like her hubby's book had done), and I just couldn't win it, in the end. Joe's book is supposed to have lots of excellent continental and eastern European bread recipes - being of both Greek and Russian background, I'd love to own this book one day for that aspect of it alone, along with it being regarded as such a good book for bread making, overall.


Thanks for the info! Like I said, if ever I won the Lottery, I'd be buying (and using and learning from) all these excellent books. In the end, I may go for either RLB's 'Bread Bible' or Reinhart's 'BBA,' or his 'Whole Grain Breads' book. I've also been curious about 'Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book,' but haven't read anything either yay or nay about it. So many to choose from - we're spoilt for choice!

eb16's picture
eb16

just saw this Australian book in  a shop and it's really nice although not a lot of space is dedicated to bread. Does anyone know it?


Regarding The village baker - you're right about it being pricey - it's £50 on Amazon.

tempe's picture
tempe

I just ordered this book last week from www.thebookdepository.co.uk, I saw it at the shop and thought it was a great all-round Australian baking book. Some of the tarts etc. just looked so good.  This Sydney bakery has a very good reputation from what I hear in regards to it's sourdough, apparently people even queue up out onto the street for their bread!! I am in Australia and paid $37 AUD for it, the price in the shop was $72.95 AUD.  I am still eagerly awaiting delivery and will be able to check out the bread section further and comment then if you like!

rolls's picture
rolls

hi I bought the village baker, years ago, and bought it used, don't remember it being too expensive as it is now. I also bought his wife's book which is wonderful, though more focused on pastries, cakes etc lovely. I'm also in australia and buy from the bookdepository. had a splurge not too long ago, which is why i won't be buying any bread books too soon ;)


by the way, here is the link for the richard bertinet sweet dough video:


http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough


let us know what u think :)


 


 

rolls's picture
rolls

so did you end up deciding which book to buy?

amolitor's picture
amolitor

You can buy The Village Baker directly from Joe's bakery:


http://gaylesbakery.com/bakery/books.html


I own it. It's very interesting. Do keep in mind that it's asa much a record of how people were doing things as it is a how-to book.


 

eb16's picture
eb16

Other things have been keeping me busy so when I have more time I'll look into it again and (probably) order Hamelman. I'll let you know what I think. Thanks for the links, amolitor.

tempe's picture
tempe

I have received my copy of Bourke Street Bakery, it's  really great, well set out and easy to follow - my kind of book. There are chapters on ingredients and equipment and methods (including step by step photos of folding and shaping the dough) then it has a chapter on making your own starter with  easy to follow feeding schedules, then there is the sourdough chapter, and the next chapter is derivative breads, which they explain are breads to try mostly using a rye starter and different additions such as fruit and nuts, spices or vegetables and so on.  Then yeasted breads, then olive oil breads.  It then moves onto pastries eg. croissant, danishes etc and then cakes and biscuits.It has metric and imperial measurements.


Overall it's a very pleasing tome and suits my needs well.


EB16 I couldn't just commit to one bread book, I just wouldn't be able to choose, I admire you're ability to even have that thought!! :) 

eb16's picture
eb16

Hi everyone!
I've just placed an order for Hamelamn's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes. It feels like an achievement, finally making a decision :)
Thanks for your help. I hope I'll like it as much as all the reviewers on Amazon.

eb16's picture
eb16

It's J. Hamelman, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes.


I am quite pleased with it. These are my first impressions:


The first part explainig the whole process and ingredients etc. is very good. I made bread from an old recipe I'd been using and applied the knowledge gained from a quick read of this book and it turned out fantastic. I don't care too much for the poetic and emotional stuff but I guess that's very subjective. Obviously bread means a lot to J. Hamelman.


There seems to be a great selection of recipes. I have only managed to try one so far but it was great.


The book has a kind of natural-organic-recycled style which may look nice but is very kitchen-unfriendly. I don't think it will look nice and clean for a long time. I'd prefer a shiny wipeable book.


Another disappointment is the measures. Yes, there is a selection of imperial and metric BUT: I only ever make one loaf so it's either
- dividing the recipe for 25-30 loaves and really struggling with the yeast amounts
- or halving the home measures which are in imperial and then converting them
 -or using % but then the yeast is a nightmare again (I assume baker's % are weight of fresh yeast?)
It might just be me but I think including metric measures for 1 loaf would have been super helpful. The point of making home bread is partly the fact that it will be fresh so why would I want 2 or 3 loaves?
Also, I am not sure what making slightly smaller loaves does to baking times/temps. (The recipes are for different sized loaves... so if I divide the metric measures I end up with smaller loaves -preferable to me- than if I divide the home imperial ones... this just gives me a headache!)


My last criticism is that there seems to be nothing at all about hand kneading. Correct me if I'm wrong but I just can't find any advice or even a single mention!!! Am I the last person in the world not to have a bread mixer?


Overall, it is a good book but it could be a much better.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

since math isn't my strong point, and it just doesn't want to work for me, but I just bought a scale (My Weigh KD8000 Baker/Percentage scale $79.00 Canadian plus shipping. It has the option of having an AC adaptor, but is battery operated as well.


This was from Canadian Weigh don't know the website addy, but should be able to find it with google and the name. If anyone wants to look.


I personally like the Bread Bakers Apprentice by Reinhart although it doesn't have everything, it does make small amounts, mostly a single or two loaves, so one doesn't have to try to cut everythign down by whatever amount you want.


You can freeze a loaf and that way bake only once or twice a week, but I have no idea what I'd do with dough for 25 or 30 loaves, not to mention how I'd bake that many!


As to the bread mixers, I actually have three, one that is really old a bucket with crank which my mother used for a long time, and I bought a bread machine (works fine, makes good bread, but it a pain to take out set up and so forth) and my Kitchen Aid mixer which has worked just fine for every loaf I've tried. I can't mix by hand as my shoulders and arms don't work well, and I don't get it done well enough.


But if you read Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day, you can learn a lot about dough, and how to combine styles, by takign the best of both books, you can find a way that allows you to mix your bread in the best way for you. I have gotten 3 bread books so far, the BBA and ABI5 and the other book from Jeff and Zoe Healthy bread in 5. I also have 52 Loaves, which is more like a diary of a bread explorer trying to find his best way. All are interesting, and all are worth having, for different reasons.


Personally, I don't work from my books in the kitchen, I either write out the recipe into a small notebook and work from that, or scan the pages I need into my computer, print them off and place into those slip covers that go in binders, and put into a binder for my kitchen. The pages wipe down, and if they do get messy, can be rescaned and replaced.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I just wondered about the same problem. I'm planning to bake my first loaf from "Bread" this weekend and stumbled over the measurements.


Why is "home" solely in imperial measurements, whereas amounts for pofessional bakers are given in both, metric and U.S? Are home bakers not serious bakers?


Good thing that I have a scale that measures grams and ounces...


Karin

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi Karin,


You could also use the baker's % from the formulas to calculate home-friendly measures!

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hi hanseata,  Either the books list smaller weights in tsp, etc  (Hammelman) or  they list them in g or oz  (Ciril Hitz). I hate fiddling with measuring spoons but my large scale won't measure  small amounts accurately. So,  I threw in the towel and purchased a small scale that measures .001 for around $20.00 US. If yeast, etc is in tsp, etc, I just measure it out once check the weight, note in my cookbook and the voila! i am all on the same page. I guess some people would find that as fiddly as measuring spoons, but my brain must like straight lines.   Pam


PS Have you been back to Hamburg lately?   Pam

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hi eb16,  I am really confused.  I always considered Imperial measurements a British system of measures. It is often the same as US measurementsI, but it does differ in other measurements.  Hamelman's measurements for home baker's are in ounces.  What don't I know??   Pam

EvaB's picture
EvaB

just the number in cups and pints and quarts and gallons differ, between Imperial or British system and the US system.


British pints have 20 ounces, not 16, so a British or Canadian or probably Austrailian and NZ gallons are larger than US by the number of ounces different in the 4 quarts that make up the gallons. About 16 per gallon actually, maybe more, not sure, math is not my strong suite at all!

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hey eb16,  Thank you.  Now I remember.  As I said, I knew there was a difference but I couldn't remember what it was.  Pam

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

In fact, on checking my conversion table, 250 ml is more less tha 10 oz (280+ ml) but more than 8 oz (235 ml) so I suppose 250 g has been used as the standard accepted measurement for 1 cup wihich is in between 8 and 10 oz. and I make small adjustment when follwing a recipe.

eb16's picture
eb16

..I didn't answer your question even though I am also Eva B! (Hi Eva B by the way :)


I know that there are some differences between US and UK measurements but I dislike them so much I can't even be bothered looking into it any further. I come from mainland Europe where everything is in metrics and Celsius. It's such a beautiful system!

EvaB's picture
EvaB

Always nice to "see" another Eva its not a common name around here, although I have actually known 2 other Eva's both my age in my life, as well as my friends mother being named Eva, but that is about it!


I hadn't worried about the differences in names, I just answered the question as to the best of my ability, and while I sort of like metric measures, they can be a pain to those of us who knew and used the Imperial system, and aren't well grounded in metric, besides which my collection of cookbooks are mostly in Imperial, so I have to convert to the metric measures etc. At least I don't usually have to convert from 8 to 10 ounce cups although I do have several recipes which specify them for us non Imperial measure impaired people.