The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It's my birthday soon...

Boleigh's picture
Boleigh

It's my birthday soon...

Hello (again from England, but slightly north of lovely Suffolk)

It's my birthday soon - in a month or so and I think I would like a baking book - especially about sourdoughs and long fermentations. I'm an experienced beginner - I can make a loaf and I love the NY Times recipe for no knead - but would like to get into sourdough etc. 

Any ideas?

Thank you 

 

Boron Elgar's picture
Boron Elgar

I recommend Tartine Bread.

There are many good sourdough books out there, but I found this one very interesting to read, the recipes quite logical and the overall technique quite down-to-earth.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I recommend that you buy a textbook, not a cookbook.  A textbook will teach you, from the basics on up about all different kinds of breadbaking, sourdoughs included, but with a whole lot of other things as well.  There are beginner's texts which are quite good.  Try DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  It is an excellent place to start.  I have lots of bread cookbooks, but, having found DiMuzio, I am now much more certain about what I'm doing with doughs.  Hamelman's Bread is a great and much more comprehensive book, but not really for an experienced beginner.

Boleigh's picture
Boleigh

Thank you both very much for your input I will have a look at both of these and maybe end up with both! I like the idea of a text book very much. 

 

Heidela123's picture
Heidela123

Being the person who converted my entire ( very large) hall closet into cook/ baking bookshelves,have literally several hundreds, while I only use a handful. Bordering on pathology here. I offer that you go to the library with a list ( if you have time) of several books folks mention they love
( lots of great reviews on this site ) and check out several, try a few recipes or just read the process. Not everyone fits these beautiful books so if you want one that will serve you well for a very long time, like clothing ..try a few on until you find a great fit.

Some folks do well with books I find tedious to follow..others adore flowery writing vs textbooks... if you can find a good textbook for sourdough please post the name ...I have several baking textbooks that while they are great for a standard loaf you can recreate over and over ...in general the ones I have come across truly are disappointing when it comes to sourdough. Also textbooks are very expensive new so you should " borrow" or make sure if you keep it " new" you can return it

Good luck and Happy Birthday!

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

This recent thread contained many opinions on current bread books, in case you hadn't seen it.  I believe the aim there was for a book that might be too basic for an "experienced beginner".  But many of those mentioned go well into intermediate and somewhat advanced topics.

While I'm here:  If you are interested in prefermentation and naturally levained breads, I would not recommend Tartine Bread.  It is without question a lovely book that provides instruction on making even lovelier loaves, but it is a one-trick pony with respect to levains.  For a broader and deeper intro to the dark sourdough arts, Hamelman or Reinhart, among others, are better guides.

Tom

 

Boleigh's picture
Boleigh

Thank you both for your input. I'm someone who likes to devour a book, take principles from it and then never look at it again! I'm getting the feeling that there is a gap in bread book market with regard to sourdoughs - perhaps being filled by this illustrious forum?

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Tartine, Reinhart and Hamelman, and Leader's Local Breads for that matter (can't say about others -- haven't looked at them) have plenty of baking and practical fermentation principles to read and digest (mind you, not academic, microbiological level, but practical).  Value of Reinhart and Hamelman, from my experience, is that the recipes work.  They're robust and tested.  I started out perhaps like you, feeling that I could absorb enough general principles from TFL and the first 50-100 pp of books like these, then wander off and concoct workable formulae myself.  That went fine except for the key adjective workable.  I advocate letting masters lead one firmly by the hand at the start.  Then let go and explore.  YMMV -- we're all on separate journeys leading to our sourdough Canterburys.

Happy Birthday (and baking!) by the way,

Tom

 

Boleigh's picture
Boleigh

Tom thank you! I like the idea of a bread pilgrimage!