Looking for a new bread text book
Yet another "which book?" thread, although I am not so much after being recommended one specific best book, as I am trying to get the feel for what the various books are about.
First off, I have been baking bread for a year or two, sometimes a couple of times a week, sometimes less. After being inspired by a relatively superficial bread book by my current standards, I bought Hahmelman's "Bread". It was just what I wanted, and I have been using it thouroughly for the past six months. Many do not recommend it as a beginner's book, but for me, it was spot on. I am scientific in my mindset, and enjoy technical bread discussions as well as practical.
To be honest, the main thing I need is not a new book, but more practice :). That's being said, I am still looking for one or several new books on bread. I am looking for a text book, not a pure recipe book. The following are the things I am looking for:
- New perspectives. I thoroughly enjoy Hamelman, but every baker has their own techniques and approach, and I would like to broaden my perspectives with a book from another author. I do not want an introductory book. Reinhart's BBA seems to be recommended often as a very good book for beginners, and I wonder whether it will be somewhat redundant when it comes to the baking basics, seeing as I already own "Bread". The same goes for RLB's bread bible. I'm not implying that there's nothing there for me to learn, but maybe another book would be better in this respect. DiMuzio's book appears to be of the same format as "Bread", and could be a nice book in the same category. Reinhart's cold retardation in ABED seems interesting to me, and may be a fine addition to my repertoir, especially considering my time constraints, which lead me to...
- Time-saving techniques. More often than not, it can be hard to dedicate many consecutive hours to baking. Preferments and retardation, which allow me to spread the work load, and be flexible (for example dumping the dough in the refridgerator if something unexpected comes up) help with this. "artisan bread in five minutes a day" has given me mixed feelings, as I often read that it is a little dumbed down.
- Anecdotes, history, exotic breads. I have a hard time using pure recipe books, because I seldom get inspired just by looking at a list of ingredients. I enjoy reading a little anectode for each bread, or at least a note from the author of what to expect from it. "Bread" has numerous varied and good recipes, but a book devoted to somewhat unusual breads could be inspiring. Dan Leader's "local bread" seems interesting due to the variety of recipes and the stories, but ITJB or "secrets of the jewish baker" are probably candidates as well.
Given my level of competence and wishes, my candidates so far are DiMuzio's "bread baking" and/or Reinhart's "artisan bread every day" for the new perspectives and techniques. I think both make a point of trying to save labor time. Is this correct? For the inspiration, good read, and different breads, Leader's "local bread" looks good, except for the editing, I hear. What are your thoughts on my thoughts?
PS. I loathe volume and imperial units, and would not buy a book if it did not include metric or at least baker's percentages.