The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Favorite additions to Hamelman's Bread edition 2?

Breadhead's picture

Favorite additions to Hamelman's Bread edition 2?

Skimmed through a couple of older threads and didn't find too much so I thought I'd make a new thread to ask about the most worthwhile additions content wise and  recipe wise to the new edition of Bread. Is the book similar to the older version? Are there new techniques or is there updated science? How many new recipes are there? How are they? I'm curious! 

LindyD's picture

While I haven't done a page-by-page comparison between Bread I and Bread II, I have noted that Mr. Hamelman has introduced some new techniques (such as bassinage - p 91) and elaborated on techniques presented in the first edition.   He also provides good info for home bakers, something that wasn't really covered in the first edition.  An example is in the expanded information on sourdough; there's a section titled "Sourdough Maintenance and Storage for the Occasional Baker" directed to the home baker who can only bake once a week.  Also great tips in a "Baking at Home" section.

I think there are 22 new formulas (haven't counted them).  I did bake his German Farmer's Bread, which was enjoyed by my family.  I wasn't that crazy about it because it's a yeasted bread (12% whole rye) and my personal preference is sourdough.  It's a pretty easy bread with a three hour bulk, one hour final fermentation, and about a 40-45 minute bake.  I love his Vermont sourdough and pain au levain and bake those well as his bagels.

There's lots of new formulas I'd like to try.  Baguettes de Tradition, "slow rise" baguettes, brioche coffee cake with cheese filling, fruit and streusel (he expanded the brichoe section), 65 percent sourdough rye with firm white levain, just to name a few.  Finding the time (and freezer space) is another story.  I do plan to mix his formula for simits tomorrow, which he describes as a "delightful Turkish treat" shaped like bagels but distinctly different.  Doesn't require high-gluten flour or boiling, and contains 22% butter.  I'm a bagel aficionado, so they should be interesting.

As to updated science, it's there, including Debbie Wink's contribution about sourdough environment. 

I highly recommend the book for all bakers - including newbies.   I do think, however, it is a book to be read first (skip the formulas at first and read the text).  Sort of like reading your vehicle's owner's manual before hopping in and driving off - helps to understand how things work, especially subtle things,  like water temperature (p 6).

If you're considering buying the second edition, don't hesitate.  

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

How many new recipes are there? How are they?

They are fantastic, although I could be just a little biased ;-)

Looking through my files, I count 40 new additions, a few of which are variations for the brioche dough or other formulas, but many are all new breads. The Beer Bread on page 259 is new (utilizes both liquid levain and rye sourdough), but replaces a formula by the same name in the first edition. Hydration has been tweaked on some of the old favorites as well.

While working on this edition, it was impossible to have these new formulas and not want to bake them all. Unfortunately I only had time to try out a few. My husband's favorite was the Hazelnut and Fig Levain---heavenly with a swipe of sweet butter. I think my favorite was a tie between the raisin-yeast leavened Swiss Farmhouse Bread, and the liquid levain-based Carrot and Walnut Bread. But there are so many others yet to try---4 new baguettes (including one sourdough, and one hand mixed), a trio of 65% rye breads for teaching how the type of preferment affects the quality, a flaxseed rye with old bread, honey spelt, a spectacular laminated and hazelnut-filled Brioche Feuillitee, Lebkuchen, savory brioche empanadas, Tarte Flambee, ... just to name a few. Also included are formulas for crackers/flatbread, and pancakes/waffles for using up leftover levain.

I think Lindy gave you a pretty good assessment of other changes to this edition, so in short, yes, updated and/or expanded in both content and recipes. And I would add that the look and feel of the book have been upgraded as well, with a binding that is more flexible, that I suspect it will prove more durable.


Hazelnut and Fig Levain   

   Swiss Farmhouse 

 Carrot and Walnut Bread  

jkandell's picture

"[W]ith a binding that is more flexible, that I suspect it will prove more durable".

My second edition has the worst binding of any hardcover I own!  Multiple pages falling out within months of use. I can see some of the sections were not lined up along the cloth. It could just be I got a fluke, but darn. Wish I'd returned it before I made so many notes in it.