The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Which version of Reinhart's bread books to use?

gunderfriend's picture

Which version of Reinhart's bread books to use?

Not being a scientist nor a sophisticated bread baker...

And getting older with less attention to detail and less desire to learn unnecessary new things ...

And having invested a lot of time in learning Peter Reinhart’s recipes in his Whole Grain Breads book and having a lot of satisfaction with them, I am wondering ...

Is there a significant advantage to using the whole wheat hearth bread recipe from his more recent artisan breads book? I am not sure from trying it one time that it is much faster or easier than the recipe from the whole grains book. So if there is little or no advantage, I would keep on baking with the older recipe.

Yerffej's picture

If the older recipe is delivering bread that you like.  Stay with it.


barryvabeach's picture

My recollection is that he said in the artisan bread book he simplified some of the recipes because it did not impact the taste much.  My guess is that if you are already used to his recipe from the Whole Grain book, you should keep on using it.  By simplified, I think he meant a little easier to understand and follow, and since you already understand it, you should be fine.

Janetcook's picture

I have both books.  My first one of his was WGB and I have baked most of the breads in it - excluding the flat breads and some of the ryes.  I loved his epoxy method because of the results I got in my 100% whole grain loaves.  Once learned his method was easy to do and fit into my daily schedule nicely.

When he published AB book I purchased that too but have not baked many of the loaves simply because our favorites are in WGB and most of the loaves in AB use BF or AP flour.

The main difference is in the method.  The loaves still get lots of wet time but most are mixed in one fell swoop that is followed by S&F prior to being refrigerated overnight for a longer bulk time.  In the morning the doughs get a warm up time followed by a proofing time and then baked.  You are essentially only mixing one dough rather than 2 pre-ferments and then a final dough so there is less work involved yet the resulting loaves are not compromised as a result.

Best way for you to decide which method you prefer is to give it a try in your kitchen.  I got a copy from the local library before I bought it so if you can do that it won't cost you anything to try a few of the formulas out.

As with most things that I do I have found a method that works for me in my kitchen so if what you are doing works for you I wouldn't worry about it.  I just ventured out because I wanted to learn more - expand my bread horizons so to speak and I did learn something new.  I did benefit in that I have several ways to bake loaves which gives me the ability to flex when necessary.

Must add that the method I use now is one that I learned here though and involves using only a leaven and a final dough mixed up in the evening so it most approximates the method he introduced in his AB book.