What is the difference in the info between these 2 books - do people have a preference for one or do they both compliment each other ?
I don't own either, but have checked out each from the library. I was not a fan of FWSY, though many here are . My main complaint was that the procedure he lists for starting a starter was incredibly wasteful in the amounts called for. Others say that if you follow his expected times in following his recipes, the loaf will be overproofed, though that may be because his home temps are much cooler than those here in the US. Tartine presents a number of recipes in a particular format, and Robertson suggests baking in a combo cooker .
Let's include Bread Baking by DiMuzio for comparison also.
I own both books and have a vast library of bread baking books. I believe both books have their strengths and weaknesses and complement each other well.
Tartine Bread is directed towards sourdough specifically and wouldn't really be considered a beginners book for bread baking. I personally started off with Tartine Bread on my sourdough journey but had previous bread baking experience. FWSY on the other hand starts off with basic loaves, and teaches in a step by step fashion, firstly starting off with yeasted loaves, then going into hybrid loaves whereby yeast and sourdough are used together, then doing advanced levain loaves.
In terms of sourdough starter prep, both books are on the opposite side of the spectrum. I find one of Tartine's weaknesses is the lack of instruction when building a sourdough starter. On the other hand, Forkish wastes ALOT of sourdough starter when building his sourdough. In his levain recipes, he usually asks you to build 500gr of levain, and you only use 200gr of it for example. Forkish argues in his videos that complement his book that the remaining starter is 'spent fuel'. Tartine's recipes in this respect are more sustainable.
Whilst FWSY gives you a step by step process, Robertson kinda teaches you to build intuition when making sourdough bread. To know when the dough is ready, when your starter is ready, how it should smell and so forth. I really like the recipes in both books, and believe they really complement each other and you should own both if you can.
FWSY has absolutely the best introductory section, with clear explanation of the basics of the baking, virtually free of errors oand myths. Tartine is great if you like to read about personal journey and other stuff of that sort. As for the actual recipes I use neither.
ptix, I have both books too. I agree with the above comments.
Another way of comparing, would be to compare the books with what you are looking for.
What are you looking for?
(You might also find the two books in your local library if you are in the US.)
I am trying to create a rounded bread book collection for reference - I have Bread, Bread Alone, Local Bread, Bread Bible, Baking Bread (Dimuzio) and was wondering if these 2 would be helpful. Also what do people think about the Dimuzio relative to these two books.
Assuming your books are: (because titles can be used by more than 1 author)
Bread, by Hamelman. (if its 1st edition, be sure to download the Errata file.)
Bread Alone, Local Bread(s), by Daniel Leader.
Bread Bible, by Beranbaum......
Then I'd say you don't really-really "need" either FSWY or Tartine.
But.... if you are a cookbook collector, and can afford both FWSY and Tartine, ... hey, it's your money.
Another idea: Wait until the Kindle editions of FWSY and Tartine are on sale for $2.99 to $3.99.
Buy them cheap and see if its worth getting the hardcover.
They go on sale 2 to 3 times a year. The sales usually start on a Monday and run through Sunday. Here are the URLs for their Kindle books, sorted by price. so if you can remember, or set a recurring calendar event to check every Mon.
and for good measure:
I got Tartine, Tartine Book 3, FWSY, and Elements of Pizza, in Kindle, all $3.99 or less.
Actually, here are my favorite authors, where most (not all) of them, have sales/discounts on their Kindle Editions 2 to 4 times per year:
Hope this helps.
Right now, Vanessa Kimbell's book is on sale for $.99.
I figure for $.99 to $2.99, for a big-name author, you can't go wrong.
(I have not seen Dimuzio's book.)
If that's what you are trying to do, you'd better off getting Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry". Between that and Hamelman there's very little of what I would qualify as reference information that is not covered.
I have both books and a stack of others..
I'd have you look it at this way..
FWSY will be practical, functional, educational and you'll learn well how to make a wide variety of breads in a logical progression from those using dry yeast, starter and a blend of both.. but with some hiccups along the way as he could have written it more thoughtfully for the home baker in terms of quantities when teaching how to build your starter, how long to retard in home temps that are not a constant 71/72 degrees, etc.. It's a good book and I've really enjoyed baking it..
On the other hand, Chad's Tartine will feed your soul and inspire you with an authentic love of bread.. it'll inspire your creativity and have you day dream about what bread's meant to be.. it tells beautiful stories..
So decide if you want a book to feed your brain or your heart.. :) Good luck.. frank!