Advanced Bread and Pastry
Having just finished reading the chapters pertaining to bread in Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas, I have to say that this book has already become my favorite from among all the bread books in my collection.
While those who bake by 'feel' might not appreciate the detail into which the book delves, I believe those who take a 'scientific' approach to bread baking will find the book invaluable. The discussion of short, improved and intensive mixing protocols and their relationship to bulk fermentation times and yeast quantities is, in itself, worth the price of the book.
The book is not so much a collection of recipes (although it does contain a large number of them) as it is a complete education in bread and pastry baking, thus providing a jumping-off point for the baker to create his/her own recipes. It almost seems as if the book was written to serve as the text for the Bread and Pastry Professional Training Program taught at the SFBI, of which Suas is the founder. Although the book seems to be written with the professional baker in mind, I think that home bakers, like myself, will find a wealth of information which will serve them well in the family kitchen.