The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Italy

rcerati's picture
rcerati

Hello from Italy

 

Hi everyone, I am a retired architect living in a small city in northwestern Italy and am a new member of the Fresh Loaf even if I have known and have been consulting it for several years.

I like to cook, especially Italian and French cuisine, and for a long time I have been experimenting the best bread and pizza techniques proposed by world famous bakers (Like Ken Forkish, Peter Reinhart, etc.) so, around last year, I decided to venture in writing my own cookbook.

The recipes presented in this book (titled The Elusive Open Crumb), and the steps needed to prepare them, are a refinement and a compendium of the many books I have studied and adapted for use by a serious home-baker apprentice.

There are both digital and paperback versions available on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N81RSRZ/?tag=pmak-20 and all other Amazon Marketplaces.

More info and pictures of the bread and pizza recipes can be seen at https://open-crumb.com/home-3/creations/ and a description of the book here https://open-crumb.com/home-3/book/ .

You can follow me and my sons at https://www.instagram.com/open.crumb/

I have also prepared a twin copy of the book in Italian, called ‘L’alveolo sfuggente’ and it is available on Amazon too.

I would love to hear your feedback and would be very interested in exchanging ideas and recipes with other forum members.

And, of course, happy baking…

R*

 

harum's picture
harum

Having read it as an ebook, I believe spiral binding and wear resistant paper is in order for this book.  Each recipe is accompanied by tables containing ingredients, amounts and schedules, which is really convenient essentially making this book more of manual that has to be able to withstand some abuse.

What's also appealing that at the very beginning the author draws attention to techniques that improve the taste of bread.  As many here appreciate that baking a simple bread is one thing, baking one comparable in taste, aroma, nutrition etc. to commercial bread is a different story.

Was wondering about the taste and the crumb of the 70% rye recipe made without any sourdough.  Is this a local traditional recipe?

rcerati's picture
rcerati

Thanks Harum for your nice words about my book - it is true that initially I was planning to write just a simple ebook but after I started laying out the tables structures I realized that a paperback version would be almost necessary to use the book as a reference text and a recipe compendium - unfortunately the print-on-demand costs drove up considerably the paperback version price which I had hoped to set on a reasonably lower point.

The paperback version has also the advantage that I was able to include a much better range of nice pictures of my culinary efforts and of my son's who was beta-tester of the recipes and layout collaborator - because of file size restrictions I had to reduce the photos in the ebook to a practical minimum.

The rye bread made with a fermented dough (and not sourdough) is an adaptation of a recipe proposed by Richard Bertinet in one of his books (all highly interesting) - I know that rye breads usually need a sourdough starter (and I have made rye sourdough breads many times) but the sourdough experience is something that I  have decided not to include in book for several reasons (there is a small explanation in the book)  and it might be the subject of a possible future book .

Thanks again and if you have any other questions I will be extremely glad to anwser them.

Happy baking.

harum's picture
harum

Yes, sourdough breads would need a book of their own, considering the techniques and flours.  Also, putting two or three different schools of bread baking into one book might be a waste as people naturally might be concentrating on only one type of bread?  Congratulations on your new book!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

R*, does your book address in detail Lievito Madre (Pasta Madre)? I have been looking for a good book written in English on this subject. Wished I could read Italian...

Danny

rcerati's picture
rcerati

Hy DanAyo, thanks for your interest in my book.

I am sorry to say though that, even if I had planned originally to have a section about sourdough (or Lievito Madre or Pasta Madre as you correctly say) during the course of its writing I decided to concentrate only on yeasted breads, pizzas and focaccias and leave the sourdough approash for a (possible) future book.

I felt that it was better to describe my experiences and illustrate a nice range of recipes and techniques for yeasted breads which would be more approachable to beginners (and also intermediate amateur bakers) and leave the sourdough process to a second level approach.

I have been making and using for several years sourdough starters but I usually find it a bit inconvenient to maintain it  - it's not really difficult but quite often I have found that it's not so easy to plan a precise baking session if you have to revive your starter and get it ready for your planned baking day (and in my book I decided to give estimated  schedules and baking times for all its recipes...)

I am thinking about making more experiments with sourdoughs and see if I can somehow improve or change a bit this process and apply it to a range of recipes which I may include in another book (if I'll get around to write it ).

If you want, I can discuss and give you the name of several books I have (and have read) which deal with Pasta Madre extensively.

Thanks for now and glad to be hearing from you.

R*

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I would very much like to know about books that are written in English by bakers experienced with Lievito Madre that give considerable details about this powerful low acidic culture.

rcerati's picture
rcerati

Hi DanAyo,

These are some of the books I have (and read) and that you might be interested in:

The Sourdough School (Vanessa Kimbell)

Tartine Bread (Chad Robertson)

Tartine Bread N. 3 (Chad Robertson)

Whole Grain Breads (Peter Reinhart)

The Handmade Loaf (Dan Lepard)

Artisan Baking (Maggie Glezer)

Local Breads (Daniel Leader)

Crust (Richard Bertinet)

Heritage Baking (Ellen King)

Bourke Street Bakery (Paul Allam and David Mcguinness)

These I think are very good and informative blooks - the Sourdough School and the Tartine Books are perhaps the most specific and Peter Reinhart's book is especially for sourdough whole-meal breads, but all have good explanations about starters setup and very good recipes - you can find them easily on Amazon I think.

Hope this information is useful and if you have any other questions just post it.

Ciao, R*