The Fresh Loaf

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Bread Book - Chad Robertson with Jennifer Latham

FlyingSloth's picture
FlyingSloth

Bread Book - Chad Robertson with Jennifer Latham

This book seems great on the whole. I've not read any of Robertson's previous bread books (raised by Ken Forkish). So, just wanted to create a space for folks to share thoughts and questions on this new book. And I'm also curious to hear how it compares to Robertson's previous books. I definitely have a few technical questions that I'll be following up with. Cheers!

FlyingSloth's picture
FlyingSloth

So, in this book, for all that is said about the leavening process, I feel like there is one straightforward line of instruction that is missing. It is probably relatively intuitable from what is there, but not straightforwardly stated as far as I can tell. In the leavening primer, full instructions are given for creating a starter and for starting a leaven from that starter that will go directly into your dough mix. However in these instructions, they give the process for what I assume is the 'country bread leaven'(as described on 57 in the chart but not specifically noted in the process description on 53), the characteristic feature of which is a booster leaven, so a double-leaven mixing process on the morning of the bread mixing day. However, most of the other recipes (non country bread) require a peak leaven (without a booster), which is never fully defined in the book in terms of the process for arriving at it. My assumption is that for a peak leaven (without booster) you would follow the instructions on pg. 53 but skip the first leavening (which he calls the booster, and thus no booster would be no first dose, right?) - so go straight to a leavening mix that includes: 300g water, 300g flour and 120g of starter at let that mature until it peaks). My questions are 1: is that a correct interpretation? 2: is it rather the case that the first mix, referred to as the booster, should be used to get to peak leaven without the second mix (so, to get to peak leaven you mix 150g flour, 150g water, and 120g starter). 3. or if your starter is in peak state in the morning, passes float test, etc. is that considered a peak leaven that you could use in your dough (for non country bread recipes)? Thanks for any thoughts or insights!

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

I haven't seen the new Robertson book, but it sounds like history repeats itself.  The original Tartine bread book was beautiful, and I learned a tremendous amount from it, but it was not exactly a model of logical clarity when it came to the recipes/structure/organization.  Compared to Forkish, or many others, I mean.  I recall baking from it and having to transcribe amounts into a chart in a notebook and write out steps so my linear brain could keep track of it alll.

suave's picture
suave

I used to buy bread books indiscriminately, but I have too many now, and too many are being released.  These days I am holding out on new purchases, waiting for some classic gems to pop on the market.  I will also occasionally buy a book of the author I'd like to support.