58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Proper bread - a revelation, 13 Mar. 2010
I went searching for traditional recipes/methods for bread baking after being mildly disappointed with back-of-the-packet recipes on bags of flour.
I saw lots of positive reviews for Bertinet's books in general and plumped for Crust and its DVD. The methodology and technique was really unexpected! The recipes are clear and the methods easy to follow, though once you get going you might lose confidence in what you're doing. Just stick to the recipe to the letter and don't take short cuts. The dough is very wet and on the DVD the man himself shows you a special technique that takes some practise.
Good bread TAKES TIME!! Most of the recipes require you to make a starter or ferment that is left overnight, so you have a plan in advance, but it's worth the effort. I have used regular dried yeast with the recipes successfully; 10g of fresh yeast equates to just over half a teaspoon on dried yeast granules. After having dough stick to cotton towels and baking loaves with a layer of fuzz on them(!) I did invest in some high quality 100% linen towels (from the internet, you don't need to buy his!). Magically, dough does not stick to floured linen, and the fine semolina as a sliding agent works really well - no need to buy or make wooden 'peels', just an upturned baking tray will do.
The recipe for Ciabatta works very well - I will never buy Ciabatta from a store ever again! Nothing beats tearing into warm, fresh, airy bread and dipping into olive oil. This is not a book for beginners. For someone who has tried hand baking before with success and want to try more advanced techniques then this is ideal. Not to say that a beginner couldn't follow the recipes, they just might be put off by methods that take a few days to complete!