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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, 23 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
As an Artisan Bread Baking Instructor, I found Joe Ortiz' book, The Village Baker to be the best book on the market for helping the novice bread baker to understand in plain language the magic of true bread. I have had 35 students use this book so far, and they have all exclaimed it to be the best. The depth of knowledge shows through, without being pretensious, and the breads themselves were crisp, sensual, and tasty, without exception. If you were allowed only one book on the art of true bread this is the one to have.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok, not great for a Brit, 30 Dec. 2010
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Mr. J. Horsfall (sheffield, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Village Baker: Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America (Hardcover)
This book is great for someone like me who has mastered a regular white loaf but wants to go further. His explanation of how to start and keep a soughdough ferment has proved much more successful than attempts using others instructions.

The is a good explanation of different breads from France, Italy, Germany and America (and a few others). However, as a Brit I like to use either kg or lb, instead all the recipes are in cups, so I rarely use the quantities stated in the book (as working out the quantities of the dozens of recipes is too arduous for me). Also I'm not too keen on the suggested pre-kneading whipping up of the ingredients. I prefer the french slapping kneading technique that Richard Bertinet suggests (try Dough or Crust: Bread to Get Your Teeth into).

I still use the book though, the explanation of of methods and decriptions are good. So this is probably better suited to the American audience (hence the difficulty getting it in the UK). There are so many other good bread books out there (with the current revival in real bread) that you may be better looking elsewhere (as well as those above try The Handmade Loaf). Although if you are still set on getting it, it is a good book (hence 4*s - UK friendly quantities would probably have got it 5*).
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you can have only one bread book, this should be it, 20 Jan. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
I've been baking bread for 20 years and am very particular about the bread books I buy. Ortiz's book is without equal. Some of the recipes may seem long and complicated, but trust me, they *can* be adapted to the schedule of a working person, and really, those tiny quantities of yeast really do work.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will get you started and keep you challenged., 6 Feb. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
When I outgrew my bread machine, five years ago, a (chef) friend of mine loaned me his copy of Ortiz's book. Within a couple of weeks I was on my way, using a sourdough starter that I made from scratch, by following Joe's step-by -step directions, to bake good, basic sourdough loaves.
In "The Village Baker", the author shares his travels, experiences and conversations with some truly skilled and honest regional bakers in Italy, France and Germany. Throughout the book, related recipes follow the account of the respective village baker's professional lifestyle and dedication to his craft. The book contains in-depth descriptions of all aspects of bread making, including a short section on decorative bread techniques. Recipes are provided for both serious amateurs and professionals alike.
Eventually, I had to go out and get my own copy of the book, and have since read through it many times. The Village Baker is a wonderful blend of technical reference, human interest, and travel writing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for pros & gifted amateurs alike, 6 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
I am a professional Chef and bought this book just after it was published and have used it in all the restaurants I have chefed in. It not only has tried & trued recepies but the science that goes along with the craft.
The recepies are concise yet detailed enough to ensure that you take the proper steps to create wonderful products. The part I like best is the professional recepies with weights instead of measures. I have and would recommend this book to any bread lover out there.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking to get more from your bread baking?, 1 Aug. 2005
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
I can't praise this book enough. The breadth of the recipes, and the variations in technique are fantastic (there are different variations of the same breads - with sourdough, poolish and old dough for example). I have learnt so much from this book, and use it all the time still (I would describe my self as an intermediate baker). My family (and friends) love the Pane Francese and the Foccacia among others. Along with Linda Collister's The Bread Book, all you'll ever need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on bread baking that I have yet seen, 1 July 2008
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This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
Joe Ortiz's book is superb. He clearly loves his art, and communicates the joy of baking to the reader. The book is also very informative. The early chapters explain, very carefully, point by point, the techniques of baking that have been developed over many centuries by european bakers. Then follow the recipes, from artisan bakers in France, Italy, and Germany. (The sources of the recipes are named). ''You should never hurry a natural process'' the author says, ''either of baking bread, or writing a book''. That sums up his philosophy in a nutshell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Village Baker, 30 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Village Baker: Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America (Hardcover)
For the first time home bakers have an opportunity to emulate the best of French bread making.
The presentation and explanations are first class.
First class service from Amazon and their Associates as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Village Baker, 26 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
A must have book for any baker, full of great artisan bread recipes and very easy to read.. full of loads of intersting things.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The need to knead, 7 Feb. 2005
This review is from: The Village Baker (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book that leads you to experiment and explore the world of home bread making. Throw away that dumb machine and get some dough under your fingernails.
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