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4.7 out of 5 stars
Dough
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2008
I bought this book after a recent trip to France. I've baked my own bread for years, but a different style bread to that found in French bakeries. So I was looking for something that would show me how to make it in the French style.
The author is a a French man who did his training in France but has lived in England for many years, and now runs a cooking school in Bath. He writes very clearly, providing detailed step-by-step instructions that leave no doubt as to what is intended. However if you are confused, the book is accompanied by a DVD to make it even clearer.
The major difference in his breadmaking is the kneading technique, although the doughs are also slightly "wetter" (higher liquid content) than traditional English doughs. The first time of using his kneading technique was a bit tricky, but it quickly became natural. And it works - I can now make French-style bread at home.
I'd highly recommend this book both for beginners (as it has very clear, detailed instructions) and experienced bakers wanting to learn a new technique.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2005
Excellent book for anybody interested or passionate about breadmaking. Indepth introduction to procedures. Lots of photographs. Easy to follow instructions. The recipes are divided into five sections: white, brown, olive, rye and sweet. And whilst it is ideal introduction to anyone new to the art of breadmaking there are also enough "different" recipes to keep enthusiasts busy. Highly recommended.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 September 2007
I've been making the odd loaf of bread for a while, but never really got quite the consistency that I wanted. Then I attended one of Richard Bertinet's courses in Bath and bought this book. It shows a completely new (to me at least) way of working the dough which, although a bit sticky and messy to start with, soon comes together to produce fabulous bread.

The DVD that comes with the book is well worth a watch as it makes Richard's technique easier to understand than the text and pictures alone. Once you've mastered the initial technique, the book then shows a multitude of different ways to use it to produce a variety of breads.

This is a great book, I can't recommend it enough.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2012
I've been making all of the bread for our family for about 5 years now, and I've bought loads of books in the search for the perfect loaf. Of all of them, there are only two I really rate:

- This book, "Dough". This is my "how" book. It's brilliant for learning the basic techniques, and getting you away from that bread machine and into the world of real bread. My only criticism is that the recipes are a bit limited and unadventurous, but that fits with it being a beginner's book.

Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman. This is my "why" book. For those with an enquiring mind, it explains why you do certain things, and introduces advanced techniques. It also has a huge range of recipes.

I think you need both; "Dough" to learn the basics, then the Hamelman book for everyday use. Both are brilliant.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2009
I'm Portuguese and have been living in the UK for over 10 years. Never been really happy with the tin bread you buy, just seems wrong for any bread to last well over a week even though its left just in the plastic bag?! :) I then started buying the supermarkets in store baked bread which is better. Still missed my own country bread, which has a richer flavour and next day its great as toast, so sometimes bought bread from an artisan's shop which is on the expensive side at £2-£3 a loaf. Sometime ago i bought a breadmachine but the holes at bottom simply were no good. Enter Dough! I then came across this book and been using it for nearly a year. As long as i follow the recipes, weight everything for correct measures, dough coming off the fridge need to come to room temperature and way we go: always with good results. Soon enough you'll get the feel for the perfect dough consistency too. I've also looked for a bread stone, but on the net you'll find them costing as much as £30!! and off-cuts might be a bit hard to get hold off. Nonetheless, I found a granite stone sold in asda as a chopping board (other supermarkets have similar at are same price but thinner), for me this one is a perfect oven bread stone, rectangle shape, thick and perfect fit for my oven - for £10! If you are or want to be passionante about good bread, this book is fantastic especially alongside with a breadstone. In fact just eaten some fantastic bread :) Good baking!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2013
I read so many great reviews of this book before i purchased it, which can lead you to be disappointed when you finally get your hands on it.

I'm just starting my bread-making journey. I was really hoping for more explanation of the techniques and what effect changing the ingredients has on the bread. For example, what effect does using some milk instead of water have on the final bread, or what happens if i add some butter? Or what happens if you make the dough rise twice? or three times?

If you are the type of person who tends to just follow recipes, then this book is great. But, if you have an enquiring mind like myself, and want to really understand the recipes and techniques, I think this book falls a little short.

The recipes are good though. I am finally getting the hang of the kneading technique, and the DVD helps explain this a lot.

I have however found out as much, if not more information from free online forums (thefreshloaf) and the occasional You Tube video.

Enjoy your bread making!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2010
This book isn't just a collection of recipes, it's more of a guide. The central treatise is that most British breadmaking relies on adding as much flour as required so that you're left with dough which isn't sticky and which can be kneaded without making too much of a mess, but that this makes pretty poor bread.

The solution is to work with more water and to understand how to handle sticky dough and how to turn it into really good bread. So the main point of this book is to teach skills rather than recipes and although the skills are quite simple, it's a really hard task to communicate them, especially in the medium of print. Fortunately this book is very well thought out and is written by a man who understands bread, but more importantly, understands how to teach. It also comes with a DVD with a short video which is also helpful.

Although I've only made bread twice since getting this book the results have been immeasurably better than my prior attempts. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2012
I have been an enthusiastic breadmaker for some time now, normally using a bread machine to do all the hard work, and then finishing the bread off by hand.
I was given this book as a birthday present, and for my first attempt I decided to follow his recipe for baguettes to the letter.
Given my previous experience of bread making I was surprised at the amount of both salt and yeast he recommends (nearly double what I normally use). The techniques required are slightly tricky to the novice, as it's an entirely new way of making bread. But don't be put off - and follow it exactly.
All I can say is that at long last I have produced a baguette that tastes exactly like the ones you buy from a boulangerie in France. It really is that good. I have also made the olive bread, and that turned out beautifully as well.

You will need an oven baking stone. They are fearfully expensive, but I found that Argos sell a granite worktop protector for £15. It's a perfect size - just remove the rubber feet on the underside.

I think my bread machine maybe being retired. There's nothing better than handling the dough yourself, and Richard's method does away with all exertion pummelling the dough for 15 minutes that we have all seen on umpteen cookery programmes. With his method it takes about 5 minutes.

In think this book is a revolutionary approach to breadmaking, and really does make it possible for the novice to produce quick, healthy and tasty artisan bread. I can't praise it enough.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2005
Being in the baking industry for a long time now and coming from many generations of bakers, I was suprised to find out and remember what great therapy it was to explore some of the different methods the author used to produce tasty european breads.
Mixing and working the dough and rejuvinating a 'starter' every day, in the ways described in the book gave a real sense of achievement in the end result.
Something that is obviuosly abundant with the author noticeable in the pride he takes in his craft.
I would say that whether novice or professional give this book a go.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2011
I have periodically made attempts to make bread over many years with only occasional success from 8 to 10 tries over a couple of weeks. I then give up until the next time I have the inclination to try again many months later.

Richard Bertinet's technique for kneading using wet dough and a turn and fold technique on a dry (rather than floured) worktop rather than traditional British kneading practice has enabled me to consistently make well textured light bread.

Using the DVD to see the technique for preparing the dough and recipes from this book as well as other bread books I have in my cookery bookshelf I have created many good quality light and tasty loaves of bread - some with white flour some with wholemeal and others with a mix. Whatever recipes I have used, the wet dough technique has created dough that rises well both first and second time and produces a light texture.

The Dough technique is excellent (although a little strange to start with if you have used typical heel of hand kneading and knocking back for second rise) and will give consistent results whatever the recipe.

Highly Recommended
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