on 27 June 2013
For anyone starting out to bake for profit - or even in bulk for charity or the like - this is a MUST HAVE book.
It is not a book about how to make bread - that is it is not full of recipes but it full of well researched commonsense on all the things you need to know about starting a bakery with real bread - not the pap you get in Supermarkets.
There is a chapter on just about everything filled with quotes from people who have been there and done it.- and all written in such a way that it is all easy to understand. A real "tour de force"
If there is anything to criticize in this book it is the repeated statement that real bread only contains flour, water, yeast and salt - but of course your bakery or hobby does not have to follow that completely.and the rest of the book will enable you to leap the hurdles.of starting a small business
I bought this book because I want to help start a community bakery and this seems to be a complete guide.
If it were possible to give 10 stars then this book would get them.
LATER EDIT : oh Yes - and it really tells you how to use your sourdough starter in the real world - a huge plus
This book is for anyone seriously interested in bread and considering turning their interest into a small or cottage industry. It has guidance on starting a community bakery and making traditional breads without additives. As such it is similar to the early campaign for real ale, but for real bread. Since, over the years, CAMRA has had a genuine impact on the rise of micro breweries and something like a renaissance in traditional beer, this book may well have the effect of encouraging more people to have an interest in real bread and a better understanding of why this is important, not merely for a better tasting loaf, but also for reasons of health. The most disappointing aspect of the book is that the cost of setting up a small scale bakery is relatively high with bread ovens costing in the region of £15,000 and it would have been helpful to discuss alternative processes using combi ovens, (still quite expensive - from about £1800), or even wood fired ovens including those you can build yourself - but this may be another sort of book. There are 8 recipes for all of the basic bread types including sourdoughs as well as advice on setting up a business and marketing with lists of suppliers, courses for further training, useful links etc. and more besides. If you want to set up in business, this is definitely a book worth considering, while not being definitive; if you have serious interest in bread production, it is still interesting and worth a read, but might be less useful than books on. for instance, artisan bread recipes. I read this book with interest, but do not want to set up a bakery: from this point of view, some of the information is wasted on me and other information such as technical regarding the making of bread was only a small part of the book. In terms of the book's aims, to raise awareness and promote the production of real bread, it is excellent.
on 12 April 2015
As I had a very small part in this book, I'm not really the right person to review it, but I'm gratified at the positive reviews. I've supported the principles of the Real Bread Campaign from its inception, and still do, and this book is a great vehicle for its ethos. I would just comment (re. the reviewer who remarked on the cost of setting up a commercial bakery) that the book does contain advice on selecting second-hand equipment, and the market for second-hand commercial baking equipment was - and is - thriving, with several companies specializing in it.
My unwonted prominence in the call-outs was a bit of an accident, and made me look like much more of an expert that I am ;-)