7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good book but of limited use outside the US,
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This review is from: Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes (Hardcover)
The intended target audience for this book are professional bakers, this shines through such as in the description of techniques (how to handle 20 kg's of dough, anyone?) and the assumption that all mixing will be done with a pro mixer instead of kneading by hand. Still, the techniques are clearly written and have descriptive drawings that illustrate every step. The recipe index is fairly compendious, with the emphasis lying on breads made using pre-ferments although a variety of straight doughs and specialities are also discussed.
However, it is seriously -and for amateur bakers perhaps fatally- flawed:
The recipes scaled for professional quantities use (also) the metric system, which is fine if you're running a bakeshop and feel like baking 30 loaves in one go. The scaled down recipes for the home baker however indicate no metric quantities and go on endlessly about cups of flour, ounces, degrees Fahrenheit etc. This is all the more galling since the author himself writes that it's preferable to use metric quantities when dealing with ingredients. Unfortunately he doesn't practice what he preaches. The day is saved to some extent because the bakers' formula is also always given and this allows for easier conversion.
This is a great book for learning about baking in general, learning about technique, the ingredients etc. But if you're an amateur bread baker who's interested in baking a few loaves in one go and especially if you're in a country using the metric system I'd think really, really hard and consider some alternatives before pressing the 'buy' button.
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Initial post: 31 Aug 2012 00:38:16 BDT
W. Price says:
The baker's percentages are perfectly adequate for calculating quantities of ingredients. I'd suggest that this is a far superior method to just giving a specific amount of ingredients for 1 loaf as the baker can decide for themselves how big their loaves are going to be and how many they're going to make with ease.
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