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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Making Classic Breads with the Cutting-edge Techniques of a Bread Master Hardcover – 18 Sep 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (18 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082686
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 2.7 x 26.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Peter has combined the knowledge, passion, and expertise of a professional baker with the clear persuasive language of a born teacher. I predict immense well-deserved success for this extraordinary book."
Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker
"As we continue our bread-making journey into the 21st century, Peter Reinhart s The Bread Baker s Apprentice should emerge as the definitive text on the subject. There is simply no other work where a student, and for that matter, many seasoned bakers, can turn to understand how the magic of great bread baking works."
Charles Van Over, author of The Best Bread Ever

"Peter has yet again woven a fine tale about great bread, and his passion abounds. In The Bread Baker s Apprentice, he delivers a tool box of information and insight tools that empower us to roll up our sleeves and keep those ovens full!"
Peter Franklin, Chairman of the Board, The Bread Bakers Guild of America
"This remarkable book is written and designed to bridge the information gap between professional artisan baking and simpler home baking. The tricks, the tips, the checklists, the math, the lingo, the path to perfect fermentation, are all here at my fingertips."
Beth Hensperger, author of Bread Made Easy

"If you are a serious home baker and wish to raise your level of baking several notches, then apprentice yourself to master bread baker Peter Reinhart in his new cookbook, The Bread Baker s Apprentice. He instructs with gusto in this delightful and comprehensive volume."
Bernard Clayton, author of The Breads of France
"Just as bread nourishes the body, The Bread Baker s Apprentice nourishes the baker s soul. Peter Reinhart s explicit recipes and detailed instructions are so well written that he takes the mystery out of mastery, giving you the sense that he is standing right beside you, coaching you to success."
Flo Braker, author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking
"Both novice and experienced bakers have cause to celebrate Peter Reinhart s The Bread Baker s Apprentice. Peter s years of hands-on experience combined with his excellent teaching skills make this book the closest thing to having a master at your side as you bake."
Lora Brody, author of Basic Baking"

About the Author

PETER REINHART is a full-time baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the author of the acclaimed Brother Juniper s Bread Book: Slow Rise as Method and Metaphor, Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe, Bread Upon the Waters, Crust & Crumb, the winner of the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook Award in 1998, and Peter Reinhart s Whole Grain Breads, the winner of the James Beard Cookbook Award in 2008. Peter is a regular commentator on food and culture for public radio s One Union Station."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R de Bulat TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There really are a lot of good, professional bread making books available, nowadays and this is definitely one of them. There are a good range of bread recipes in the book, several of which come from world beating bakeries, but the book, as the title suggests, is a training manual. This is not to say that the casual reader will not get a lot of good recipes and you could ignore much of the training information if you are a half competent bread maker; but this misses the point of the book. The Bread Maker's Apprentice is a book to read, to absorb the value of what is being taught and to learn, not merely to be a better bread maker, but to make bread to a very high standard, to develop "a feel for the dough." There is plenty of good advice and training out there - Paul Hollywood can be seen on iPlayer, for instance and there are countless youtube videos on technique and demonstrations of the bread making process - all of which is good. This book begins with the preparation, from the mise en place, the putting together of all the ingredients and equipment, to the preparation of the ferment and all of the things that make good bread extraordinary before you begin to form it and put it into the oven. There is a good back story to the book, including how the author wins a competition and spends a week visiting the bakeries of Paris, encounters Poilane and discovers Pain a l'ancienne, which becomes life changing. This is a book for real bread aficionados - no pretensions here, it really is for people who love the whole panoply of what it means to make good bread by hand and bake it to perfection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When i first bought this book I read the first few chapters straight away as they described in detail what was happening at each step from a scientific perspective which helped me to understand why the different processes are carried out.

Since then I have made a number of breads from this book with a good degree of success. I have also found that I use the knowledge and techniques that I learned in this book to improve my results in when using recipes from other sources

This book is really geared for the American market and so the recipes included have been chosen to fit that market, however there are a number of French recipes included which were the main reason I bought the book.

It is a little annoying that all the measurements are in American units however given that all the recipes are presented as a formula based on weight as a percentage of the total amount of flour it is relatively straight forward to scale up or down to suit any size of loaf.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Peter Reinhart is a man who clearly takes his bread very seriously indeed. This is a comprehensive book, full of information, opinion and expertise and (potentially) great recipes. So why only 3 stars?

I can forgive the excessive earnestness, the tendency to overcomplicate recipes and the pointed 'you student, me master' tone of the recipes. Perhaps he's overcompensating for the fact he's an American presenting his take on what are largely European traditional recipes. What I find totally ridiculous are the measurements he uses. Firstly, anyone who is so pernickerty about bakers percentages should know that volume measurements are inaccurate, yet here they are, the dreaded US cups and spoon measurements. I guess this is appeasing his US market. But it becomes ridiculous when he helpfully converts the measurements to ounces. 0.17 of an ounce anyone? Has the guy never heard of metric??? He talks at length about his trip to Paris bakeries but obviously sensible units of measurement didn't rub off on him.

My copy of the book is now scrawled with conversions. Despite all the detail, these aren't dead cert recipes either. For example, unhelpful terms like "room temperature". Well, my room is 17C degrees today, and will be 25C degrees in the height of summer. See the problem? Huge differences in proving times. Flour will vary. A lot. These recipes need worrying at to get just right for your kitchen, just like any other bread recipe.

Secondly, this is not an ideal book for beginners or impatient people unless you have serious nerd tendencies and love the jargon. If you just want to make a loaf of bread, godammit, then try Paul Hollywood.
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Format: Hardcover
The author provides a clear discussion of how to make excellent bread. He gave step-by-step instructions, he also explain the chemistry and mechanics of breadmaking.
Most of the other baking books describe the starter making and keeping processes as an odd combination of science and sorcery. This author makes it easy to understand.
The most valuable part is the discussion of starters. Making really good bread generally requires use of some form of prefermenation or starter. Beside, the section on shaping dough is photographed, clear and easy understand.
The book is well written and very readable. The author does a great job of leading you through the steps of making great bread.
If you want to experiment with artisan bread baking and various starters, I highly recommend this book.
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