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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 47 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 (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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

Format: Hardcover
After messing around with other less-than-perfect books on Bread Making (particularly the very disappointing "Rustic European Breads: From Your Bread Machine" by Eckhardt & Butts) I took the chance and ordered this book.
Like the other reviewer, I can't stress enough how great the author's simple and consistent approach to bread making is, and especially the sections on starters, making, keeping and feeding them!
I'm also often a little suspicious of American books, citing ingredients, measurements and methods which just don't seem to work, but having tried at least 50% of the recipes in this book, I'm yet to experience a failure!
This book has truly allowed me to indulge a passion which has been lurking in me for many many years. I've now been able to embody it in the creation of some truly wonderful bread!
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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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Format: Hardcover
In common with other reviewers of this book I mostly agree on its thorough and inclusive content. It is comprehensive, in what it sets out to do and anyone wishing to know more about the 'hows and whys' of bread making would gain insight from reading this book. The author clearly has a vast working knowledge of his subject and obviously enjoys trying to communicate this to his audience. Be aware however this an American book with an American audience in mind, in more ways than measurement. I will confine my comments to four areas you may wish to consider before buying:
a) If you don't already have them you will need to buy a set of American measuring cups as the ounce measurements are, bizarrely, converted as decimals ( 0.39 ounces of Yeast for example or 2.67 ounces of Honey), rendering precision a little redundant. Although one reviewer clearly does not have a problem with doing their own conversion from cups and ounces to grams - suggesting that it is so easy to do - it does rather beg the question, if it is so easy why has it not been given here?
b) The lay-out is at times a little confusing eg the Pre-ferments (Biga ,Poolish , Balm etc) are not all in one place. This requires a certain amount of going backwards and forwards through the book. The referencing is however excellent so this doesn't pose too much of a problem.
c) The recipes are almost exclusively from French, American and Italian recipes. Those wishing for a comprehensive review of world breads would do better looking elsewhere. Indian breads are completely absent as are, with one exception from each, Scandinavian, English and German breads.
Finally, d) The writing style of the Author is at times little bloated, to say the least.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the author has a considerable reputation and the book is very good in places I found it less comprehensive than I had hoped.
I have tried 10 of the recipes since owning the book (just a couple of weeks). I have baked about 8 loaves a week for the past decade so I have a moderate amount of experience in home bread making.

I have three issues:

The recipes appear to be authentic and the explanations are clear but that does not mean you are going to like all the different kinds of bread. I found the bagels (extremely time consuming to make) a real dissapointment. They looked great but tasted nothing like any bagel I had ever tasted. To be fair the author does say this is a traditional water bagel and not a commercial bagel. But in a book that champions tasty bread I found this unimpressive. The explanations of why different ingredients effect the outcome and flavour are very good.

The author is very keen on long fermentation to improve the flavour and the are lots of two stage two day recipes. Dissapointingly I have not yet been able to detect the flavour enhancement that deserves all this extra preparation (nor has my family). I would have been happier if the book had contained more angles on bread making. I feel that the author has collected lots of lengthy recipes because he believes this is the best way to make bread. I had expected a greater variety of approaches.

And last but not least. Why only imperial measurements? What happened to metric?

This is not a book for a beginner. If you want to purchase a single book on bread making I would not recommend it. As part of a library it is a very good reference book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is quite informative and interesting but suffers from the drawback of having been written for a US audience only. Most of the cultural references will simply be meaningless to a british or european audience but that isnt really a problem. The problem is the units.
Being British I am just about comfortable weighing things out in pounds and ounces, though my scales being non-antique have kilograms as the larger markings. To the authors credit the recipes are weight based but those who use the volume conversions in the book may find themselves scuppered by the difference in volume between a US "cup" and those found in other countries that use the term. The biggest gripe however is that all temperatures are in Fahrenheit. I have never in my 29 years seen an oven that is calibrated in Fahrenheit outside the US. It is possible in the UK to purchase oven thermometers graded in Fahrenheit on the secondary scale but they are harder to find and the secondary scale is much harder to read without taking the thermomenter out of the oven.
It seems to me that if a publisher has any intention of releasing a book outside the US then they ought to take the trouble of changing the parochial units to ones in common use.
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