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Peter Reinhart's Wholegrain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor Hardcover – 31 Oct 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press,U.S. (31 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580087590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580087599
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 2.8 x 26.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Featured in Dan Lepard's 'The world's greatest baking tips.' --guardian.co.uk, 20th November 2008


Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
The first part of this book is devoted to the physics and complex chemistry involved in bread making. It explains the enzyme reactions involved and why most of the recipes need to be started the previous day.

The breads are exceptional and well worth the trouble.

My only problem was with his mother starter (natural yeast leaven or sourdough starter). I tried twice, but failed both times, therefore I would suggest that you should also buy The Handmade Loaf which contains a fool proof method.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reinhart developed this way of breadbaking: half of the flour you soak with water and little salt overnight. The other half you let ferment adding an amount of yeasted biga or sourdough starter. The next day these are combined with instantyeast (almost all the recipes) and all the other ingredients, for the short final rises. The 'epoxy' method he calls it. This way is because in the 2 different milieus, the flour develops in a different way, getting maximum flavour. He then adapts various recipes for this method, but you could have done this yourself. The book is repetitive: for every little variation in the bread he gives the whole recipe again, and the have an unnecessary detail to them: Bread baking is not to the gram. Well maybe the salt, according to your own taste. The rest is feeling, the structure, moistness, flours are different, tastes differ. OK unless of course you have a bakery and need to replicate the same thing daily, but you wouldn’t be buying this book. A book that I also ordered was Daniel Leader’s ‘Local Breads’ and I enjoyed that one much more.
Reinharts book is beautiful! and there is lots of good information in it. The style just somehow was corny to me and did not strike a chord.
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Format: Hardcover
I must begin by agreeing with other reviewers who said that this is an 'ideal book for a specific audience'. However, I don't think this true for people who are only interested in baking whole wheat breads, this book should be of interest to people interested in bread baking in general. How can you truly master the art of bread baking without mastering whole grains? Especially since it was the original and oldest baking medium throughout history.

I had previously bought numerous bread baking books, some were very good some were a bit of a let down, but one thing they all had in common was that they didn't discuss baking with whole grains. Therefore, I had assumed that the methods and techniques that applied to white flour applied to whole wheat flour, but I always ended up with dense logs that weren¡¦t really that good to eat... they had a very hard and dense crumb that I was really choking down to avoid admitting failure in front of the family! :)

In the past, I always used all purpose flour and, as I later found out, due to the low amount of gluten in the flour, the loaves were not developing and rising sufficiently. Once I had figured that out and during one of my trips to the local flour mills to buy a 55lb sack of high gluten flour, I was tempted to buy also buy a sack of high protein whole wheat flour as well, despite my may failed attempts in the past (but I assumed it was due to the low gluten as with the white all purpose flour... I was very wrong). After making several attempts with this new high protein whole wheat flour and getting the same old results, despite making several tweaks (although the partial whole grain breads were turning out slightly better because of the white flour content... I realized that I needed help.
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Format: Hardcover
After some two years of trying my hand at artisan baking on a fairly regular basis I bought this book and I have had great success with the recipes/formulas I have tried so far. The epoxy method that Reinhart uses has worked well for me. Texture, volume and flavour in the 100% wholewheat loaves have been very good. The book may not be appropriate for an absolute beginner as I have found that more often than not I have had to add flour in the final stage to make the dough manageable and a beginner may find it difficult to get a feel for the dough or how to manage quite a wet dough. I have used bigas and sourdough starters and both have worked well. I recommend his starter recipes - one of which demands the use of unsweetened pineapple juice. Reinhart used some 350 recipe testers and that effort was not wasted.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flavorful breads excellent techniques and all the theory you need to know. I had always trouble to develop gluten with whole grain flour. No more. Its a must have even for those who dont like wholegrains..!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic collection of recipes for wholewheat breads for those of us who are trying to cut down on white, processed flour. I have tried about half of the recipes in this book and to be honest, these aren't the best breads I have ever tasted, but to be sure, they taste a thousand times nicer than any supermarket loaf in a plastic bag which includes 20 other anti-staling, unnecessary ingredients. I have Peter Reinhart's other books (Artisan Breads Fast and Crust and Crumb) and I suppose I was expecting the same wow-factor when making these wholemeal loaves, so was sliughtly disappointed with some of the recipes. These breads made with wholewheat flour are denser and heavier and don't have that marvellous crust that you'll get using white flour.

They also take longer to make - if one afternoon you realise that your bread bin and the freezer are empty, you won't have a standby recipe to use in this book. All the recipes require a soaker and a biga which you need to start a day in advance. However, if you plan ahead you'll find plenty of ideas for including whole wheat and rye flour in your bread baking.
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