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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

on 8 October 2015
Good Book For Me
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on 2 May 2012
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..!
2 people found this helpful
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on 20 September 2011
I am new to bread making, tried out a few breads and they worked and tasted great, simple instructions which is always a good thing, I would recommend getting this book.
2 people found this helpful
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on 9 May 2011
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.

Some of the breads included are: 100 wholewheat sandwich bread, transitional whole wheat sandwich bread, multigrain struan, rye sandwich meteil, rye sandwish seigle, transitional rye sandwich bread, potato onion rye meteil, potato rosemary bread, anadama bread, whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread (and transitional version), whole wheat cinnamon buns, wholewheat and transitional challah, wholewheat and transitional hearth bread , multigrain hearth bread, three rye hearth bread, hearth rye seigle, power bread, sprouted grain bread, whole wheat mash bread, limpa bread, German style many seeded bread, whole wheat brioche, vollkornbrot, Bavarian pumpernickel, Santa Lucia buns, stollen, panettone, bagels with different variations, focaccia, rustic bread, pizza dough, naan, lavash, crackers,

Not all the recipes are 100% whole wheat, some of the `transitional' recipes include 50% white flour so that the switch from white is not too painful, allowing you to gradually increase the percentage of whole wheat flour. This is a great book if you want to eat more healthy bread, with lots of recipes if you're not ready for 100% wholemeal just yet as well. The pictures are fabulous and the instructions clear and concise. A lovely and very useful addition to any bread baking collection
5 people found this helpful
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on 16 April 2014
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.
8 people found this helpful
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on 2 February 2013
I love breadmaking, especially wholegrain with lots of seeds and other additions. This book shows you how to get such bread to emerge from the oven light and crusty. Great addition to my library.
One person found this helpful
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on 22 December 2013
Looks great and ideal for my son-in-law who wants to take up breadmaking. Some super recipes which I am sure he will enjoy making and the family will enjoy devouring.
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on 2 February 2009
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.
15 people found this helpful
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on 19 July 2011
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. I had already planned on buying The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread and noticed this book as well and thought that such a highly acclaimed author of such a successful baking book must be able to unlock this mystery, so I bought the two together because I wasn't really worried about the white flour going bad... I was more concerned about the whole wheat flour!

The difference I have noticed with Peter Reinhart's writing style and the level of technical knowledge and details in this book far exceeds all the bread baking books I have in my library! The author clearly has astonishing knowledge and passion when it comes bread baking, this is extremely clear in this book!

I have to admit that the section on his personal experimentation with whole grains dragged on a bit and was slightly longer than what I am used to in terms of culinary books, but it was refreshing and reassuring to read that a seasoned baker struggled with whole grains like I did (and I'm sure many people have and do)!

Also, a word of caution when reading this book, do not jump the gun like I did and immediately begin making the wild yeast mother starter, which is the first set of directions that you will encounter in this book, as it is not necessary for many recipes... have some patience and read through the entire instructional section and then you can flip through the recipes and pick and choose, like I do with most culinary books.

For all those people who are new to bread baking, bread baking is a time consuming thing. It's not something that we working people do every day of the week when we barely have time to sit back and unwind! People who are used to bread baking already know this... the techniques in this book are even more time consuming ad stretch out over days to make the wild yeast culture... luckily for me though, given the summer, most of the resting time required was slashed by half as the mashes and mixtures were bubbling and active in one day as opposed to the suggested maximum of two days. So do not expect that this book will teach you how to make really great whole wheat bread in a snap bread, regardless of the flour used, doesn't happen in a few minutes... like all good things in this life, it takes time.

The level of knowledge and scientific details in this book is great! I love it... I'm one of those people who always wonder why things happen they way they do and the author really goes down into chemistry and how same species of the same grain can vary greatly depending on the growing season and what the differences are to much much more! Trust me, it will leave no question unanswered in your mind!

After reading these sections and going into the details of the other recipes in the book, I have attempted to make whole wheat baguettes and let me say that the result was two magnificently beautiful crisp and well risen whole wheat baguettes with beautiful crumbs!! I was so happy with the result was going around the house with the baguettes still in the baguette tray showing them to everyone like a kid!!

Next to try on my list from the recipes in this book are the whole wheat pita, pizza dough, and challah bread!

This has got to be the ultimate whole wheat book ever to hit the market!
19 people found this helpful
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on 19 October 2010
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.
10 people found this helpful
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