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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 August 2008
I bought this book after a recent trip to France. I've baked my own bread for years, but a different style bread to that found in French bakeries. So I was looking for something that would show me how to make it in the French style.
The author is a a French man who did his training in France but has lived in England for many years, and now runs a cooking school in Bath. He writes very clearly, providing detailed step-by-step instructions that leave no doubt as to what is intended. However if you are confused, the book is accompanied by a DVD to make it even clearer.
The major difference in his breadmaking is the kneading technique, although the doughs are also slightly "wetter" (higher liquid content) than traditional English doughs. The first time of using his kneading technique was a bit tricky, but it quickly became natural. And it works - I can now make French-style bread at home.
I'd highly recommend this book both for beginners (as it has very clear, detailed instructions) and experienced bakers wanting to learn a new technique.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2007
I've been making the odd loaf of bread for a while, but never really got quite the consistency that I wanted. Then I attended one of Richard Bertinet's courses in Bath and bought this book. It shows a completely new (to me at least) way of working the dough which, although a bit sticky and messy to start with, soon comes together to produce fabulous bread.

The DVD that comes with the book is well worth a watch as it makes Richard's technique easier to understand than the text and pictures alone. Once you've mastered the initial technique, the book then shows a multitude of different ways to use it to produce a variety of breads.

This is a great book, I can't recommend it enough.
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on 26 September 2005
Excellent book for anybody interested or passionate about breadmaking. Indepth introduction to procedures. Lots of photographs. Easy to follow instructions. The recipes are divided into five sections: white, brown, olive, rye and sweet. And whilst it is ideal introduction to anyone new to the art of breadmaking there are also enough "different" recipes to keep enthusiasts busy. Highly recommended.
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on 23 February 2009
I'm Portuguese and have been living in the UK for over 10 years. Never been really happy with the tin bread you buy, just seems wrong for any bread to last well over a week even though its left just in the plastic bag?! :) I then started buying the supermarkets in store baked bread which is better. Still missed my own country bread, which has a richer flavour and next day its great as toast, so sometimes bought bread from an artisan's shop which is on the expensive side at £2-£3 a loaf. Sometime ago i bought a breadmachine but the holes at bottom simply were no good. Enter Dough! I then came across this book and been using it for nearly a year. As long as i follow the recipes, weight everything for correct measures, dough coming off the fridge need to come to room temperature and way we go: always with good results. Soon enough you'll get the feel for the perfect dough consistency too. I've also looked for a bread stone, but on the net you'll find them costing as much as £30!! and off-cuts might be a bit hard to get hold off. Nonetheless, I found a granite stone sold in asda as a chopping board (other supermarkets have similar at are same price but thinner), for me this one is a perfect oven bread stone, rectangle shape, thick and perfect fit for my oven - for £10! If you are or want to be passionante about good bread, this book is fantastic especially alongside with a breadstone. In fact just eaten some fantastic bread :) Good baking!
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on 7 October 2013
I read so many great reviews of this book before i purchased it, which can lead you to be disappointed when you finally get your hands on it.

I'm just starting my bread-making journey. I was really hoping for more explanation of the techniques and what effect changing the ingredients has on the bread. For example, what effect does using some milk instead of water have on the final bread, or what happens if i add some butter? Or what happens if you make the dough rise twice? or three times?

If you are the type of person who tends to just follow recipes, then this book is great. But, if you have an enquiring mind like myself, and want to really understand the recipes and techniques, I think this book falls a little short.

The recipes are good though. I am finally getting the hang of the kneading technique, and the DVD helps explain this a lot.

I have however found out as much, if not more information from free online forums (thefreshloaf) and the occasional You Tube video.

Enjoy your bread making!
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on 8 November 2005
Being in the baking industry for a long time now and coming from many generations of bakers, I was suprised to find out and remember what great therapy it was to explore some of the different methods the author used to produce tasty european breads.
Mixing and working the dough and rejuvinating a 'starter' every day, in the ways described in the book gave a real sense of achievement in the end result.
Something that is obviuosly abundant with the author noticeable in the pride he takes in his craft.
I would say that whether novice or professional give this book a go.
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on 18 June 2012
I've been making all of the bread for our family for about 5 years now, and I've bought loads of books in the search for the perfect loaf. Of all of them, there are only two I really rate:

- This book, "Dough". This is my "how" book. It's brilliant for learning the basic techniques, and getting you away from that bread machine and into the world of real bread. My only criticism is that the recipes are a bit limited and unadventurous, but that fits with it being a beginner's book.

Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman. This is my "why" book. For those with an enquiring mind, it explains why you do certain things, and introduces advanced techniques. It also has a huge range of recipes.

I think you need both; "Dough" to learn the basics, then the Hamelman book for everyday use. Both are brilliant.
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on 1 July 2011
I have made bread by hand off-and-on for years and fancied starting again with this method to see how it would work.

I was very surprised to see the author is so very prescriptive about the liquids in his recipes. He gives one quantity and even strongly suggests weighing the water rather than using a measuring jug. This is confusing as most bread recipes I have used acknowledge that different batches and brands of flour will absorb different amounts of liquid.

I have decided to throw caution to the wind and follow his white dough recipe to the letter. I have produced a very tight dry dough which refused to stretch much when being worked and was so non-elastic i nearly pulled my marble pastry board off the work top!!

It is having its first proving now I just hope it rises and is edible.


After a very helpful email conversation with the author it seems the recipe needs some amendment for "very strong flour" such as the Marriages Very Strong Canadian and a very strong flour sold by Waitrose. He suggests 800g water to 1Kg flour. The recipe should work for the more normal strong flour.
His assistance was very quick. Within an hour or so of writing my review.

The loaves I produced from the rather tight dough turned out perfectly good. Especially with butter and a cuppa.
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2005
In this age of e numbers and preservatives it is lovely to find a few recipes that actually turn out the way they are shown in the book using purely natural ingredients. I have started to make all my own bread now - no not with a bread machine although I do have a Kenwood mixer which is a godsend! but the 'old fashinoned way'!! Especially liked the recipes for the flat loaves with tomatoes and garlic and also the everyday loaves were superb - my children love it.
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on 1 November 2009
This was an interesting read but I do agree with the comments about there only really being 4 or so different dough recipes throughout and just a lot of tweaking or clever knife cuts to distinguish them. I guess this book just wasnt what I was looking for: ie a book full of great recipes for large loaves that I could happily cook day in day out. Instead I got a lot of instruction on how to make 4 different recipes look nice and the rare 'loaf' recipes turned out tiny loaves which disappear in a sitting in my house (though that does say something about the quality).
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