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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: Whole Grain Breads

PETER REINHART'S WHOLE GRAIN BREADS; new techniques, extraordinary
flavor (Ten Speed Press, 2007, 309 pages, ISBN 978-1-58008-759-9, $42
hard covers) is by the author of "The Bread Baker's Apprentice", a
Beard Award winner from 2002 (his second Beard: the first was in 1999).
In fact, he was cofounder of Brother Juniper's Bakery in Santa Rosa, CA
and is currently on faculty at Johnson and Wales University. In this
thorough and comprehensive book, Reinhart gives us 55 master formulas:
all with baker's percentages, nutrition facts, ingredient measures in
volume, ounces, and gram measures, cooks notes, and timings. The book
claims 150 instructional photos plus 40 styled food photos of the
finished product. Whole grain is the emphasis; delayed fermentation
biga is the method. Types covered include hearth breads, sandwich
specialty breads, international breads (stollen, brioche, pumpernickel,
hutzelbrot), bagels, flatbreads (injera, roti, chapatis, naan, pita),
and crackers. The style is scholarly, and you must be a committed baker
(or, at least, really love bread) to follow along. More details are at
his blog His book concludes with a huge
resources list, a nicely chosen selection of websites listing blogs,
bakeries, grain mills, flour producers. As well there is a books list
and a glossary. This is a really good reference tool.
Audience and level of use: the bread lover and bread maker.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: three rye hearth bread, 100%
sprouted grain bread, lavash, graham crackers, ciabatta.
The downside to this book: it can be slightly more technical than
needed, but then he is now an academic in teaching mode (different from
"showing mode").
The upside to this book: he has ingredient measures in three styles.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.


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