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Breadbaking books

a1wang's picture

Breadbaking books (post #62706)

I am trying to encourage my husband's nascent breadbaking efforts. We have a Zo although he has tried some free form baguettes as well. What breadbaking books ( and I do mean plural!) do you consider to be "indispensable"??

Also, I will stick this in here, although it is not a book question--We buy King Arthur flour from our local Trader Joe's. Any other suggestions?

thank you all!

Wolvie's picture

(post #62706, reply #1 of 34)

For me:


The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Peter Reinhart(any of his others as well)
Artisan Baking Across America - Maggie Glezer
No Need to Knead - Suzanne Dunaway
Breads From La Brea Bakery - Nancy Silverton
A Blessing of Bread - Maggie Glezer


On my list to buy:


The Italian Baker - Carol Field


 No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it


THOMAS HOBBES, Leviathan, part 2, p. 237 (1950).

 

Munch's picture

(post #62706, reply #4 of 34)

I hope by now you've indulged yourself with The Italian Baker by Carol Field. If so, I encourage you to try the Grisini (breadsticks from Turin). The recipe calls for Malt Syrup (available at your local brewery supply store). You'll only use a Tablespoon at a time, but it keeps well and I suspect you'll make this recipe time after time. The Malt syrup imparts a beautiful color and rich flavor that is missed if you don't use it. I love that you can have these wonderful breadsticks in 1½ hours from start to finish! The trick is in how the breadsticks are shaped ... no rolling or shaping... just roll the dough out flat (about ½" thick), brush with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise about an hour. I season mine with garlic salt and cut into 3/4" wide strips with a pizza wheel and stretch them out onto a baking sheet.

I use this method when I make pizza dough, using half for the pizza and the rest to make breadsticks. Then I have breadsticks for dipping in the homemade pizza sauce while the pizza is baking. Yummm...




Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't need an appointment.
Chocolate is cheaper than therapy , and you don't need an appointment!
Wolvie's picture

(post #62706, reply #5 of 34)

sounds good - I'll have to get that book - it's been on my list for awhile. :-)

 No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it


THOMAS HOBBES, Leviathan, part 2, p. 237 (1950).

 

schnitzel's picture

(post #62706, reply #7 of 34)

I don't know if you've made grissini before, but there's a video of Carol Field making them with Julia here: Grissini   ...lots o' fun. ;·)


~Amy
*New Site* - no pesky ads!
Cooks Talk T&T Recipes
Jean's picture

(post #62706, reply #8 of 34)

I just love her videos. That sure looks easy, but the recipe makes enough to feed an army!



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
schnitzel's picture

(post #62706, reply #9 of 34)

I love her videos, too. The grissini are easy to make and yes, it does make a lot!
Although, I don't see why you couldn't halve the recipe if you want. 


The last time I made them, one of my neighbors received a big bunch from me. He loved them.


~Amy
*New Site* - no pesky ads!
Cooks Talk T&T Recipes
Adele's picture

(post #62706, reply #14 of 34)

I just bought a couple of Julia DVD's at  http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/


They have a 20% discount on top of the regular discount, if you know the super secret code.   SUPERSALE  LOL


Got French Chef I & II and two others.  Additional 20% and free shipping.  I've bought from them a few times now.   Just finished My Life in France, I need more.  :)


 


 


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

schnitzel's picture

(post #62706, reply #15 of 34)

Well thanks for that, Adele! They beat Amazon's price by a mile. I've been wanting to buy the French Chef DVDs for some time now. Each one has 18 episodes... I can't wait to see these again.  ;·)  Thanks a million!


~Amy
*New Site* - no pesky ads!
Cooks Talk T&T Recipes
Jean's picture

(post #62706, reply #16 of 34)

Me too.  I bought the first one. Looking forward to it. So much better than food TV.



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Munch's picture

(post #62706, reply #13 of 34)

I enjoyed the video with Julia Child so much! Thanks for posting the link. I'm not nearly as precise with the Grisini! It is a very forgiving recipe. I would lightly grease my countertop with some shortening so it will release easier and a pastry scraper can be helpful sometimes. I find that an hour is plenty of time to let it rise and I started making my breadsticks thicker for a soft breadstick. I think that making them thin and crisp will help them keep better if not eaten. Perhaps I'll start making them both ways each time!

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy , and you don't need an appointment!
Wolvie's picture

(post #62706, reply #22 of 34)

oh yes - made them from my fav foccacia recipe from PR.


 I did just cheat and by some from a fab local bakery yesterday tho. I can't believe I still have that many kitchen boxes to unpack!!


 No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it


THOMAS HOBBES, Leviathan, part 2, p. 237 (1950).

 

schnitzel's picture

(post #62706, reply #6 of 34)

Silly me. I didn't realize her grissini recipe in The Italian Baker is a bit different from her recipe she made on Julia's show, from In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs. Specifically, it's missing the malt syrup. Geez, I have that book and never checked.


Now I have to make these again, you know. ;·)  Thanks!


~Amy
*New Site* - no pesky ads!
Cooks Talk T&T Recipes
Munch's picture

(post #62706, reply #10 of 34)

She has another Grisini recipe in the book that doesn't have malt syrup in it, but I thought the malt syrup "made" the recipe. Once when I ran out of the malt syrup, I didn't have access to it. I used all the substitutions suggested by others and its not the same!


Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't need an appointment.

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy , and you don't need an appointment!
schnitzel's picture

(post #62706, reply #11 of 34)

Yup, I can see that.
Will try it when I get a chance. Just happen to have malt syrup, too. ;·)


~Amy
*New Site* - no pesky ads!
Cooks Talk T&T Recipes
KyleW's picture

(post #62706, reply #2 of 34)

I have no quarrel with Wolvie's list, in fact I own Wolvie's list (and about 15 other bread books). The two that I am in most often are Bread Baker's Apprentice and Artisan Baking Across America.


I will pass on to you some sage advice that I received when I started baking bread.


"Go deep before you go wide."


Find a basic white ban bread recipe. Bake it. Bake it again. Bake it again.....The more he has his hands on dough the smarter his hands will become. The smarter his hands are the better his bread will be. By baking the basic white loaf, without the Zo, over and over again, you husband's hands will learn what a well mixed and kneaded dough should feel like. He will come to understand the difference between tacky and sticky. He will be able to adjust recipes on the fly for high humidity or dry flour. He will be able to do these things because he will have smart hands.


It is much easier to learn if you reduce the number of variables. If he bakes the same loaf on different days, with different batches of flour etc etc, he will develop the skills that will serve him well when he widens his horizons.


Just one man's opinion :-)


 


 


At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

transona5's picture

(post #62706, reply #3 of 34)

In addition to what Wolvie and Kyle said, i'll suggest:


The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz


LOL I hate this keyboard



 


Edited 4/20/2006 5:42 pm ET by transona5

 

marie-louise's picture

(post #62706, reply #12 of 34)

Julia Child's baking book, Baking w/ Julia.

Kyle's advice is sound. I really like Julia's recipe for Basic White Bread in that book.

macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #17 of 34)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Bread---A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman. It is a relative newcomer to the lineup, but already has become a classic for both professional and home bakers. It's one of those books that teaches the whys and hows. What I appreciate most is that his formulas work well as written. My breads sure do look (and taste) better since I've been using this book and following the techniques, times and temperatures.


 



Baguettes with Poolish


 



Pain au Levain


 



Sourdough Seed Bread


 



Five-Grain Levain (my favorite so far)


 


If your husband is more interested in learning to make good bread in the ABM, you can't beat Beth Hensperger's books. Her recipes are very good, they're already scaled to mix in a bread machine, and you can shape the dough by hand and bake in the oven if you wish.


Edited 6/11/2006 1:35 pm by macy

mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #62706, reply #18 of 34)

Hamelman's tome, while an eye opener in many ways,  doesn't have a single whole grain recipe. What he calls whole wheat is 50/50 (well, more or less, there's poolish, soaker, and dough), so his book just sits there on the shefl, except for occasional bedtime reading. Still, he highlights issues I never knew I had.


Carol Field Does better for me with a 'traditional,' less 'professional,' Italian approach. I particularly like her 'pane integrale alle erbe.' 4/5 whole wheat, rosemary, parsley.


Edited to add: in all fairness Carol Field's Italian Baker does not work so well as written for me, requires a lot of adjustments along the way. Still, I like where it takes me.


Edited 6/11/2006 2:00 pm by mangiaFagioli

macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #19 of 34)

Have you tried either of Hamelman's miches? I have not, so am curious about them. One is 90% whole wheat if you use the substitution in the sidebar for the high-extraction ww flour, and the other is 60% whole wheat and 20% whole rye, making it 4/5 whole grain.


Not a yeast bread, but the Aloo Paratha on 282 is 100% whole wheat filled flat bread---sounds interesting. The Vollkornbrots with and without flax are 100% whole grain---but rye, not wheat. There are other formulas that go beyond 50% whole grain with the add-ins.


I mail-ordered Great Whole Grain Breads by Beatrice Ojakangas and was disappointed that most of her recipes have a goodly amount of white flour too. Unfortunately, there isn't much out there yet on 100% whole grain breads. Peter Reinhart is working on one, but it will be at least another year before it's released. King Arthur's is soon to be out I think, but that will be more of a general baking book.


Edited 6/11/2006 5:00 pm by macy

mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #62706, reply #21 of 34)

Haven't tried either the miche or his whole wheat paratha, but will. Thanks for pointing them out to me.


There's always Laurel's bread book, such as it is.

KarenP's picture

(post #62706, reply #20 of 34)

Hamelman's tome, while an eye opener in many ways,  doesn't have a single whole grain recipe


  Thats when you pull out your copy of Bea Ojakangas' Whole Grain Breads.
  Macy, try them, they're tried and true Finish style wheats and ryes.  Then again, maybe it's just that I care for or haven't yet had a bread that I care for that is totally whole wheat.


Edited 6/11/2006 6:02 pm by KarenP

macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #23 of 34)

"haven't yet had a bread that I care for that is totally whole wheat."

 

If you ever find yourself near Yankee Hill, CA, you should try Dave Miller's breads. They will change your mind. Allen Scott, the oven guy, thinks they're the best naturally leavened 100% freshly stone ground breads in the country. I haven't been around the country tasting, but I can vouch that they are very, very good. So, I know it is possible.

 


MILLER'S BAKERY --5833 Lunt Road, Yankee Hill, CA 95965 ---(530).532.6384

 

I bought Great Whole Grain Breads hoping for some new (and good) 100% whole grain recipes, but the majority seem to have more white flour than whole grain. Still, there are a LOT of recipes in here, and there are 100% breads mixed in here and there. I look forward to trying the pretzels---there are both soft and crunchy 100% ww versions.

 

Yesterday I tried the Seven-Grain Bread on 164. To tell the truth, I thought it would be a doorstop, but followed her directions to get an idea of her style. The only real departure was mixing and kneading in the ABM instead of by hand. I used Bob's Five-Grain Cereal instead of a seven-grain one, because that's what I had on hand.

 

The bread turned out light and mild, with no bitterness---at least not to me. But, the flavor is just disppointingly insipid. Like a store brand, squishy kid's sandwich bread. Not that surprising, since it is an overly-yeasted straight dough with a very short, warm fermentation. Whole grain breads need more to bring out good flavor. Flipping through the book, I see that most breads are made by the same method, and some even skip the bulk fermentation altogether. She's definitely not the go-to gal for learning how to make good yeast breads, but I don't see anything really wrong with the ingredient lists. With a reduction in yeast, possibly an increase in salt, and some tweaking of method (starting with some kind of preferment), I think there is potential.

 

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Jean's picture

(post #62706, reply #24 of 34)

That bread looks lovely. Would you mind posting the recipe?



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #25 of 34)

Okay, you asked for it ;-)

 

 

Seven-Grain Bread

from Great Whole Grain Breads

by Beatrice Ojakangas

 

Seven-grain cereals are available in health and natural foods stores, and although different brands may have different proportions, all work equally well in this recipe. The usual combination consists of some blending of wheat, oats, triticale, millet, soybeans, buckwheat, and yellow corn.

 

MAKES 1 LOAF

 

1/2 cup boiling water

1/3 cup seven-grain cereal  [I used BRM 5 Grain Plus Flaxseed]

2 tablespoons salad oil  [I use roasted walnut oil in my ww breads]

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 teastpoon salt  [I would try 1 1/4 tsp. next time]

1/4 cup warm water, 105ºF - 115ºF

1 package active dry yeast

1 egg

2 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour  [I used 2 c. KA Traditional WW]

 

In large mixing bowl, mix the boiling water and cereal; let stand until cooled. Add the oil, honey, and salt to cereal. In small bowl or cup, mix the warm water into the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy. When cereal mixture has cooled to 105ºF-115ºF, add yeast and egg. Stir in enough whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough; let stand 15 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Wash bowl, lightly grease it, add dough to bowl, turn over to grease top, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours.

 

Punch dough down and shape into an oblong loaf. Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Place dough into pan. Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375ºF. [I bake at convection 325ºF] Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

 

 

Okay, me again. Here's what I would probably do next time. Cut the yeast to about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 tsp. total. Use part of it---1/8 to 1/4 tsp, maybe---along with 1/2 c. water and part of the flour to make a sponge, and let it ferment overnight. Mix the cereal with 1/4 cup water (not boiling), to make a grain soaker and let that sit overnight as well. In the morning, mix everything together and let ferment at cool room temp for at least 1 1/2 hours, preferably 2 before dividing, etc. That's just a start---it may need more tweaking from there. Let me know what you do with it and how it turns out :-)

 

Macy

Jean's picture

(post #62706, reply #26 of 34)

Thanks a lot I'll report back. Thanks to her I made a Danish braid successfully so that encourages me to try another of her recipes.



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #62706, reply #27 of 34)

For me breads seem to work up to 3/4 or so whole wheat. I'm currently making one that's 2 1/2 parts whole wheat, 1/2 part spelt (whole grain), 1 part bread flour,  plus some mashed potatoes, olive oil, and molasses, and have been very happy with the results. When I go beyond that in WW flour content it just gets too heavy. I'm still hoping to selve that one.


Haven't yet worked on naturally leavened, I'd like to.

macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #28 of 34)

I can't say I've solved the mystery, but I have made enough light 100% whole wheat breads to know that it is possible. Whole grain is a different animal, and traditional white bread methods don't necessarily work. Most of the seed's enzymes are located just underneath the bran layer, and the microorganisms are stuck to the outside of the bran. So, when the bran is removed during milling of white flours, most of these things are stripped away as well. With whole grain flours, they're still in there.


Enzymes are a tricky thing. There are enzymes that break down starches and pentosans into simple sugars, and there are enzymes that clip amino acids out of proteins (gluten is a protein). While a little enzyme action helps with flavor and improves the dough, too much enzyme action can break it down. And the microbes not only add their enzymes to the mix, but the acids they produce during fermentation (also a flavor enhancer to a point) serve to activate cereal enzymes. There's just a lot more going on in whole grain doughs.


I think the key to light whole grain breads starts with good gluten development, which is more of a challenge in whole grain breads. Lots of things to get in the way, starting with the bran particles. So, they often need more kneading (not more gluten). Fat also can get in the way of gluten development. When using milk, skip the whole and go for the fat-free---that seems to make a big difference for me. With whole grain, it's best to use a machine---either a stand mixer with dough hook(s) or an ABM. They are more effective than kneading by hand.


"There's always Laurel's bread book, such as it is."


I know what you mean. Laurel's book was a big help to me in the beginning, just learning to handle whole grain doughs. Great teaching tool, but I had so much trouble with the recipes. Some that she promised to be light, were doorstops, and the ones that were light, I didn't like the flavor of. I finally put down the book and developed my own by combining all the things I liked about the various breads in this book, and then tweaking from there. It's our "house" sandwich bread now. I'd be happy to send it to you if you'd like to try it.


Some pictures to prove that lightness is possible.....

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MadMom's picture

(post #62706, reply #29 of 34)

That bread looks good enough to eat, if you'll pardon the expression.  Any chance of your posting some recipes?



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macy's picture

(post #62706, reply #30 of 34)

Thanks---I can post the sandwich bread. It may be the weekend or next week though. It'll probably be quite a while before the poolish or desem breads are ready for prime time and written up. I'm still working at them occasionally, trying to figure out the secret to consistent results. 85% hydration seems to work well for me, and the poolish one had 2/3 of the flour prefermented (overnight) with a goodly amount of yeast---if that helps any. I used a heavy stone, preheated for an hour at convection 440º, baked with steam and the fan on to circulate it. I generally use about a tsp of salt per pound of dough. Do you like experimenting? What am I saying---you're MadMom :-)


Edited 6/15/2006 3:00 pm by macy