I came across this book on the Delia Smith's site. I had never heard of Richard Bertinet but as I was fed up of making bread in the machine because my own always turned out as a brick I decided to give this one a try and at the same time I bought his second book Crust: Bread to Get Your Teeth into as well. This one is the one for real beginners, which happens to be my case. I knew the basics, had tried them a few times but, again, without a lot of success. The first bread I tried according to this method (which seems to be the French method of baking bread, just work the dough without adding any flour), although not one of Richard Bertinet's recipes was great, good crust, nice and soft.... a great bread! I am now making it again (just waiting for it to rise). My only problem is that my dough always seems to stay quite soft and sticky, no idea why. The DVD was a great help although it is better to watch is more than once to refresh what you have learned. The next best thing would be to attend one of Richard's workshops but well, I live too far away.
He seems to be very precise as to the amount of water he adds but according to what I have learnt it depends very much on the kind of flour you use, the humidity of the air.... so you should add bit by bit and see how much you need.
In this book Richard talks about using tea towels but in the other he talks about special bakers' towels. For us beginners tea towels are easier because we all have them at home but in the other book he says that the dough sticks to them. Maybe not if you follow his advice and never wash them!Lire la suite ›
On se trouve chez des amis sur la côte ouest du Pays de Galles, et on vient de réaliser une fougasse, en compagnie d'un petit Brouilly, grâce au livre de Richard Bertinet, « Dough, Simple Contemporary Bread ». Comme promis, simple, beau et délicieux. Notre seul bé-mol vient du fait que Monsieur Bertinet néglige d'indiquer s'il faut mettre la pâte, une fois formée comme il faut, immédiatement dans le four pré-chauffé ou est-ce qu'il faut attendre qu'elle gonfle ? Nous avons décidé de le mettre tout de suite avec un résultat tout à fait satisfaisant. Merci Monsieur Bertinet et bravo.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
75 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A good book with some problems16 mai 2006
Charles J. Robinove
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The book won the IACP award for the "Best First Cookery Book" and was overall winner of the "IACP 2006 Cookbook of the Year". With a recommendation like that, it would seem that this is bread book that is hard to beat. I have made a few of his recipes, watched the very good DVD, and studied the book closely. I made fougasse, bread shots, baguette, epis, focaccia, and a couple of others.
I had to be very careful using the book because of the numerous confusions and inconsistencies. For example, a recipe ( page 33) calls for "1/3 ounce (10g) fresh yeast, 18 ounces (no grams specified) white bread flour, and 12 1/2 ounces water (or 13 fl. oz. in a measuring cup - just over 1 1/2 cups, but weighing is more accurate). Notice the confusion between avoirdupois ounces and fluid ounces. Other recipes combine fluid ounces, avoirdupois ounces, and tablespoons. I am also unsure if he uses British fluid ounces or American fluid ounces; there is a difference in weight.
Bertinet is a French baker who runs a cooking school in Bath, England. It's interesting that in the list of credits, among the Copy editor and the Indexer, there is an "Americaniser", a job I have never heard of before! It is obvious that no one proofed this book as well as they did the bread. Indeed, I wonder if, in picking this book for the prize, anyone actually made any of the bread or if they just liked the look of the book and the fact that it had a DVD with it.
Actually the book is good and the recommended way of handling the dough makes an excellent crumb. The baguettes and epis were great. I think it's a pretty good book for the home baker once the reader can figure out the recipes.
52 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
The Best of Simple Breadmaking22 janvier 2006
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Well, I found another gem...this book is just plain lovely. Richard Bertinet loves to bake bread. And he passes this on to the reader through his style, technique and results. Very clear explainations of ingredients, procedures, time required and with beautiful pictures on quality paper. Oh, and you get an instructional CD. It just doesn't get much better.
I have been baking bread for almost thirty years. Not always regularly since my kids are older, but enough to still love to learn a thing or two, or more from this book about flours, fresh yeast, a different way to work the dough. Not an all-inclusive book on bread, but rather a book of just what the title says, simple contemporary bread. I don't know that there is anything radically different in this book; it simply inspires and excites: Not too bad in itself. It also helps you to make darned good bread. The Fougasse is worth the price of the book alone.
Even if you have never baked a loaf in your life, give this a look. This book takes bread baking to exactly what it is: Flour, yeast, water, salt and your hands. This is not rocket science, this is simple, classy comfort. Perfect.
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Detailed Technique20 avril 2006
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The DVD included with this book gives the most detailed visual instructions on creating bread dough that I have ever seen, much less read. I'm not an avid reader of bread-specific baking books, but the instructions included with the bread recipes in the more general baking books that I own devote about two sentences to how to actually mix the flour with the wet ingredients and develop the dough.
This book presents an entire philosophy, and the results have been fantastic. Acceptance of the proper higher initial moisture level and the use of the stretching technique presented here have truly elevated our breads and our interest in breadmaking to a whole new level.
53 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
SIMPLE YES, TASTY NO!9 novembre 2006
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I expected different things from this book than what I received. Bertinet is a frenchman living in England, but instead of bringing his own bread culture to the english, he turned into an Englishman himself. The products in this book are oriented towards the English public. Yes, even the French traditional breads too. There are no baker's formulas not even metric weights! Everything is in English ounces, pounds and fluid ounces. The recipes are all simple both in the good and the bad meaning of the word. That is, they are easy to make, but they are lacking in taste. The reason is that the author uses almost exclusively the straight method for his breads ie mixing the dough, leaving it to double, cutting and shaping it, proofing and baking it, all in the space of about 2 hours! This is just not enough time for the dough to develop its taste. There are only a couple of recipes using the ferment method and none using sourdough. The breads do look good but their taste does not match their looks. I would give this book two stars if it wasn't for the beautiful photos and the DVD( which, by the way lasts only 22 minutes). If you want to bake beautiful looking, great tasting bread I suggest you get hold of "BREAD" by Jeffrey Hamelman or "The taste of bread" by Raymond Calvel.
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
The Need to Knead24 octobre 2006
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I have been baking for about 8 years now, on and off, and for the most part eschewed the simple straight doughs in favor of more complex sourdoughs, or poolish starters (making a mini-dough several hours to 1-day before mixing the dough and adding it to improve flavor.)
What so many bread books can't teach you is how to knead. Nancy Silverton's Breads from La Brea Bakery comes closest in explaining the technique, and emphasizing extremely important steps such as resting, to let the flour absorb water on its own. But there is always something lacking in a written description (and this from a writer).
My perennial problem with bread though was an inability to get enough air into the dough to create what I call uneven bubble structure, the sort that the best artisan bakeries achieve. The major contribution of Bertinet's book is that he shows you in the DVD how to trap air in the dough so that you get this uneven structure and an airy bubble-filled crumb. Although the DVD is a bit amateurish (too many shots of his head when we should be looking at the dough), it does show a great kneading tecnique of stretching the dough and trapping air that results in a great crumb. It also shows you what condition the dough should be in during different phases of kneading, such as soupy and gloopy at the outset and satiny and smooth toward the end. (This white dough recipe is also perfect for pizza).
I have been following his white dough recipe (for experienced bakers, he uses 70-percent hydration), with a few adjustments. I think if you just make a straight water, yeast, flour, salt dough with a 1 hour rest, shaping and 1 hour rise, as he suggests, the dough will taste yeasty. So I've been making a flour/yeast/water poolish, letting it develop for about 3 hours before I mix the dough and add it in. Or I make a poolish with sourdough starter which really improves the flavor. Otherwise I follow his instructions. I generally use King Arthur All Purpose Flour, which is close in protein content to European bread flours. Also, I go for a slightly more hydrated dough, adding 2-3 tbs of water in the keading. This is my own preference for a slighly wetter dough, which leads to a looser crumb.
This is the best book I've come across for novice bakers but I look forward to his second book for more experienced ones.