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For intermediate or advanced bakers28 septembre 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Some background: I am an advanced home baker with a couple years of professional baking under my belt, many years ago, so that is the perspective from which I write this review.
What this book is: a compilation of recipes from Tartine Bakery. There are only a few bread recipes, and then a collection of dishes made with those breads. What it is not: a comprehensive bread baking book, or a book for beginners.
There really are only a few bread recipes in this book. The author goes into lengthy detail about his breads, his philosophy, and how to make them. For those of you who are familiar with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking's treatise on how to make an omelet (it's about 20 pages long), that is what you will find here, just a lot fewer recipes. Why? Because Tartine specializes in making a few breads and pastries, and this book is about their bakery.
If you are looking for a comprehensive baking book of artisan breads, try Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." If you want easy, tasty recipes for most home bakers, take a look at the King Arthur Flour baking books, or Beth Hensperger's excellent "Bread Bible."
So, if you are not into creating and nursing sourdough starters, or you have no interest in reading through 20 pages of instructions to teach you how to make an artisan loaf of Tartine bread, this is not the book for you. There are plenty of other wonderful books on the market for that.
I would recommend this book for intermediate or advanced home bakers, or for professionals who are really looking to expand their bread baking repertoire.
The book does have some of the most detailed photos on folding and shaping loaves that I've seen, but the "artsy" quality of those photos is really irritating - I don't want to see special shadowing, I just want a clear picture of a technique.
98 internautes sur 104 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A must have for a bread baker looking to take their breads to the next level20 octobre 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I started baking bread using a bread maker a few years ago and decided to revisit bread baking again earlier this year. The recipes I have been made thus far have used commercial yeast and have turned out fairly well. Since I started baking my own bread again, I have not needed to buy a loaf of bread at the store.
Initially when I read about Tartine's country loaf, I was reluctant to pay $7 for a loaf of bread. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to call in and reserve half a loaf for $4. After trying the bread, I could see what all the fuss was about. It was the best bread I have ever tasted (granted that I have never been to Europe). After searching online, I discovered that Chad Roberston, one of the owner of Tartine, was going to release a Tartine Bread book later in the year. I proceeded to pre order the book.
After receiving the book, I made my own starter following the directions and attempted to use it about a week later. Unfortunately, the first try did not turn out so well because my starter was not mature enough. I continued to feed it the next week and tried making the bread again. This time it came out a lot better. I probably made the basic country loaf about 5 times now and my results are becoming more consistent as I learn how to balance time and temperature. As another reviewer mentioned, there is a lot of flexibility when making this bread. I mix my leaven in the morning, mix the dough that evening, let it rise overnight, divide and shape the next morning, do the final rise under refrigeration, and bake when I get home from work on the second day. This seems to work well with my schedule.
I would recommend this book for the bread baker that is looking to take their bread to the next level. At first, the thought of making my own starter was daunting. But the author's detailed description of every aspect of the bread making process is very enlightening and helpful and takes a lot of the guesswork out.
One more thing, I have kept this bread a week after baking it and after toasting or baking it, it still tastes good. The yeasted breads I have made in the past lose a lot of their flavor and texture after only 2-3 days.
101 internautes sur 111 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
For the believers29 septembre 2010
Andrew N Benson
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I live in San Francisco, an avid home baker, and Tartine and I go way back. When they first opened their shop on 18th and Guerrero, I lived a half-block away, and would sneak over for a croissant, morning bun, or some bread pudding early in the morning. Since those days, Tartine (along with the other shops on 18th St.) has become a big attraction for food tourists visiting the Mission, but continues to have a strong and devoted local following. These guys believe in what they are doing, and the quality of their breads and pastries far surpasses anyone in SF. You haven't really experienced bread until you've popped in at 5pm to grab a steaming country loaf and squatted on a stoop outside to tear into it. I can never get more than 10 yards away from the shop before pinching off a bit to taste. When my wife bought me a copy of this book, I was ecstatic. Here is a story of a man who is dedicated to bread, telling you how he arrived at his perfect loaf, and then how you might make your own perfect loaf. Rather than providing exhaustive formulas, you are required to smell, touch, look at your dough, and adjust for variations. Living in SF, where the weather will change in an instant, you have to be able to improvise as a baker, and this book shows you how to do that. If you don't have time in your life to become a devoted bread lover, cultivating a natural yeast culture, this book might not be for you, but maybe it would change your mind. The bread really is that good.
147 internautes sur 168 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Great Bakery, Mediocre Book3 janvier 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I love Tartine, the bakery. Who doesn't?! And I can see why so many other reviewers love this book. Chad Robertson's passion for bread is obvious. If you're looking for inspirationj and a pleasant read, this book is for you. But if you are looking for thoughtful recipes for beautiful breads - if your goal is to produce great bread at home - I am afraid this book falls short. The book's format, and the author's style, make it very imprecise and harder to follow. For example, there are dozens and dozens of photos, but none have captions or numbers, and it's often difficult to know which pictures illustrate which steps. Don't get me wrong, the photos are attractive, but they're not helpful if you are hoping to see and repeat his techniques. Recipes are presented in a chatty style that may be pleasant to read, but which tend to be cumbersome and imprecise if your goal is to actually produce good bread yourself. (That's particularly true of the 24-page recipe for basic country bread, and while it was interesting to read, it's not practical as a precise, useful recipe.) Also, there seem to be more recipes for things to make with bread, and fewer actual recipes for the breads themselves. And there are typos. I know this chef is an amazing bread baker, and I eat his spectacular bread whenever I can, but his skills are in the kitchen, and not necessarily in writing books.
UPDATE 12/31/12: It seems a few other reviewers misunderstand my initial review, one going so far as to call my perspective "hogwash". Let me be clear - I've made the Tartine Country White Bread successfully. And I've had the pleasure of eating the "real thing" at Tartine and Bar Tartine many, many times. I've met Chad Robertson, and he's a nice guy. And passionate. And talented. I simply believe that the book is poorly constructed. One should not have to read 20+ pages, and study numerous photographs, to understand how to make a loaf of bread - even a wonderful loaf like this one. His passion is inspring, and if that's what you're looking for, bravo. But there are other outstanding (and often exceedingly passionate) books that provide much more accessible instruction and advice. Try any of the books by Peter Reinhart, or Jeffrey Hammelman, or the most complex and technical of all, Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
My Homework Assignment31 janvier 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Being essentially lazy, I seldom write an Amazon review. It feels a lot like homework, and nobody likes homework, right? Still, I occasionally discover a book or a product that so exceeds my expectations that I feel a duty to share my good fortune with my fellow consumers. Chad Robertson's "Tartine Bread" is one of those discoveries.
Robertson's book contains an important ingredient that other bread books lack: detail. For example, in her book "The Italian Baker," Carol Field provides recipes for dozens of Italian breads. I have enjoyed the book, but each recipe is more of a rough guide than a detailed road map. She uses instructions such as "Make a big round shape of it [the dough] by just folding and tucking the edges under a bit." She tries to describe the state of dough development using words like "velvety" and "moist." The book contains a few line drawings but no photographs. By contrast, Robertson's book contains detailed instructions together with hundreds of photographs leaving no doubt what the developing dough should look like at each stage of the process.
The photographs and Robertson's autobiographical tale make "Tartine Bread" a joy to read. Most important, the bread I've produced following Robertson's instructions has been wonderful: a cracklin' crispy crust, soft chewy crumb, faint aromas of hazelnut and chocolate (I have no idea why), and beautiful colors ranging from creamy white to almost black. I have shared this bread with just two friends so far. Both have now placed orders for the book and for the dutch oven combo that Robertson recommends.
I have seen some concern that this book contains too few recipes. My advice: don't worry about it. If this book does nothing more than teach you to bake the "Basic Country Bread," it will be well worth the price.
I am unsure about the propriety of criticizing a review written by another Amazon user, but I cannot resist taking E. Hanner to task for his November 10, 2010 misleading critique, "Tartine -- choose another book." Hanner finds fault in Robertson's explanation of baker's percentages, saying: "Robertson ... attempts to de-mystify bakers math so you learn to `think like a baker.' Then his representation of the recipe or formula is in my opinion very non standard and confusing." In fact, Robertson's explanation of the baker's percentage is entirely correct. (See, Harold McGee, "On Food and Cooking" (New York: Scribner, 2004), p. 527 and Michael Ruhlman, "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking" (New York: Scribner, 2009), p. 5.) Hanner seems unhappy that the components in a baker's percentage add up to more 100%. That, however, is why it's called a "baker's percentage" and not a "mathematician's percentage." Hanner also seems to misunderstand that the flour in the leaven is included in the percentage of leaven rather than the percentage of dough flour.
Finally, Hanner expresses concern for our safety, complaining that "[t]he concept of baking in a cast iron combo cooker is in my opinion, an accident waiting to happen." Even the most humble home cook handles hot pans regularly. We're not children, for crying out loud.
Hanner claims that his critique is not mean spirited, but it's hard to believe anything else. Robertson has written a wonderful book that succeeds (where other bread books have failed) in providing a detailed, illustrated path to better bread building.