Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes. (Anglais) Relié – 13 août 2013
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
Hailed as a "revelation" when it first appeared in 2004, Jeffrey Hamelman′s Bread is a legendary resource praised by baking luminaries from around the world. Explaining complex techniques with simple and helpful illustrations, the book includes recipes for a vast array of breads, including sourdoughs, brioche, authentic rye breads, flat breads, French breads, and much more.
- Features nearly 150 detailed, step–by–step recipes, along with vivid drawings and photographs showing techniques and finished products
- Written by Jeffrey Hamelman, one of fewer than 200 Certified Master Bakers in the United States and a recipient of the Golden Baguette Award (2005), the highest honor bestowed by the Bread Baker′s Guild of America
- Fully updated to include the latest techniques, methods, trends, and bread varieties
Whether you′re an aspiring or practicing professional baker or a dedicated home hobbyist, Bread is the ultimate resource for almost any variety of bread you can imagine.
Quatrième de couverture
"Bread is worthy of high praise, from the generous number of recipes to the scientific discussions on pre–ferments. I wish that I had this book to guide me when I started my life as a bread baker 42 years ago. The author′s sensibility toward bread and his attitude as a bread baker are evident throughout this book."
Toshio Nihei, Advisor, Donq, Japan
"Bread is the masterwork of bread baking literature. It guides us through the journey that harvested grains make from the milling process to their subsequent interaction in the bakery environment with other ingredients and in the baker′s hands, the transformations that take place within the environment of intense oven heat, and up to the final loaves′ eventual cooling on racks."
Jim Haas, Baker, AgroEast Baking & Milling Co., Ukraine
"Jeffrey′s book is an ideal companion in the kitchen. He invites novice bakers to explore the world of bread baking with confidence, building a solid foundation of process and understanding of principles of fermentation and yeast dough production. His clear explanation of challenging ingredient functions and food science are key stepping stones for professionals improving their skills. This book includes inventive and delectable formulas and illustrative graphics that clearly walk the reader through shaping steps."
Milina Podolsky, Instructor, Kendall College, Chicago, Illinois
"This new edition of Jeffrey Hamelman′s book brings to light a great diversity of artisan bread making methods. Readers will discover an anthology of recipes from the French, German, Italian, and Swiss traditions, patiently reconsidered and shared with great generosity. It is a milestone in American bakers′ increasingly serious approach to artisan baking. With her wonderful drawings, Chiho leads the reader to an easier understanding of hand skills. This landmark book enables both home bakers and experienced professionals not only to make breads of the highest quality, but also to guide them to a thorough understanding of the keys to success."
Hubert Chiron, Institut National de Recherche Agricole (INRA), Nantes, France
"Jeffrey Hamelman has taught and influenced an entire generation of bakers. With his latest contribution, he shares his uncompromising, exacting methods, love for bread, and noble labor, along with the will to never stop learning and improving. This book is a gift to the world of artisan baking."
Markus Farbinger, Owner, Île de Pain, Knysna, South Africa
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
There are no gimmicks here. Hamelman doesn't have some new method with each book (like Reinhart), he doesn't hold your hand (like Barenbaum). Just good core formulas and practical baking techniques. The critics are all correct when they note: the mixing times are for professional bakers and you have to double them for home; the moisture content can be off at home; the flour protein is not specified; you have to scale down for home use with a calculator; general hints are hidden in obscure places rather than highlighted for general use. He also leaves out many hand-holding steps he assumes you know. In other words, you pretty much have to make each of his recipes your own. That alone is why I can't recommend this book to the average home baker, especially a beginner. (Berenbaum's Bread Bible much better for beginner's.)
But for the experienced home baker who already knows their way around dough feel, knows how to adjust hydration. salt, and yeast and sourdough fermentation times, this book is rock solid. Many classic formulas here, and once you get his thinking you can extrapolate many more.
Most of the people I know who love this book end up adapting the recipes to their own tastes. In other words, Hamelman gives you an excellent starting point for many classic European breads. That is why I bought it. I have tons of recipes on my harddrive, but for a paper volume this was it.
It's important to note Hamelman's training and tastes lean heavily toward German breads. You wouldn't guess that from the title or that he works for King Arthur. So you won't get "irish soda bread" or "anaconda bread" or many American classics. Heck, he barely has a classic white sandwich loaf here! Instead you'll find Sunflower seed bread, flax rye, vollkornbrot, pumpernickel, scalded rye. He also favors multigrain whites, with six different recipes for that in different forms. Those happen to be my favorite types of bread; but I wouldn't call that typical.
Last criticism: not well bound. I already have pages falling out after a couple uses. No excuse!
In short: Good book for core formulas for European (especially German) breads. No handholding for beginners, and no complex discussion of dough handling for experts. For those purposes I'd recommend a couple other books to augment this excellent resource.
Commercial bakers are the primary audience of this book, although there has been an attempt to enlarge its scope to include home bakers. I purchased the first edition in 2010 through Amazon, and my review of the first edition is still extant. I'd been baking for about ten years at the time of my first purchase, and I wanted to take my ability to a new level. Because there are some important omissions in the first edition, I later purchased the second edition hoping that I would find it improved.
Let's begin with the first oversight: flour protein level. Early in the book, Hamelman writes, "When working with any bread formula, it is important to know what kind of flour is used, and its protein level. When making substitutions or when trying out new flours, adjustments in hydration are very often necessary" (p. 34). That sounds good enough, except by the time the recipes begin in chapter 4 (about 90 pages into the book), he has not ever stated what to use. So, the home baker wants to jump in and make some recipes--and they have to guess. I love the clarity with which Nancy Silverton writes in her section on white flour, "The white flour I use at the moment is blended from hard winter wheat and dark hard northern spring wheat, and has a protein content of 12.5 percent" (Breads from the La Brea Baker, p. 6). Rose Levy Beranbaum even provides the "Approximate Range of Protein in Nationally Available Flours" on p. 550f of "The Bread Bible" to make shopping easy for the home baker. "Amy's Bread" (Revised & Updated, 2010) does an outstanding job of prominently noting protein information in the Tips and Techniques section for most of the recipes, along with providing a "Flour Protein Comparison Chart." Amy Scherber's book is published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.--the same publisher as Hamelman's book--except that they had different editors.
Now, let's suppose the home baker wants to make the first recipe in the book called Baguettes with Poolish (p. 92). So, the home baker travels over to the local supermarket and stares at the shelf of flour choices. "Let's see. Hamelman works for King Arthur Flour. Here's a bag of King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour. The recipe calls for `bread flour.' That'll work. Problem solved." As it turns out, our home baker has made a poor choice because this flour is too high in protein level to make good baguettes with. It's not really "problem solved" but rather "problem created." It was unfortunate that the first edition of this book lacked protein specifics, but to repeat the same exact omission in the second edition is really unfortunate--an opportunity lost. This hindered my progress, and quite some time passed before I got around to working in the levain breads section later in the book (chapter 5, p. 146) where Hamelman does indeed specify a protein level for those particular recipes that call for "bread flour." Using protein information from King Arthur, I concluded that Hamelman wanted home bakers to use King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour when he specifies "bread flour" for the levain breads. Given the lack of other instructions, it's likely that this also applies to other sections of the book. In my judgment, recipes have turned out better since the time I switched. To confirm, there's an excellent discussion of this problem on The Fresh Loaf website called, "Hamelman's `Bread Flour' vs. `High-Gluten Flour'" by some bakers who have taken classes at King Arthur using recipes from this book and are acquainted with Hamelman. I just found this discussion while writing this review, but it began back on December 24, 2009.
The author's dough shaping skills are exemplary--in fact, they are as good as it gets--and there are many beautiful pictures to prove it. My goal in working with this book is to try to take away as much as possible regarding dough feel and handling. King Arthur says that its bread flour substitutes for all-purpose flour with the addition of about two teaspoons of water per cup because bread flour is relatively thirstier. Without this adjustment, it will result in stiffer dough; hence, it is imperative to get the flour protein level correct. King Arthur also says that Professor Raymond Calvel, who wrote the foreword for this book, performed a blind taste test on American flours and pronounced that King Arthur All Purpose Flour is the best choice for baguettes.
You are probably wondering why I just didn't look in the index. Good question. I did. It turns out that the index does not include the particular page in the levain bread section which specifies the protein level. So, if you look under "Flour / protein level in" or any of the sub entries under "Protein in Flour" it does not include that page. This index is not as complete as it needs to be. If you decide to work with this book, then I strongly suggest that any time you come across important information that you either create your own topical index from scratch (which I do myself) or you verify that the entry actually exists in the book's index--because it can be very frustrating to retrieve information you remember reading if it has not been indexed, and sometimes, helpful information is hidden in recipes outside of the main presentation of the book.
There was an errata sheet for the first edition, and we are to understand that they have gone over the recipes with a fine-tooth comb. I think they made a good faith effort. Many things got fixed in the second edition, but they did not catch entirely everything. Please turn to Five-Grain Bread on p. 281. You will note that the overall formula calls for .26 oz of instant dry yeast. There's no yeast used in the soaker, but the final dough calls for .8 oz. How do they account for this discrepancy? If the home baker does not notice this and uses the wrong number, then there's a problem. The errata sheet for Feb. 2011 contained an entry for the method of developing a liquid levain culture that is used in many recipes in the levain breads chapter. This was only partially corrected in the second edition (pp. 427-8). I used the still uncorrected amounts in the home baker's column for quite some time before I checked the math and discovered the mistakes. This impacted my results. As a general practice, I recommend that you verify the math in a formula before baking it. I do not think you will find a lot of major mistakes, but I do have some other concerns about their handling of numbers, including rounding.
This book emphasizes proper weighing of ingredients. Hamelman writes, "Cups and tablespoons are inherently inaccurate, and serious home bakers should buy a good scale" (p. 82). His recipes use baker's percentages where "each ingredient in a formula is expressed as a percentage of the flour weight, and the flour weight is always expressed as 100 percent" (p. 442). Unfortunately, Hamelman's handling of numbers while scaling the commercial formulas into smaller portions for home bakers has not been done carefully enough. Please turn to the first recipe in the book, Baguettes with Poolish on p. 92, and let's verify the yeast weight in the overall formula remembering that the yeast % is actually fresh yeast for the convenience of the professional bakers and must be converted to instant dry for the home bakers (see p. 48 if you don't already have this conversion committed to memory): 2lb flour weight x (16oz/lb) x (0.011 fresh yeast weight/flour weight) x (0.33 instant dry yeast weight/fresh yeast weight) = 0.1162 oz which they have rounded up to 0.13??? That's odd. I never learned rounding like that. Now, take a look at some other recipes all based on the same 2 pounds of flour and all specifying the very same 0.13 oz of instant dry yeast. Remember that these baker's percentages are in fresh yeast for commercial bakers: we have 1.25% for Baguettes with pate Fermentee (p. 94), 1.2% for Ciabatta with Stiff Biga (p. 96) and 1.3% for Whole-Wheat Bread with a Multi-Grain Soaker. It's like someone decided to take the easy way out and made a chart of range conversions instead of doing the math for each formula. So, if the fresh yeast percentage is between 1.1% and 1.3% then the home bakers are to use 0.13 oz of instant dry yeast. If you study recipes in the breads with yeasted pre-ferments section you will also notice they did the same thing for 2 lb. formulas calling for between 1.5% - 1.7% fresh yeast which all use the same 0.17 oz of instant dry yeast. When I was first learning baker's percentages from this book, I found it very confusing to find that some yeast quantities in the home baker's column were not arrived at by the method taught in the book. In any case where you discover a discrepancy, you will have to determine if it is significant enough to merit correcting.
Crackers and Flat Breads (p.364) is a new recipe which illustrates the problem of rounding off ounces to one decimal place in a recipe containing a small ingredient such as a spice. The recipe for home bakers is based on 5.2 oz. of flour and calling for 1% toasted cumin. So, here's the math: 5.2 oz. x 0.01 = 0.052 oz.--which has been rounded off to 0.1 oz. In other words, the rounding to one decimal place has resulted in almost doubling the amount of toasted cumin for the home bakers.
For some time, my impression has been that some of the recipes could use more salt. Since I'm not going to be able to bake a loaf for you over the internet, the only way I can describe what I've learned from looking into this issue is to do more baker's math for you. A part of this problem arises from the fact that they round off the salt in home recipes to one decimal place--an inconsistent practice considering that they use two decimal places for yeast. Hamelman writes, "Generally, the correct amount of salt in bread dough is 1.8 to 2 percent of salt based on flour weight (that is, 1.8 to 2 pounds of salt per 100 pounds of flour)" (p. 44). For home bakers, Hamelman often scales recipes to 2 pounds of flour. When you do the math, this means that 1.8% salt would be 0.576 oz while 2.0% is 0.64 oz.--both of which round off to 0.6 oz. There are numerous examples throughout the book of recipes where this rounding off has taken place. For home bakers, the rounding off of the salt means that you will not be able to experience the subtleties of his salting as you are effectively baking all of these recipes at 0.6 oz salt weight / [2 lb flour weight x (16 oz / lb)] = 1.88%. Clearly, this was not his intent, but they did not think this issue through enough before deciding to round off the salt to one decimal place. The remedy is for you to redo the math on any recipe that you make if you want to experience the subtleties of Hamelman's recipes. "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking" by The French Culinary Institute has adapted several of Hamelman's recipes for use in their book and they also offer grams, which is a superior choice over rounding ounces to only one decimal place. For home bakers, it may be in your best interest to simply redo the entire recipe in grams using the baker's percentages.
Question: Why does this review have to be so long?
Answer: The author has justifiably achieved a high standing in the bread baking field, but teaching this subject though a book is not a trivial subject. My review is as long as it has to be to cover what I feel needs to be said, and my experiences may help shorten the learning curve of others. If you understand my review, then you should be able to understand the book--and bake from it successfully. In the preface to the first edition of "Brother Juniper's Bread Book," author Peter "Reinhart writes, "With pen in hand I...pray for your patience, and goodwill, and most of all, for good results." Said a little bit differently, with patience and goodwill you can learn to achieve excellent results with this book.
Hamelman offers seven different formulas for French Baguettes. I can't think of another author who even comes close to that amount! All seven of these recipes have salt in the range of 1.8 to 2%. It's helpful to mention some other prominent authors whose use of salt is in a very different range. Julia Child's famous recipe for Plain French Bread (Pain Francais) which she worked out with the assistance of Professor Raymond Calvel is approximately 2.9% (see "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child and Simone Beck, volume two, p. 57). Elizabeth David's general preference for salt in bread is upwards of 3.13% (see "English Bread and Yeast cookery," p. 120), and James Beard's taste is in the same range (see "Beard on Bread," pp. 22 and 28). One of the advantages of using baker's percentages is that it makes it very easy to adjust a single ingredient such as salt to suit your preferences. The layout of the baker's percentages in this book is very easy to understand compared to other books that I've used. As this particular style takes up more space on the page, it demonstrates a positive commitment from the publisher towards readability of the formulas. Working with baker's percentages is definitely a skill that you will value having learned from this author.
There is a Baking at Home section, but it is only marginally improved in the second edition. It talks about baking on stones, for instance. Many authors focusing on home bakers will also include information on La Cloche bakers. I've had some success particularly with the rectangular La Cloche for some of Hamelman's recipes. This section is only two pages long and could have been more robust, particularly given the varying performance of home ovens. Bake times and temperatures are for commercial ovens, and it is well for you to have reasonable expectations regarding how well you expect this information to work with a home oven before you add this item to your shopping cart. This has required more of my time than any other challenge presented by this book despite the fact that I believe my oven to be correctly calibrated!
The dividing and shaping information is casually thought out for home bakers. Bagels (p. 328) is an example of a recipe based on 3lb 3.5 oz of dough which is expected to yield 13 bagels, and the instructions call for dividing into 4 oz pieces. This is physically impossible even if you could scale exactly to 4 oz because 13 x 4 oz requires a minimum of 3 lb 4 oz to begin with. In reality, you will want to have some extra dough to work with to avoid having to reuse tiny cutting scraps. There is an excellent discussion in Daniel T. DiMuzio's "Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective" (p. 36) suggesting a 5% cutting loss as a starting place until you know your actual loss. Hamelman does teach how to scale a recipe properly, allowing you to adjust recipes.
Mixing times are for commercial-type spiral mixers, but some general guidelines are provided to assist home bakers using KitchenAid type stand mixers to adapt this information. Generally speaking, these guidelines have worked pretty well for me with only a few exceptions. In these cases, I needed to study similar recipes from a variety of sources until I was able to figure out what went wrong in the mixing process.
The repertoire of breads is primarily European artisan of the French, German and Italian traditions. The book features a lot of recipes with seeds and grains that I have enjoyed baking and are worth studying. Despite working for King Arthur, a long-standing American company in Vermont, Hamelman has very little interest in North American tradition nor regional favorites from the northeast such as Portugese Sweet Bread, Boston Brown Bread, or Anadama Bread. The repertoire of whole-rye and medium rye breads is especially distinguished, appealing, and tasty. Lovers of sourdough rye bread should find this book to be a must-have. Although, regarding baking with white rye flour, Hamelman writes on p. 42, "White rye flour has little in the way of flavor or color, and is generally a poor choice in bread making." White rye is often used in Eastern European traditions. Therefore, I would qualify Hamelman's repertoire as being "select European artisan." Within this focus, there is a strong repertoire of variations.
One of the best features of this book is the shaping and handling information. There is also a strong presentation of braiding techniques, as well as decorative dough projects. The book features beautiful line drawing illustrations by the author's wife. I have uploaded some customer images for viewing. These pictures were originally uploaded with captions including favorable comments pointing out various features of the book. Amazon has since changed it's method for displaying picture galleries, and the captions have subsequently been lost.
There are some recipes found herein that both put a smile on my wife's face and that I really value having in my baking repertoire--but I have had to persist through some unnecessary challenges. Current family favorites include the Roasted Potato Bread with Chives (p. 111), Corn Bread (p. 143), and the sourdough rye chapter in general. I am especially grateful that the author introduced me to the Detmolder 3-stage method of rye production (p. 216). This book is particularly suited to professionals and advanced home bakers. I do not recommend this book to new bakers. I bake from the book cautiously, with calculator in hand, having verified the math beforehand. This book is also very useful as a reference book. The author has a lot to offer in terms of baking expertise and delicious recipe offerings, and the journey has been worthwhile despite its challenges.
If you are serious about getting into bread you should also check out some online resources like blogs and forums (The Fresh Loaf being my personal favorite). Once you start baking you'll be amazed at how many questions you have.
One complaint though: Home recipes aren't given in metric!
First off... any of the reviews you've read that say that this is a must read? Yes, yes it is. Hamelman is about on the same level as Peter Reinhart for expertise, and barely half a step below the great Raymond Calvel, so you know this is going to be good. Recipes come in both home and commercial quantity; although metric measurements are only available for the commercial sizes, the presence of baker's percentage makes up for it handily. There is a respectably large amount of technical material, including an entire chapter on braiding dough (apparently whole books exist on that one subject). Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there isn't as much discussion of ingredients as you'd expect; it's there, but Hamelman is more focused on technique and baking science and integrates ingredient discussions into the flow of the book rather than setting them off in one reference section. (There's an extensive bibliography, so you at least know where to go to find the information he doesn't give.)
The book is biased a bit towards western and northern European bread; American breads like Pullman white and Jewish deli rye aren't ignored, but you still have to brave the mountains of half-informed gibberish in Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters to get a decent recipe for Russian bread, and there are nearly no quick breads save Irish soda bread in here. And Hamelman completely avoids no-knead and bread machine recipes completely; although that's probably understandable for a book with a pro audience, this is more of a prosumer book. (This omission doesn't impact my star rating though, as it's just a matter of personal taste.) If Hamelman was going for "the Escoffier of bread", he got probably about two thirds of the way there. And there's something about the flow of the book... I can't put my finger on exactly what bothers me about it, but it's enough to make it feel a little clunky and difficult to navigate. But, much like The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (only less so -- Hamelman isn't out in la la land on nutritional issues), a book can have some pretty profound flaws and still be a must-read. I don't know... if Peter Reinhart is Canon, Hamelman may be Nikon?
Most professional bakers have a copy of Bread, so this review is aimed at the home baker. If you're serious about your bread, you should own this book, end of story. Many of his recipes, like the Vermont Sourdough, are world renowned and it's wonderful to learn how to make them from the master. Though there are 130 recipes, every one of them seems unique and made by hand and you will want to bake them all and in time you will.
With most cookbooks, you have the choice of reading whatever techniques and background the author provides as introduction, or diving right in and starting to make the recipes. If you're experienced with preferments, dividing and shaping, applying steam and other building blocks of the baker's repertoire, maybe you can just dive right into Bread. But that would be a shame because his explanations at the beginning of the book, of these and many other topics, are so clear and thorough that even the master baker has plenty to learn.
I own the first edition of the book and was eager to get my hands on this new edition to see what's changed. Much of it is the same, yet the 30 new recipes are in my opinion worth the price of the new book on their own. Hamelman's perspective on flours has evolved in the 8 years since the first edition and the new recipes reflect it. There's more emphasis on added seeds and other enhancements. Interestingly, he's reworked several of the original recipes to replace high-gluten flour with lower-protein flour out of a confidence that America's bakers are ready to work with looser doughs.
If you've already got a good starter (or are ready to make one from scratch), there's no better place to begin as your first loaf than the Vermont Sourdough. Otherwise, try one of the new yeasted recipes for either Unkneaded Six-Fold French Bread or "Slow Rise" Baguettes. We made both of these in class, and I predict your results will be not only delicious and satisfying, but the essence of all that is good about bread.