Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread Book

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by kylew, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. kylew

    kylew

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    I swore I wasn't going to buy any more bread books. 21 books should pretty well cover the subject. Then, at the suggestion of a guru, I looked at Hamelman's "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes". OK, 22 books should do it.

    This is an awesome book. It's in the same vein as Peter Reinhart's Crust & Crumb and The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This is a book that teaches you. Not surprising as, like Reinhart, Hamelman is an educator in addition to being a world class bread baker. This is not just another recipe collection.

    The first recipe appears on page 101. The first 100 pages provide a level of insight into bread baking not available in most bread books. Dough temperature, mixing technique, ingredients, oxidation etc. are all covered in depth. This is a book that is designed to take your understanding of bread baking, and thus your bread, to a whole new level.

    One unique aspect of this book is its intended audience. It was written for both professional and home bakers. Books written for professional bakers can often be a little intimidating to home bakers, think Calvel. Bread books aimed at the home baker can often be a little patronizing. This book is neither intimidating nor patronizing when addressing those of us who bake bread for sport. After years of having our noses pressed up against the windows of bread bakeries, this book lets us in!
     
  2. jock

    jock

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    The first 100 pages of The Bread Baker's Apprentice is also devoted to the science and in depth understanding of bread. Does Hamelman's book duplicate Reinhart's work or am I likely to learn something new?

    Jock
     
  3. kylew

    kylew

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    I learn something new every time I open one of either one of these books. There is enough subject matter, and variety of opinion, that both of these books can fit easily on your shelf. I find that the more I read the easier it is to find the path that works in my kitchen. For me bread baking is far from black and white. Reading lots of opinions, I just counted and have 21 bread books, helps me find the right share of gray :)
     
  4. jock

    jock

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    Yeah, I kinda figured that. I'm really trying to find a way to justify getting another book to my wife who already thinks I have way too many (as if you could!) She thinks I am nuts for reading a great tome on baking just to find out the difference between granulated and sheet gelatin. How do you explain this stuff to someone who doesn't have the passion? :bounce:

    Jock
     
  5. kylew

    kylew

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    As Louis Armstrong is said to have said when asked what jazz is, ‘If you got to ask, you ain’t never gonna get to know.’ :)