Book Review: Bread Making: A Home Course (Storey Publishing)

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Title:  Bread Making
Subtitle: Crafting the Perfect Loaf from Crust to Crumb
Author: Lauren Chattman
ISBN: 978-1603427913
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (April 1, 2011)
Pages: 296 pages (paperback)
From the Publisher:
Imagine making your own ciabatta, sourdough, English muffins, challah, naan, rye bread, brioche, and more! Even complete beginners can successfully bake their own bread with this in-depth course in core bread-making techniques. From buying flour to slicing a warm baguette, you’ll find everything you need to know to make artisanal loaves of every bread style, including straight doughs, sourdoughs, yeasted flatbreads, and more.
About the Author:

A former pastry chef, Lauren Chattman is the author of nine cookbooks and co-author of numerous other books, including Dessert University with former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, The New York Times, and Redbook, among others. She lives in Sag Harbor, New York with her husband and two daughters.

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My Review:
Breadmaking has always been one of those things that I have trouble with! It is part art and part science and I just don’t quite have a ‘feel’ for what the dough should look and act like during the process! I get very frustrated because people have been making bread for a very long time, why can’t I?
 
I found Bread Making: A Home Course to be a fascinating look into the history, science, and art of making high quality breads at home. This is more than just a cookbook, it is an in depth look at the bread making process. The beginning section on ingredients is very detailed and informative. I never really knew how wheat became flour or that there were so many different types of salt! There are also sections on equipment and basic steps necessary to make bread. Each section ends in a Q & A which I found very helpful. The questions are sometimes complicated and sometimes simple but all things that beginning bakers would ask.
The recipes are broken down into sections based on the technique needed to make them. For example, all the sourdoughs are together, all the flatbreads are in one section, etc. Each of these chapters also has a similar Q & A section as described above that is very helpful. For example, it includes information on shaping a round loaf for extra ‘pizazz’. There is an entire section on bread machine cooking. I never had luck with mine and got rid of it years ago but I am sure the newer models work much better!
The last section has resources for the new bread maker including a glossary, a resource section, etc. I like the glossary! I had never heard of the word poolish before and had to look it up! (it is a french pre-ferment by the way!)
This book is quite informative and a few helpful pictures are scattered throughout. I think I would like a few more pictures, especially of the recipes themselves. Despite this, I think the directions are easy to follow and the amount of information contained in this book is quite extensive! It is written in an easy to read format and does not come off sounding like a textbook.
 
My thanks to Storey Publishing for allowing me to review their books.  If you would like to see other titles offered by them, you can check out their blog, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or check out their latest catalog!

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received one copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.

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