The book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" by Peter Reinhart has been one of the best mother's day gifts I've received to date. I don't know Peter R., but I feel as if I know him. He opens Chapter 1 by referencing Portland, OR's Summer Loaf Festival. I'm immediately drawn in since I live in a suburb of Portland. I haven't been to the festival, but I definitely will be watching for it.
Anyway, Peter discusses how he won the California regional bread competition organized by the Beard Foundation, beating out Craig Ponsford, who would win the world championship of breads a few months later. Thats pretty major.
Peter won making two large sourdough boules made from a starter he'd been cultivating for three months. (We love sourdough bread. I thought wow, maybe I can make some great sourdough now.) He rcounrts how he won the nationals in New York and as a prize he got to spend five days with one master baker. Instead he opts to see five bakers in as many days. The ensuing story is captivating and will draw you into his love and passion for bread making.
I was hooked. Chapter two is revolutionary for me. He explains the "Baker's Math-Formula System." This formula is based on the concept that all ingredients are viewed in ratio to the total flour weight, (TFW). The TFW always represents 100% and all other ingredients are figured as a percentage against the flour. This was brilliant. I love math. I quickly inferred that if you...
I have been using this book for some times now and I can tell that if you want to bake EXCELLENT bread this is a good choice. But you must have time or be well organize because most of the bread takes two days to make and requires few hours fermentation. But once use to the process it is easier than it looks. Good baking time!