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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,380 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper’s Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter con ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published November 14th 2001)
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Aug 29, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I ilterally could not wait to open this book and spend a week baking bread. I could almost taste the wonderful earthiness of it when I first cracked open the cover. But then I noticed something - almost every recipe is for white bread. The loaves in here are beautiful and the photography is superior - but where the heck are all the whole wheat recipes? There is only 1 recipe that uses whole wheat, and in the recipe there is a disclaimer that whole wheat is not preferrable because it is too bitte ...more
Tanya D
Mar 25, 2008 Tanya D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bread bakers
Shelves: cookbooks
I like the detailed bread-making information and instructions, but I've had mixed results with the recipes. It seems that the recipes are either poorly tested or poorly edited, because the results often don't match the descriptions given in the recipes. For example, one recipe says to mix 3/4 cup water with 1 cup flour into a stiff ball. With this much water, the dough is merely a thick paste. I emailed Mr. Reinhart, the author, to inquire and he sent a helpful, friendly reply. This makes me lik ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reinhart is like the Yoda of bread making: he's great if you're looking for a master to guide you through the dense fog of bread making and leave you a jedi on the other side. But if you just want to know how to make a decent bread in your kitchen, well, you don't need Yoda to get you there. This book is needlessly daunting, and given it's wide reputation as a standard text for bread making, it could easily scare off a reader who hadn't actually made a simple bread before. It does have some very ...more
Sam Ley
Oct 08, 2011 Sam Ley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love to cook, so I get a lot of cookbooks. Most are not very good. I dislike cookbooks that are just endless lists of dubious recipes, fraught with superstition, mislabeled measurements, or just written by bad cooks. If I want that, I can have the entire internet.

But sometimes one comes along that actually makes me a BETTER CHEF. This is one of them! The recipes are good, but more importantly, Peter takes you through the entire process of baking bread, and what occurs during each of the many p
Jan 19, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best, most profound book on bread baking I have read to date. Instead of offering his Master Recipe and boring simple variations to fill pages, Reinhart teaches you like you were in his classroom.

I learned more about bread, the craftwork and the techniques of home baking in this book than in all of my other reads. Whereas Lahey's "My Bread" give the Italian influence of bread it's due, Reinhart approaches the task from Parisian methods.

The artistry! The design! The full approachability of
This is a textbook about how to make bread for the home baker. First 100 pages are all about the science and math of bread. It's very interesting to read. The recipes, or formulas as Reinhart calls them, are thoroughly written and illustrated with photos when needed. I would not recommend this book to a beginner since as a whole the book contains so much information that a beginner might be overwhelmed or intimidated. While the actual process of mixing flour, water, yeast, and other things is fa ...more
Courtney Eckard
Jan 16, 2014 Courtney Eckard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love the details...made French bread from it last night :)
Zomick's  Bakery
Nov 04, 2014 Zomick's Bakery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whether you are baker or not this cookbook offers a variety of recipe for preparing bread and other baking products. Me working at Zomick's kosher bakery and wanting to offer something new to customers, find this cookbook as a real baking treasury.
Apr 01, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been scared of bread before now.
Now, I'm making it all the time.

The best part is the starting part, and the main thing that is missing (and I'm not sure a book could provide) is some better way of defining dough wetness besides writing words like "sticky" and "tacky". I suspect that the two-fold answer to the problem is videos and just shoving your hands in the dough.

The recipes are good (so far), and the only two that haven't worked for me are the Ciabatta and the Casatiello. I underestim
Aug 10, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best technical bread making book available. The sourdough is our go to method. Time consuming to start, but just maintenance after that.
Dec 26, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing and educational cookbook. It starts with a tale of how Peter Reinhart won the James Beard National Bread Competition and his subsequent tour of bakeries in Paris. The cookbook then goes into a chapter dedicated to a general tutorial of how to make excellent bread including the best ingredients and equipment to use, the baker's math-formula system (which confused me, but I'm sure my more math-inclined husband would get), and the stages of bread (which contained much detail, inc ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Michala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pekařská klasika. Všichni domácí pekaři přísahají buď na Reinharta nebo Hamelmana a není divu. V knize dostanete hutný teoretický základ, podaný ovšem zajímavě a laskavě (autor musí být strašně sympatický a zlatý pán) a k tomu spoustu receptů na chleby všeho druhu. Vyzkoušeno, fungují. A protože po Bread Bakers Apprentice (2001) vyšly ještě celozrnné chleby (2007) a zjednodušené Artisan Breads Every Day, vrhám se i na tyto knihy.
Joel Friedlander
Just about the best book about break baking for serious at-home cooks. Also quite nicely designed.
Sep 18, 2014 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foodie
“The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” features Peter Reinhart’s collection of Parisian inspired breads and an outpouring of love for the craft of bread making. The introduction to this collection was worth the price of the book itself, even if I never use the recipes (although I certainly will!). I loved learning about his almost happenstance triumph in the James Beard Foundation competition and resulting trip to Paris, France. Working alongside Parisian bread masters and learning a new technique for b ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another new goal.....
Sabrina Mowry
I love the recipes and the ideas here, but I find the recipes do not turn out well. Normally I can follow a recipe no problem, but I do not know if I am working with a sub par equipment or what.

So many times the descriptions of the texture dough should be seems subjective. I have found always erring on the side of wetter than described helps this home baker.

Typically I pride myself on being a good home cook and a pretty fair baker but these recipes continue to remain outside my grasp. Frustrat
Dec 22, 2013 Kristi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, food
This book has been changing my life this past year. I undertook to learn about baking bread from scratch this year (no more bread machines!), and this one came highly recommended to me.

The 100-or so pages that precede the recipes (called "formulas") is worth this book's weight in gold. You'll learn about each step in the process of making bread, the tools and equipment that will help you on your bread making journey, how to approach and understand the formulas, methods of shaping bread, and tip
Yeah, this is pretty darn extraordinary. If you are interested in bread, go for it. I fully expect it'll be one of your favs.

I tried the Swedish Limpa because I am trying to recreate a rye bread I tasted in Colorado years ago and which I finally learned is created through a singular process created specially at Dimmer's Bakery on Dahlia Street in Denver. Anyway, I'm still eating the Limpa a week later. It's still moist, but it isn't Dimmer's...

However, I did REinhart's recipe as background for t
Jan 24, 2013 Mk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food, bread
While I am learning a tremendous amount from this book, it isn't quite enough if you are just starting out in your bread baking adventures. As I've been working through the recipes, I've often wished for a master baker standing over my shoulder to clarify a technique, or to point out just exactly what the dough should look and feel like *here*. He does a great job of explaining many of the whys but leaves the *exactly what* a bit shaky. While I've yet to have any of the breads from these recipes ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Kimberle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-re-read
When I was in culinary school, I had access to some of the most amazing bakers I'd ever met. I was in the bread guild, which met on Sundays, and was conducted by Chef Tom Beckman. He recommended this book over and over, and one day while I was in his office, and we were talking about "the bible of bread", all of his fellow bakers recommended this book.

I immediately ordered a copy, and was plunged into an amazing adventure of baking artisan breads. This is my go-to book for bread baking, and when
Jul 07, 2009 Travis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
After setting this goal for myself of learning how to make the perfect bread, I realized after 20 or so loaves that there are probably people who have spent some time working on this riddle and written books about it. SO my beloved wifey bought this for me and it really helped me to better understand how to use bread chemistry and science to make better bread. For example: don't put the yeast right on the salt, the salt can kill the yeast when it is that concentrated. Also, that the crust will f ...more
Oct 02, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baking
This is a really helpful book for the serious home bread baker. I liked that he advocated using instant yeast, since that's what I generally use.

The most helpful aspect of this book, to me, was his information on how to use pre-ferments. I have taken one of the recipes from this book and tweaked it (adding some whole grains and substituting some whole wheat flour) and finally coming up with the home-made bread recipe I've been looking for since I bought my first bread machine.

I've taken this bo
Ethan Yankura
Aug 04, 2013 Ethan Yankura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beard On Bread hooked me on baking, Bernard Clayton opened my eyes to the variety I could make at home and expanded my horizons in every direction, but The Bread Baker's Apprentice finally taught me how to master the baguette. It sounds silly, but I struggled with. Them for years, never achieving the texture, shape or consistency I sought. I read Reinhart's American Pie years before TBBA, and it revolutionized home pizza making. I picked up this book, not realizing the common denominator, and fe ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cooking
I have made good bread of all kinds, but fantastic bread escaped me until Peter Reinhart explained how to do it in a standard home oven. The baguette was crispy on the outside, so flavorful, and the texture was perfect. Having tried to find great bread to buy and most often being very disappointed, I will use Reinhart's technique and save a lot of time.
Jul 13, 2012 Wouter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love Peter Reinhart's tales in his bread books. This one is more of a teaching book with recipes than a telltale book like his "in search of the best pizza" book is, but you can still find entertaining bits & pieces of visits to bakeries and baking logs.

The recipes are clear but his take on sourdough refreshing is a bit different than others (like Jeffrey Hamelman's BREAD) so it's not that easy to try and compare both books. The latter is clearly geared towards the more professional ba
Christie Kliewer
One of the best books to learn how to bake bread. The introductory chapters explain the science and the intuition behind baking bread. The recipes are great, though I've mostly used it for the traditional breads and not for the "enriched" breads (breads that contain more than just salt, water, yeast, and flour).
Jun 06, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I buy a lot of coffee table style cookbooks mainly to read. I especially like the ones that are biographical. Around the time I purchased this, several bloggers including one of my college friends, we're baking their way through the book "Julie and Julia" style.
Aug 17, 2014 Ashlee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great step by step procedure book for making artisan bread! Not only are the formulas great, but the techniques are great as well! It shows you how to braid Challah, how to make Epis and how to make great loaves! An easy to follow book for any level of baker, it makes bread baking easy!
May 16, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bakers, wannabe Bakers, Scientists
So SO GOOD. I'm learning lots from this book. I know the first half is all about bread without an formulas- that's what Peter calls them, because it's math!- but read it all, guys. I have the Kindle version which is bloody brilliant because there are hotlinks within the formulas taking you back to conversion charts and picture how-to instructions like Making a Brule. He's got a huge amount of formulas to use; so far I've made Challah which was fabulous! and French Bread which was good until it d ...more
James Norton
Dec 18, 2014 James Norton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're going to bake serious bread, this is the only book you need. It's detailed (sometimes painstakingly so), and it's focused on getting professional results - real work must be put in, but the results are ravishingly good.
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