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Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  627 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Discover the true heart and soul of bread in CRUST & CRUMB, from whole-wheat, sourdough, and rye to pita, focaccia, and naan. In this classic cookbook, expert baker Peter Reinhart shows how to produce phenomenal bread, explaining each step of the process in detail and giving you knowledge and confidence to create countless variations of your own.

Awards1999 James Beard
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Ten Speed Press (first published 1998)
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The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter ReinhartBread by Jeffrey HamelmanThe Bread Bible by Rose Levy BeranbaumArtisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff HertzbergHow to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou
Best Breadmaking Books Ever
17th out of 33 books — 38 voters
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21st out of 142 books — 102 voters

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Community Reviews

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Caryn Caldwell
Jul 11, 2007 Caryn Caldwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Not a book of bread recipes so much as an in-depth discussion of baking several select "formulas". Includes a lot of very helpful background on the basics of bread-making. This is NOT a book for beginning bread bakers. The formulas (he doesn't call them recipes) are complex, most of the simplest ones taking two days to make. I'm not sure this is a book I'll go back to again and again when I want to make bread--rather than making it seem simpler, as I'd hoped, it makes the task seem very complex ...more
Tanya D
Mar 25, 2008 Tanya D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bread bakers
Shelves: cookbooks
In some ways I prefer this to his later book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. For some similar recipes from both books, C&C tends to have more tips and background info on how the recipe was created.
Meghan Fidler
Apr 21, 2014 Meghan Fidler rated it really liked it
Shelves: future-farmhouse
While I hesitate to include mr. Reinhart as a historical figure in bread making or a radical pioneer in talk of bread philosophy (as per his introduction), I found this an impressive book collecting both rustic kitchen terminology and the "science of cooking" specifications from the late 50s and 60s. I found the marriage of these styles underplayed, a technique which adds an important dialog for a book on bread: In this sense, the author did shine... Though it takes a chef to proclaim this ...more
Gary Mesick
Mar 16, 2010 Gary Mesick rated it really liked it
Once you get past Reinhart's "slow rise" as metaphor, you may find his stuff hard going. It took me several goes at this one to understand what else he had to teach me. Finally, I think I get it. "Build" your bread at the rate the yeast performs best, not at the rate you perform best. You will make better bread (and it will take you a really, really long time!)
Aug 22, 2009 Donald rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking-and-food
I've been wanting to make our own bread for some time now. Peter Reinhart has more in this book than I will need in this lifetime. Not only did I learn about making all sorts of artisan bread, I thoroughly enjoyed Reinhard's stories.
Donna Sutherland
Oct 25, 2014 Donna Sutherland rated it really liked it
I like to read cookbooks and try to understand the science. Enjoyed this one.
Thing One
Nov 16, 2012 Thing One rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
An earlier work, and well worth space on the shelf. I miss the illustrations though.
Lindsey Duncan
I had high hopes for this book, but even though it was full of thoughtful commentary and clear, step-by-step analysis of philosophy and methods, it just didn't work for me. I didn't really connect with the contents. Also, the author relies on slow fermentation and overnight retarding of dough (a process which, classically, is typically confined to sweet doughs), and I'm not convinced that this has any real benefit to outweigh the fact that it (almost exponentially) increases the preparation ...more
John Sundeen
Dec 07, 2010 John Sundeen rated it really liked it
This book totally got me started in bread baking. A great intro for weekend warrior bakers. Love making a hard crusted bread, and also experimenting with at least slightly more wheat flour than a few of the recipes call out. Bagel making has been hit or miss, but sure is practically identical to a certain national chain when it comes out right. Checked one of his more recent efforts out of the library (the same as how I previewed this one before outright owning it), but has not inspired the way ...more
Mar 01, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
I've read a lot of bread books and this one, IMHO, is the best of the lot. Of course it depends on what you are looking for in a bread book, I was looking for alternatives, and this book offered many.

I was looking for tried and true recipes, this book has them. I was looking for background information on breadmaking (how it works and why and geeky stuff like that) and this book has that too. So, I went and bought my own copy.

If you bake breads pretty regularly at home, I recommend this or any
May 19, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, cookbook
I've revised my rating (from four stars to five) after owning and using this for a few years. I make several of these recipes at least once a month (tortillas & pita) and a few more of them every other month or so (muffins, cream scones, biscuit scones, quick bread). The yeast breads are similar to the ones in Bread Baker's Apprentice, and I tend to reach for that book first when I'm baking with yeast.
Apr 02, 2016 Yaaresse rated it really liked it
Nothing about this is an easy read. It's small print and low contrast and dense, dense, dense in content. Still, well worth the effort to chug through because there are very few questions about bread that can't be answered in these pages. If you're easily intimidated by baking, might be better to look to one of the more general baking books. Bagel recipe in here is worth price of admission alone.
Dec 31, 2012 Joyce rated it it was amazing
Yes, this is a recipe book in part, although Reinhart refers to them as formulas. It's also, and maybe primarily, a treatise on bread. Why things happen when you do "x" rather than, or in addition to, "y'. I found it fascinating.

Of course, I want my own copy of the book! This one has to go back on the library's shelves.
Jul 29, 2008 Sandra rated it really liked it
I am increasingly impressed with this book the more I use it. Peter Reinhardt knows his stuff and his muffin recipe is amazing. Buy the book for that recipe alone. He gives a plenitude of information to make you a expert baker. This is not a simple beginners only book but a book to make amazing bread because the techniques are some of the best I have come across.
Tommy Butler
Dec 23, 2011 Tommy Butler rated it it was amazing
I use this bad boy for all my baking endeavors. While I haven't mastered the baguette or ciabatta, I do make a mean pizza. This book and its associated activities also teach patience and are often humbling. I recommend to any looking to make world class bread (or at least aspiring too).
Kirk Dobihal
Jan 19, 2016 Kirk Dobihal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-books
Chose to re-read this in view of trying levain style bakes. His book,'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' is my go to book, however this proceeds that and I wish to learn as much as I can before I set to start my seed. Love his style of writing and the passion displayed for bread.
Aug 14, 2007 Fran rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: anyone who bakes bread
Time to start thinking about fall and bread baking. More instruction than recipes in this book. We'll see how it goes.
Feb 23, 2007 erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Reinhart's newer book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, supercedes Crust & Crumb. Still, this is a great book.
Sam Gilbert
Feb 06, 2015 Sam Gilbert rated it really liked it
Very good on the most important techniques for producing beautiful crusty bread with gorgeous crumb and fabulous gluten.
Anne Lao
Anne Lao rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2015
Như Lưu
Như Lưu rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2015
Selah rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2009
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Sep 09, 2016
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Jul 25, 2007
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S rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2010
David Durr
David Durr rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2015
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