EdibleNotesReviews's Reviews > Bread Making: A Home Course: Crafting the Perfect Loaf, From Crust to Crumb

Bread Making by Lauren Chattman
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Apr 22, 11

bookshelves: baking, cooking
Read in April, 2011

It’s safe to say that many have never baked bread that did not come from the frozen section of the grocery or from a pop open tube. Pastry chef and author Lauren Chattman hopes to inspire changing that in her new Bread Making: Crafting the Perfect Loaf from Crust to Crumb (Storey Publishing, March, 2011). In Bread Making, Chattman lays out (in a toney, smart style) all the basics of making true artisan breads – with shatteringly crisp crusts, deep flavors, complex aromas and substance. Breads we all want to bake and enjoy and to share.

Chattman brings a world of knowledge to the subject, a subject long lost on many other than the most adventurous bakers and diligent gourmet cooking class participants. Proper artisan baking – as Chattman teaches, is time consuming and costly. And while an entirely enjoyable and worthwhile skill to learn, it is not for the beginner.

Like many excellent cookbooks (and I consider Bread Making to be an excellent cookbook even though it lacks photography) it supposes a level of knowledge of foods, ingredients and cooking techniques that often is not yet obtained by a cook – nor ever will be. Saying this is a book about making artisan breads for the ‘beginner’ is relative; this ‘beginner’ is certainly an experienced home cook with room, a big refrigerator, a lot of tools to work with and some money to spend on ingredients, both locally sourced and purchased over the internet.

Chattman lays out all of the prerequisite knowledge base about flours, yeasts, salts, sweeteners and other ingredients in a clean design that is orchestrated to support the recipes. Yes there are a number of French words for things and specialty ingredients abound but Chattman includes excellent reference material and enough sources to make wrapping everything up as easy as possible.

Considering the quality, design and instructional level of Bread Making, it will remind many of other books on the subject. Along with Chattman’s work, a thorough library of reference materials on true artisan baking can be achieved. Just don’t think it’s going to be easy.

Edible Notes received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and has received no other compensation for this review.
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