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captkingdom 02-01-2009 08:25 PM

Books and a good first try
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Hi everyone. I have been lurking here a while and am excited to build my WFO this coming spring. I really cant wait and have been experimenting in my gas home oven with a couple of stones.
I have a lot to learn and hoped you would not mind recommending a few of the best books on bread making. I am interested in learning of Artisan breads and both white and whole wheat.
Today I baked my first loaf that I thought turned out anywhere near well and will try to post the pictures. I used the Recipe for Parisian Baguette's with Pate Fermente as a guide, but as I have a nasty habit of modifying any recipe I come across, as well as the fact I had only all purpose flour, I put my own (ignorant) twist on it and multiplied by 1.5.
I added all the yeast, salt, water and 2/3 of the flour and last night and stirred by hand thoroughly until it became sticky. I don't have a bread machine nor do I really plan on buying one. So mixing and kneading are by hand.
After church at noon, I removed the covered batter to warm up for an hour. I then mixed in the rest of the flour and kneaded by hand for quite some time, though never exceeding about 68 degrees. I let this rise covered for 3 hours or so, well over doubling, formed a single loaf which I let proof for an hour. I then baked it at 525 for nearly a half hour and reached only 198 internal temp.
The crust was terrific, the kids loved it as did my wife, though she would prefer slightly less crustiness :rolleyes:
The crumb was nice and chewy but rather dense and the holes were quite small.
Anyway thanks for a great site and fun community, virtually everything I know about baking bread I have learned here in the last few months.

If anyone would not mind condescending to school a newbie and also recommend a couple books for my wife to get me for Valentines I would appreciate it

gjbingham 02-01-2009 08:45 PM

Re: Books and a goo first try
No condescending around here, (unless people are addressing me). :)

I think the best book to start with is Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. He has a series of books that expand on this work. I also have the Bread Baker's Bible, which I don't like as much, but has a different variety of breads, and more from North America. From your pics, you appear to be off to a good start.

Frances 02-02-2009 10:50 AM

Re: Books and a goo first try
My favourite is Hamelman's bread book. Did your wife say how many books you can ask for? :)

nissanneill 02-02-2009 01:24 PM

Re: Books and a goo first try
Hi Captkingdom.
there are numerous good and a few great books on bread making. I agree with the others and have them, I also have another on order and can't form a comment yet but will do on it's arrival.
I put a post up the other week which has a really good book that should be easily available and I like it as it has a host of different and much wider variety of breads, rolls, sweets and other breads.

Try Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare Books

type in the author or title in the window to find a range of new or used copies.


AnnieMacD 02-02-2009 02:32 PM

Re: Books and a goo first try
My recommendations are: The Bread Baker's Apprentice (see above), Hammelman (see above), The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard and The Bread Bible by Rose Levy-Beranbaum. Peter Reinhart has a pizza book out called American Pie - I use his sourdough crust for all my pizzas. If you need more, let us know - I'm a collector of baking books! Your bread looks great.

captkingdom 02-02-2009 05:09 PM

Re: Books and a goo first try
Thanks everybody. I am looking forward to improving and getting a better loaf that is not so dense.

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