Creating the perfect loaf of bread--a challenge that has captivated bakers for centuries--is now the rage in the hippest places, from Waitsfield, Vermont, to Point Reyes Station, California. Like the new generation of beer drinkers who consciously seek out distinctive craft-brewed beers, many people find that their palates have been reawakened and re-educated by the taste of locally baked, whole-grain breads. Today's village bakers are finding an important new role--linking tradition with a sophisticated new understanding of natural levens, baking science and oven construction.
Daniel Wing, a lover of all things artisinal, had long enjoyed baking his own sourdough bread. His quest for the perfect loaf began with serious study of the history and chemistry of bread baking, and eventually led to an apprenticeship with Alan Scott, the most influential builder of masonry ovens in America.
Alan and Daniel have teamed up to write this thoughtful, entertaining, and authoritative book that shows you how to bake superb healthful bread and build your own masonry oven. The authors profile more than a dozen small-scale bakers around the U.S. whose practices embody the holistic principles of community-oriented baking based on whole grains and natural leavens.
The Bread Builders will appeal to a broad range of readers, including:
- Connoisseurs of good bread and good food.
- Home bakers interested in taking their bread and pizza to the next level of excellence.
- Passionate bakers who fantasize about making a living by starting their own small bakery.
- Do-it-yourselfers looking for the next small construction project.
- Small-scale commercial bakers seeking inspiration, the most up-to-date knowledge about the entire bread-baking process, and a marketing edge.
In recent years, a revived and burgeoning interest in wholesome, locally baked bread has swept the country, with bakeries springing up in small towns and major urban areas alike, producing an astounding variety of interesting, crusty, tasty, handmade breads. The Bread Builders explains the grains and flours, leavens and doughs, the chemistry of bread, and the physics of baking in a big book filled with helpful drawings, photographs, recipes, and tips. In a unique angle for a book on baking bread, it also includes detailed diagrams and instructions for building your own masonry bread oven from scratch.
As Laurel Robertson, author of The New Laurel's Kitchen says, "This book is ice cream for a baker! We visit legendary bakeries, meet wonderful people, learn all sorts of fascinating scientific information with practical usefulness in bowl and oven, and best of all, get the skinny on masonry ovens, the cherished fantasy of us all." The enthusiasm of the authors in their search for the perfect loaf of bread permeates this detailed but lively and accessible book, and will offer much of use to both amateur and professional bread makers. --Mark A. Hetts
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