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Advanced Bread and Pastry Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 March 2008
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The book is aimed at students, professional bakers and "enthusiasts". I am in the last category, and if, like me, you are a working in a domestic kitchen, you are unlikely to have all the recommended equipment. I work with a good mixer (the Ankarsrum Assistant) and an ordinary domestic fan-assisted convection oven, and I manage just fine! If you always want to knead the dough by hand, then this book may not be ideal as the recipes that I have looked at do assume you have a mixing machine of some kind. I have to improvise in order to create steam in the oven, and to create the specified proving environment, but fortunately if you have made the dough correctly in the first place, you can get away with compromising a little. I use an Excel spreadsheet for my recipes, and using Suas' baker's percentages, it is easy to scale his recipes down to my maximum capacities for mixing and baking. The ingredient quantities are given in both metric and Imperial measures, although the book's Test quantities are given in imperial measures only. The Test quantities are very handy for trying out recipes for the first time. After purchasing the book, I did have to buy a few bits and pieces that were clearly going to be absolutely essential - the most important one by far was a decent thermometer for taking the temperature of the dough. I also bought a large silicon baking mat for working with the dough, and an additional scale, a gram weighing scale for measuring very small quantities of yeast etc, as my existing scale is only good up to one decimal place when set to measure in grams.
This is not a cheap book, nor is it the most recent, but it is perfect for me. It has some of the characteristics of a textbook, but it is a good read, and is attractively presented with beautiful photographs. There are probably only a few really good bread books out there that are written by authors that have extensive in-depth knowledge and experience, and this is definitely one of them. It's worth every penny!
It is a journey around bread and pastry's world. Clear how is write, perfect for people with a background or for keen people.
My bad review is about the package.
I ordered few other things (one was a bottle of detergent) and the book was inside of the box without any protection.
Horrible experience find the book wet and sticky. You can understand the frustration looking the picture attached.