Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart

Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement—from his seminal work, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, to today. In Bread Revolution, he explores the cutting-edge developments in bread baking, with fifty recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, nut and seed flours, alternative flours (such as teff and grape skin), and allergy-friendly and gluten-free approaches.

A new generation of bakers and millers are developing innovative flours and baking techniques that are designed to extract the grain’s full flavor potential—what Reinhart calls “the baker’s mission.” In this lushly photographed primer, Reinhart draws inspiration from these groundbreaking methods to create master recipes and formulas any home baker can follow, including Sprouted Sandwich Rye Bread, Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread, and Sprouted Wheat Croissants.

In many instances, such as with sprouted flours, preferments aren’t necessary because so much of the flavor development occurs during the sprouting phase. For grains that benefit from soakers, bigas, and sourdough starters, Reinhart provides the precise guidance that has made him such a trusted expert in the field.

Advanced bakers will relish Reinhart’s inventive techniques and exacting scientific explanations, while beginning bakers will rejoice in his demystification of ingredients and methods—and all will come away thrilled by bread’s new frontier.



Received for review.

Admittedly I'm not one for sprouted anything but I simply cannot pass up a cookbook when I see one, especially one about bread, so I was excited to get right into this.

This is certainly not for traditional bread bakers who will be horrified to see many French breads "improved" with the use of sprouted and whole grains.  I almost fainted myself when I saw the recipe for Sprouted Wheat Croissants.  That just seems cruel to me to do that to a perfectly innocent croissant.  There is also copious use of sourdough starter.  So, this is certainly a shock for many bakers.

The recipes themselves are very "crunchy granola", but seem to be still edible, if only marginally so.  There are lots of seeds involved, as well as agave syrup and other non traditional ingredients.  There are also numerous gluten free recipes which will be welcome for those with dietary restrictions.

Overall, this was an enlightening read.  I don't feel particularly compelled to make any of the recipes, but the pictures were beautiful and the recipes well written and easy to understand.  If you're looking for a non-traditional bread baking book this is it.  It would also make a lovely gift for those who enjoy alternative bread options.

★★★★ = Really Liked It



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