Review of 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' 15th Anniversary Edition by Peter Reinhart

 Peter Reinhart is the co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper's Bakery, an author of ten bread books and an instructor at the world's largest culinary academy.  This an updated version of the 2001 edition. Within this book Peter examines bread through the framework of the classic twelve stages of baking.

In Chapter One he discusses 'What Is It About Bread?' and how it becomes an almost obsession with bread makers.  He covers fermentation, qualities of bread, his experiences in France with the amazing bread there, and other tips and techniques.

In Chapter Two "Deconstructing Bread: A Tutorial" he explains Weight and Measure conversions -
listing common ingredient conversions, Types of Flour, Instant Yeast, Water.  He has a section of Hand Kneading, Electric mixers, Bread Machines and Food Processors and his recommendation of instant-read food thermometer's.  Other sections covered are: Sharing and Proofing Equipment, Baking Parchment and silicone mats, Spray Oil, Baking Stones, Ovens, Fermentation and Proofing Temperatures, The Baker's Math Formula System and Classifications of Breads.

In following pages Peter gives the twelve stages of bread step by step.  It does include illustrations here and there - though not a lot. There are a lot of photos showing how to shape the loaves, which is really helpful.

The third chapter is called 'Formulas' and gives all the basic formula's for the loaves.  I believe this is just another word for recipes.  There is a great selection of recipes there - I was really excited to see English Muffins as that is something I have yet to try.  Fortunately it is a recipe that can be done in a day too. I noticed that many of the recipes throughout are two day affairs.

On making the English Muffins from this book, it was all very easy to follow. The layout is easily read.  Within the recipe it does refer you to other pages.  For example in this recipe it said that the dough should pass the windowpane test which was illustrated on another page.  So that was actually quite helpful to give me an idea of the texture of the dough at this stage. Mine was not like that so I added more milk as it suggested.  It did refer me again at the 4th step to check another page too which I quickly looked at, but it seemed to repeat what followed anyway.

Everything went as expected and my English Muffins turned out really well! I'm really pleased with
the recipe!  I'll post pictures at the bottom! I will definitely be trying more from this book as a result.

On the whole, I think this is a great book for anyone interested in bread making to any degree - whether you like to make it all by hand or use a bread maker.  I would definitely recommend it.

Please note that I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review, however the opinions expressed are my own.