What better way to start our Knead the Book series where we bake from a bread-centric cookbook than with a bread-baking textbook? The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by the French Culinary Institute has everything the bread-baking student needs to know, including descriptions of equipment and ingredients.
When it comes to bread recipes, you're not going to read heartwarming stories about the bread grandma used to make. Instead, there are precise recipes, detailed instructions, and instructional photos. And then, for the fun of it, there are some beauty shots of finished loaves.
These recipes are the unadulterated classics, the building blocks that aspiring bakers need to master before they go off to create recipes with exotic flours and peculiar add-ins.
You'll need a scale to bake for the book, not measuring cups. The ingredients are listed in grams and ounces. It also calls for fresh yeast in most of the recipes, but says that any yeast can be used with any recipe with adjustments. (Good thing as most of us don't have fresh yeast at hand.)
Overall, this book has been a pleasure to bake from, from baguettes to buns to brioche (and other letters of the alphabet as well.) Some recipes are simple, some are complicated, but overall this book has been a pleasure to bake from.
Win 'The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking'
Thanks to the generous folks over at Stewart, Tabori & Chang, we are giving away five (5) copies of The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking this week.
To enter to win a copy of this book, all you have to do is tell us which classic bread you'd most like to master.
This contest is now closed.
About the bread baker: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie or @cookistry.