Baker, breadmaker, cooking writer and cookery school owner, Richard Bertinet, gives a delicious explanation on the title of his latest book Crust. 'If you'll forgive the pun,' he writes in his introduction, 'it includes the kind of breads that you can really get your teeth into... a fantastic crust is one of the most significant things about great bread - be it a sourdough loaf of a baguette. A brilliant crust forces you to really chew your bread...'.
Dough is obviously second nature to Bertinet. He says when you have been baking all your life, you learn to understand and appreciate the way dough behaves, depending on the temperature in your kitchen or the climate outside. But it doesn't matter where you are or what conditions you are working in, according to Bertinet, 'there is always a way to work a little magic with flour and water.'
Bertinet gives clear instructions to breadmaking and baking under titles headed Tools & Techniques, Slow, Different, Sweet and some Facts & Fiction about bread. Learn all there is to know about how to make sourdough, baguettes with Poolish ferment, fermented dough and the autolyse method. There are recipes for breads with some unusual flours, such as Khorason or Kamut flour, Red Cabernet Grape flour and Spelt. You will learn about yeast, working with your oven and working the dough. The sweet selection includes almond croissants (yes, I know, YUM!!), as well as stollen, brioche, and gingerbread. If you appreciate great bread, I recommend you treat yourself to a copy of this inspiring book, fire up the oven, don an apron and start baking today.
Crust. Bread to get your teeth into, Richard Bertinet, Kyle Books (Simon & Schuster), $29.99 including a DVD. Thank you kindly to Simon & Schuster and Richard Bertinet for giving me the opportunity to review this title and road test the recipes.
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