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Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers

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Discover the true heart and soul of bread in CRUST & CRUMB, from whole-wheat, sourdough, and rye to pita, focaccia, and naan. In this classic cookbook, expert baker Peter Reinhart shows how to produce phenomenal bread, explaining each step of the process in detail and giving you knowledge and confidence to create countless variations of your own. Awards1999 James Beard Awa Discover the true heart and soul of bread in CRUST & CRUMB, from whole-wheat, sourdough, and rye to pita, focaccia, and naan. In this classic cookbook, expert baker Peter Reinhart shows how to produce phenomenal bread, explaining each step of the process in detail and giving you knowledge and confidence to create countless variations of your own. Awards1999 James Beard Award Winner


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Discover the true heart and soul of bread in CRUST & CRUMB, from whole-wheat, sourdough, and rye to pita, focaccia, and naan. In this classic cookbook, expert baker Peter Reinhart shows how to produce phenomenal bread, explaining each step of the process in detail and giving you knowledge and confidence to create countless variations of your own. Awards1999 James Beard Awa Discover the true heart and soul of bread in CRUST & CRUMB, from whole-wheat, sourdough, and rye to pita, focaccia, and naan. In this classic cookbook, expert baker Peter Reinhart shows how to produce phenomenal bread, explaining each step of the process in detail and giving you knowledge and confidence to create countless variations of your own. Awards1999 James Beard Award Winner

30 review for Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers

  1. 5 out of 5

    zakeeya

    A little too wordy and complicated for my level of skill, but a great resource nevertheless. I look forward to this author's next publication on gluten and wheat free breads. A little too wordy and complicated for my level of skill, but a great resource nevertheless. I look forward to this author's next publication on gluten and wheat free breads.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caryn Caldwell

    Not a book of bread recipes so much as an in-depth discussion of baking several select "formulas". Includes a lot of very helpful background on the basics of bread-making. This is NOT a book for beginning bread bakers. The formulas (he doesn't call them recipes) are complex, most of the simplest ones taking two days to make. I'm not sure this is a book I'll go back to again and again when I want to make bread--rather than making it seem simpler, as I'd hoped, it makes the task seem very complex Not a book of bread recipes so much as an in-depth discussion of baking several select "formulas". Includes a lot of very helpful background on the basics of bread-making. This is NOT a book for beginning bread bakers. The formulas (he doesn't call them recipes) are complex, most of the simplest ones taking two days to make. I'm not sure this is a book I'll go back to again and again when I want to make bread--rather than making it seem simpler, as I'd hoped, it makes the task seem very complex and time-consuming--but it has given me a much better grounding in the subject, which I can then use to make recipes from, well, other bread books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gary Mesick

    Once you get past Reinhart's "slow rise" as metaphor, you may find his stuff hard going. It took me several goes at this one to understand what else he had to teach me. Finally, I think I get it. "Build" your bread at the rate the yeast performs best, not at the rate you perform best. You will make better bread (and it will take you a really, really long time!) Once you get past Reinhart's "slow rise" as metaphor, you may find his stuff hard going. It took me several goes at this one to understand what else he had to teach me. Finally, I think I get it. "Build" your bread at the rate the yeast performs best, not at the rate you perform best. You will make better bread (and it will take you a really, really long time!)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya D

    In some ways I prefer this to his later book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. For some similar recipes from both books, C&C tends to have more tips and background info on how the recipe was created. In some ways I prefer this to his later book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. For some similar recipes from both books, C&C tends to have more tips and background info on how the recipe was created.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Fidler

    While I hesitate to include mr. Reinhart as a historical figure in bread making or a radical pioneer in talk of bread philosophy (as per his introduction), I found this an impressive book collecting both rustic kitchen terminology and the "science of cooking" specifications from the late 50s and 60s. I found the marriage of these styles underplayed, a technique which adds an important dialog for a book on bread: In this sense, the author did shine... Though it takes a chef to proclaim this himse While I hesitate to include mr. Reinhart as a historical figure in bread making or a radical pioneer in talk of bread philosophy (as per his introduction), I found this an impressive book collecting both rustic kitchen terminology and the "science of cooking" specifications from the late 50s and 60s. I found the marriage of these styles underplayed, a technique which adds an important dialog for a book on bread: In this sense, the author did shine... Though it takes a chef to proclaim this himself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    Nothing about this is an easy read. It's small print and low contrast and dense, dense, dense in content. Still, well worth the effort to chug through because there are very few questions about bread that can't be answered in these pages. If you're easily intimidated by baking, might be better to look to one of the more general baking books. Bagel recipe in here is worth price of admission alone. Nothing about this is an easy read. It's small print and low contrast and dense, dense, dense in content. Still, well worth the effort to chug through because there are very few questions about bread that can't be answered in these pages. If you're easily intimidated by baking, might be better to look to one of the more general baking books. Bagel recipe in here is worth price of admission alone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    I've been wanting to make our own bread for some time now. Peter Reinhart has more in this book than I will need in this lifetime. Not only did I learn about making all sorts of artisan bread, I thoroughly enjoyed Reinhard's stories. I've been wanting to make our own bread for some time now. Peter Reinhart has more in this book than I will need in this lifetime. Not only did I learn about making all sorts of artisan bread, I thoroughly enjoyed Reinhard's stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thing One

    An earlier work, and well worth space on the shelf. I miss the illustrations though.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Donna Sutherland

    I like to read cookbooks and try to understand the science. Enjoyed this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    June 2020: I can't remember exactly when I got this book out of the library. I'm pretty sure I did not read it cover to cover. Formulas instead of recipes? Oh please. Prodigal use of plastic wrap and cooking spray? Yikes. Recommendation to use expensive parchment sheets instead of rolled parchment paper? Just say no. I have two main objections to the book: that 1.) by baking bread at home, we're supposed to have joined in some sort of Crusade, and 2.) cooking spray and plastic have no business b June 2020: I can't remember exactly when I got this book out of the library. I'm pretty sure I did not read it cover to cover. Formulas instead of recipes? Oh please. Prodigal use of plastic wrap and cooking spray? Yikes. Recommendation to use expensive parchment sheets instead of rolled parchment paper? Just say no. I have two main objections to the book: that 1.) by baking bread at home, we're supposed to have joined in some sort of Crusade, and 2.) cooking spray and plastic have no business being habitually used for making bread. Since that time a new paradigm, what I call the "bread revolution," has been gradually manifesting itself in many forms. [...] The bread revolution was fought and won on all three fronts: whole-grain awareness, traditional methodology, and neotraditional creativity. This book is an instruction manual for the home baker who want to heed the call to arms. Evidence of the revolution is springing up like loaves out of a hot oven as new bakeries appear daily [... and so on, and so on...] [A New Paradigm, p5] ~ ~ ~ ~ Rustic breads will also really impress your friends and family, converting those few stragglers who have not yet joined the bread revolution. [Rustic Breads, p47] ~ ~ ~ ~ The revolution of crust and crumb is close to being won [...] and the public's hunger for real bread are all signs of victory [...] [M]y hope is that the next wave in the bread revolution will find us well-armed and prepared to lead and inspire future generations. [Postscript | Resources, p195 ] In the recipe for the Old Dough pre-ferment, Reinhart says, "mist the dough lightly with cooking spray". Throughout the book, bread dough, pans, parchment paper are all to be lightly misted with cooking spray. Cooking spray?! Is that some sort of armour for the revolutionaries? Often the instructions are for the dough to be misted with cooking spray and then covered with plastic. Even for baguettes, there is the instruction to "mist the top of the dough with cooking spray" In 1993, The French government passed a law, Le Décret Pain, that states that traditional French bread must be made with only four ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. (The starter can contain some rye flour.) But nowhere is "oil", "butter", or "cooking spray" mentioned. Call me a purist; I just don't think that cooking spray belongs in the arsenal of the bread revolutionaries. Art. 2. -Peuvent seuls être mis en vente ou vendus sous la dénomination de : "pain de tradition française", "pain traditionnel français", "pain traditionnel de France" ou sous une dénomination combinant ces termes les pains [...] ne contenant aucun additif et résultant de la cuisson d’une pâte qui présente les caractéristiques suivantes : 1° Etre composée exclusivement d’un mélange de farines panifiables de blé, d’eau potable et de sel de cuisine ; 2° Etre fermentée à l’aide de levure de panification (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) et de levain, au sens de l’article 4 du présent Décret, ou de l’un seulement de ces agents de fermentation alcoolique panaire ; 3° Eventuellement contenir, par rapport au poids total de farine mise en oeuvre une proportion maximale de : a) 2 p. 100 de farine de fèves ; b) 0,5 p. 100 de farine de soja ; c) 0,3 p. 100 de farine de malt de blé. [...] Art. 4. -Le levain est une pâte composée de farine de blé et de seigle ou de l’un seulement de ces deux ingrédients, d’eau potable éventuellement additionnée de sel et soumise à une fermentation naturelle acidifiante, dont la fonction est d’assurer la levée de la pâte.   [(source: cooksinfo.com/french-bread-law-1993)] To create steam in the oven, Reinhart also advocates spraying the walls with water. This just feels like a recipe for disaster - exploding oven light and/or cracking oven window. The recipes are probably fine - as long as the needless cooking spray is omitted. I just can't get past the fact that the measurements are in cups/spoons and pounds/ounces. I sure hope that the newer bread revolutionaries insist on going metric. There may well be some good tips in the book - I do know there are a lot of people who swear by his recipes (or formulae, if you prefer) but I just can't get past the militant "take up arms" aspect. I think I wouldn't be so ticked off if Reinhart weren't so elitist and would just stick to standardized names for things: as in "stiff starter" or "buildup" instead of "barm"; "starter" instead of "seed culture"; "recipe" instead of "formula"; "zero oil" instead of "cooking spray"; "lid" or "damp tea-towel" instead of "plastic wrap"; etc. etc. ad nauseum. He seems to be wanting to keep the whole thing on the mystic level instead of admitting that pretty much anybody can bake great bread with very little effort and very few ingredients. And zero cooking spray. Just in case I forgot to mention that. (I confess that I'm amazed that the book's title isn't "Master Formulae for Serious Bread Bakers"....)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Duncan

    I had high hopes for this book, but even though it was full of thoughtful commentary and clear, step-by-step analysis of philosophy and methods, it just didn't work for me. I didn't really connect with the contents. Also, the author relies on slow fermentation and overnight retarding of dough (a process which, classically, is typically confined to sweet doughs), and I'm not convinced that this has any real benefit to outweigh the fact that it (almost exponentially) increases the preparation time I had high hopes for this book, but even though it was full of thoughtful commentary and clear, step-by-step analysis of philosophy and methods, it just didn't work for me. I didn't really connect with the contents. Also, the author relies on slow fermentation and overnight retarding of dough (a process which, classically, is typically confined to sweet doughs), and I'm not convinced that this has any real benefit to outweigh the fact that it (almost exponentially) increases the preparation time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is a winner for the helpful introduction chapters alone - I’ll refer to these chapters a bunch. I am by no means a experienced bread baker, nor am I harboring a desire to open a bakery or be any kind of professional. What I would like is to be competent and comfortable at baking for myself (and my near and dear) and this book is a very helpful resource to that end. Sure, not as much about using whole grains as I would like but he also has a book dedicated to that and that’s in my futur This book is a winner for the helpful introduction chapters alone - I’ll refer to these chapters a bunch. I am by no means a experienced bread baker, nor am I harboring a desire to open a bakery or be any kind of professional. What I would like is to be competent and comfortable at baking for myself (and my near and dear) and this book is a very helpful resource to that end. Sure, not as much about using whole grains as I would like but he also has a book dedicated to that and that’s in my future for sure.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Pretty cook book with interesting techniques...lots of the recipes call for sugar and some ask for milk,which is weird, but overall it's worth looking at. Pretty cook book with interesting techniques...lots of the recipes call for sugar and some ask for milk,which is weird, but overall it's worth looking at.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Really fantastic and fun beginning to what I hope will be a lifelong passion; Breadmaking.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Clivemichael

    Instructive and inspiring.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nadim

    Useful tips but the two stars is for using cups as measures in baking, think it leaves a huge margin for errors for beginners.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Sundeen

    This book totally got me started in bread baking. A great intro for weekend warrior bakers. Love making a hard crusted bread, and also experimenting with at least slightly more wheat flour than a few of the recipes call out. Bagel making has been hit or miss, but sure is practically identical to a certain national chain when it comes out right. Checked one of his more recent efforts out of the library (the same as how I previewed this one before outright owning it), but has not inspired the way This book totally got me started in bread baking. A great intro for weekend warrior bakers. Love making a hard crusted bread, and also experimenting with at least slightly more wheat flour than a few of the recipes call out. Bagel making has been hit or miss, but sure is practically identical to a certain national chain when it comes out right. Checked one of his more recent efforts out of the library (the same as how I previewed this one before outright owning it), but has not inspired the way this one did.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I've read a lot of bread books and this one, IMHO, is the best of the lot. Of course it depends on what you are looking for in a bread book, I was looking for alternatives, and this book offered many. I was looking for tried and true recipes, this book has them. I was looking for background information on breadmaking (how it works and why and geeky stuff like that) and this book has that too. So, I went and bought my own copy. If you bake breads pretty regularly at home, I recommend this or any I've read a lot of bread books and this one, IMHO, is the best of the lot. Of course it depends on what you are looking for in a bread book, I was looking for alternatives, and this book offered many. I was looking for tried and true recipes, this book has them. I was looking for background information on breadmaking (how it works and why and geeky stuff like that) and this book has that too. So, I went and bought my own copy. If you bake breads pretty regularly at home, I recommend this or any other Peter Rienhart book, you can't go wrong and you won't be disappointed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I've revised my rating (from four stars to five) after owning and using this for a few years. I make several of these recipes at least once a month (tortillas & pita) and a few more of them every other month or so (muffins, cream scones, biscuit scones, quick bread). The yeast breads are similar to the ones in Bread Baker's Apprentice, and I tend to reach for that book first when I'm baking with yeast. I've revised my rating (from four stars to five) after owning and using this for a few years. I make several of these recipes at least once a month (tortillas & pita) and a few more of them every other month or so (muffins, cream scones, biscuit scones, quick bread). The yeast breads are similar to the ones in Bread Baker's Apprentice, and I tend to reach for that book first when I'm baking with yeast.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I am increasingly impressed with this book the more I use it. Peter Reinhardt knows his stuff and his muffin recipe is amazing. Buy the book for that recipe alone. He gives a plenitude of information to make you a expert baker. This is not a simple beginners only book but a book to make amazing bread because the techniques are some of the best I have come across.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Yes, this is a recipe book in part, although Reinhart refers to them as formulas. It's also, and maybe primarily, a treatise on bread. Why things happen when you do "x" rather than, or in addition to, "y'. I found it fascinating. Of course, I want my own copy of the book! This one has to go back on the library's shelves. Yes, this is a recipe book in part, although Reinhart refers to them as formulas. It's also, and maybe primarily, a treatise on bread. Why things happen when you do "x" rather than, or in addition to, "y'. I found it fascinating. Of course, I want my own copy of the book! This one has to go back on the library's shelves.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Butler

    I use this bad boy for all my baking endeavors. While I haven't mastered the baguette or ciabatta, I do make a mean pizza. This book and its associated activities also teach patience and are often humbling. I recommend to any looking to make world class bread (or at least aspiring too). I use this bad boy for all my baking endeavors. While I haven't mastered the baguette or ciabatta, I do make a mean pizza. This book and its associated activities also teach patience and are often humbling. I recommend to any looking to make world class bread (or at least aspiring too).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Dobihal

    Chose to re-read this in view of trying levain style bakes. His book,'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' is my go to book, however this proceeds that and I wish to learn as much as I can before I set to start my seed. Love his style of writing and the passion displayed for bread. Chose to re-read this in view of trying levain style bakes. His book,'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' is my go to book, however this proceeds that and I wish to learn as much as I can before I set to start my seed. Love his style of writing and the passion displayed for bread.

  24. 5 out of 5

    erik

    Reinhart's newer book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, supercedes Crust & Crumb. Still, this is a great book. Reinhart's newer book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, supercedes Crust & Crumb. Still, this is a great book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    Time to start thinking about fall and bread baking. More instruction than recipes in this book. We'll see how it goes. Time to start thinking about fall and bread baking. More instruction than recipes in this book. We'll see how it goes.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arif

    Highly recommend this to anyone interested in improving their bread baking skills.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Not as good as Bread Baker's Apprentice. Not as good as Bread Baker's Apprentice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cissa

    Brilliant, for those of use who9 want to make seriously artisinal breads on a small scale.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Jacobs

    This is a soft-bound paper book, so I can keep the page #s up to date.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Young

    Incredible - the art and science of the staff of life.

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