With two previous “Mastering” books (Pasta and Pizza), Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri has demonstrated a terrific ability to combine strong technique instruction with very appealing recipes. Here, in Mastering Bread, he extends that streak by working with Claire Kopp McWilliams, a former baker at one of his restaurants who now runs her own bakery in Philadelphia, Ursa.
The two begin with thorough, well-informed discussions of grains, mixing methods, fermentation processes, shaping dough, and actual baking before presenting their first recipe on page 77 (for pita bread). The recipes that follow over the next 200 or so pages are supported by very detailed instructions and often by explicit photographic sequences to illustrate how the dough is shaped.
With chapters on simple yeast breads, enriched yeast breads, sourdoughs, enriched sourdoughs, and even pastries, including a whole wheat rough puff and pâté à choux, Mastering Bread treats your interest in good bread baking very seriously. Measurements are provided both for volume and weight (although you know you really need to be using weight, especially with bread) as well as in baker’s percentages for scaling to larger quantity baking.
Solid and motivating as well.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.