The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2002 James Beard Award (Cookbook of the Year), International Association of Culinary Professionals (Cookbook of the Year). See The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge at www.pinchmysalt.com for a group of food bloggers cooking their way through the book.<

  • Thredbende on September 26, 2011

    Lavash Crackers were wonderful (page 178). I made a double batch and sold out at a neighborhood potluck. I had a brain partly cloudy (not as spectacular as a brain storm) and used my KitchenAid pasta rollers to roll out the dough. I squeezed it down to the smallest "Paper Thin" instructions, which was the #8 setting on my pasta roller, starting at #1 and handling it like pasta dough. I also found that I needed to use a fair amount of sprayed water to glue the seasoning onto the lavash before seasoning after I had gotten it onto the parchment paper. I didn't score the pieces but sprinkled a bit of something different onto each ribbon of dough. My diners liked a tiny bit of kosher salt on them, and Penzeys smoked paprika was a hit. As was the cumen seed and coarsely ground pepper. I served it in a large glass compote with the sharp edges of the broken lavash up. Try this recipe. I can't report how well it keeps because it done gone away.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Cinnamon buns and sticky buns

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Use the white fondant glaze but DO NOT use the lemon extract!!!

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      Husband loves these, but the kid prefers the version from Flour - Chang. These are more bread-like.

    • Zosia on December 26, 2019

      This is my go-to recipe for cinnamon bun dough (I use a different filling with more cinnamon and a cream cheese glaze). Of the variations I've tried, my favourite is made with buttermilk, unbleached AP flour, butter, and vanilla in place of lemon flavour. It always bakes up tender and fluffy and has good flavour.

  • White bread: variation 1

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Made wonderful rolls. Use leaf lard.

    • mamacrumbcake on July 14, 2015

      This has just become our family's favorite everyday bread--replacing a recipe we had used for years. It is delicious. It stays fresh for few days, makes perfect toast, and is nice for sandwiches. It is firm enough to slice without being squashed, yet is is soft but not airy, gummy, or mushy. Just perfect.

    • Susan.D on July 17, 2018

      I love this recipe - it goes together so easily. Chef Reinhart's instructions on how to test using the "windowpane", as well as how to form loaves or rolls are clear, easy-to-follow, and give excellent results.

  • White bread: variation 2

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Too sweet.

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      Our house hamburger rolls. Really delicious. Only use 1 tbl of sugar if you don't want a sweet bread. Pantry Ingredients: Bread Flour Egg Butter or oil salt sugar

    • anya_sf on May 23, 2019

      I made hamburger buns. I had no trouble with the dough (using buttermilk and shortening), although I did have to add extra flour. The dough took a really long time to rise, but my kitchen may have been too cold. As directed, I shaped the dough into rounds, let them rest, then "pressed down gently". However, the buns were too tall and not wide enough. Next time I'd make them larger (4 oz instead of 3 oz) and flatten them more. They tasted great.

  • Poolish focaccia

    • smtucker on May 02, 2017

      Wow! This formula is a total winner. Made for a Pizza focaccia and it was amazing! Worth the extra fussiness. https://www.hungryonion.org/t/whats-for-dinner-21-05-2017-garden-banquet-edition/9392/5

  • Pâte fermentée

    • smtucker on November 25, 2018

      page 111, in anniversary edition

    • smtucker on November 25, 2018

      used for: French Bread, page 175; Kaiser Rolls, page 182; Pain de Campagne, page 203; Pane Siciliano, page 207; Vienna Bread, page 280

  • Bagels

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      This bagel recipe is brilliant! Reminds me of childhood in NYC. Make the ferment/sponge with Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten, then the dough with Bread Flour. Reduces the cost a bit. Can leave the shaped bagels on a sheet pan for up to three days in the fridge before cooking. Our favorite toppings are sesame, salt and garlic, and onion.

    • sosayi on April 12, 2020

      Excellent Easter treat. Used bread flour, malt powder, the hole poke method, and lowered the heat by 25 degrees as I used my convection setting. I would make again, for sure.

    • anya_sf on May 13, 2019

      I used bread flour and malt syrup and used the poke-a-hole-in-the-middle shaping method. I had no issues and the bagels turned out great. Although the bagels were plenty chewy, next time I would try to get high-gluten flour to see if I notice a difference.

    • dprostrollo on December 27, 2018

      These were GREAT. Used Allinson Extra Strong Bread Flour and topped with Everything seasoning from Milk Bar Life.

  • Marbled rye bread

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      This bread was good, but not great. Next time try adding some of the "deli flavor" from King Arthur's Flour.

  • Multigrain bread extraordinaire

    • smtucker on October 06, 2019

      For soaker, I used the suggested corn, oats and wheat bran. Used some pre-cooked sticky rice. Needed about 1/4 cup additional flour to get the proper hydration level. Rolled out and made a cinnamon swirl bread using the cinnamon sugar percentages from the Cinnamon Roll formula. Excellent bread. Going into our rotation.

    • chocchic on November 11, 2013

      This is THE recipe that inspired me to buy the cookbook and return to bread baking. this bread makes such delicious toast I make a loaf almost every week.

    • anya_sf on May 28, 2018

      For the soaker, I used corn, malted wheat flakes, millet, flax seed, and wheat bran, perhaps a bit more total than the recipe calls for. This bread was easy to make and turned out perfectly. It had great flavor and a nice chew and made delicious toast. I would definitely make this again, and next time I'd like to try adding some whole wheat flour.

    • Debraj76 on May 18, 2018

      Our go-to sandwich bread! It’s excellent, with a pillowy soft crumb. I usually use quinoa.

  • Pain à l'ancienne

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      Making this bread has changed our lives. How such a wet dough can turn into such a wonderful baguette is a mystery, but wow!

    • shamby on August 05, 2013

      This bread is amazing and quite easy.

  • Challah

    • mfto on December 26, 2011

      I made this to serve with Christmas dinner. The year before I had used another recipe. If you are not a pro, be sure you have a dough scraper because the dough is very sticky and Reinhart has you do most of the kneading by hand. I ended up with 2 very large loaves. I froze the baked bread following his directions which worked fine. After defrosting, he suggests reheating the bread in the oven. I did this but if I make it again, I prefer the bread at room temp.

  • Corn bread

    • todoom on September 17, 2011

      online link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Buttermilk-Corn-Bread-with-Bacon-102516

    • anya_sf on November 08, 2018

      I made 1/2 recipe in an 8"x8" pan. I only had time to soak the (medium-grind) cornmeal for 7 hours, but it was enough. I reduced the sugar by a tablespoon and would maybe reduce by another tablespoon next time, as we don't like it too sweet and the corn kernels were quite sweet. I couldn't believe how moist it turned out with hardly any butter (although of course there was the bacon). Delicious!

    • Paula_W on April 07, 2017

      My husband makes this and it is the best cornbread I've ever had

  • Ciabatta, poolish version

    • twoyolks on November 17, 2013

      The texture of the bread was perfect. However, there wasn't a lot of flavor from the bread.

  • Ciabatta, biga version

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2016

      The flavor of the ciabatta was very good but the crumb wasn't as light and airy as a ciabatta should be.

  • Kaiser rolls

    • twoyolks on May 28, 2014

      The kaiser rolls had a fine flavor but they were too chewy.

  • Tuscan bread

    • twoyolks on December 16, 2014

      I really miss the salt in Tuscan bread. This bread also had a texture that was reminiscent of sandwich bread.

  • Cranberry-walnut celebration bread

    • PirateJeni on November 25, 2012

      This is excellent although I found the orange to be overpowering. Cut back on it.

    • shamby on August 05, 2013

      This bread is beautiful and delicious. It makes a wonderful contribution to a holiday dinner. It also makes wonderful toast - but watch it carefully, as it burns quickly.

  • Vienna bread

    • shamby on August 05, 2013

      The Dutch crumb is fabulous on this bread. It is well worth the effort.

  • Italian bread

    • MmeFleiss on April 02, 2020

      This is my 6-yr-old’s new favorite bread and he gets quite upset when I make any other bread. Good, mild-tasting bread with a softer crust.

  • Pizza-style focaccia

    • e_ballad on October 22, 2016

      Requires plenty of preparation time: 3hrs, then refrigerate overnight, then room temp for 3hrs, then 15mins cooking.

  • Focaccia

    • e_ballad on October 22, 2016

      Best focaccia I've ever eaten... can't believe it came out of my oven. Instructions seem quite complex at first (4 pages!), but it's actually just really detailed rather than complicated. Needs plenty of preparation time: almost 3hrs, then refrigerate overnight, then room temp 3hrs before cooking, then only 15mins to cook. Totally worth it.

    • anya_sf on May 17, 2020

      I used bread flour and 1/2 cup herb oil (basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano). This recipe takes a while, but there's not too much hands-on work and no steps are difficult. The dough developed some large bubbles while rising, so the oil pooled in places and didn't get fully absorbed upon baking. After 20 minutes in the oven, I feared it was too dark, but it was actually perfect. The focaccia was delicious, if a bit oily - but our favorite bakery focaccia is also rather oily - I think that's what makes it so good. Next time I might decrease the oil, but then I'd want proportionately more herbs and salt on top.

  • Casatiello

    • anya_sf on May 26, 2018

      This bread was easy to make and thankfully could be made in a single day. I used buttermilk in the sponge and reduced the butter to 4 ounces, which seemed like just the right richness, and I didn't need to add extra liquid. I used dry salami and a local cheese called Estero Gold, which is sort of like aged jack/provolone. The cheese isn't particularly melty, being drier, so it disappeared into the bread, but the flavor was definitely there. I believe the cheese measurement (3/4 cup) doesn't match the weight (6 ounces - think it should be 3 ounces). I probably added 4 ounces of cheese. We really enjoyed this bread!

  • Ciabatta with cheese (Ciabatta al formaggio)

    • anya_sf on May 13, 2018

      For me, this recipe had both too many instructions and not enough - e,g,, the cheese variation says to fold in the cheese at the stretch-and-fold turns as if the dough has already been portioned, yet the master recipe has the turns prior to dividing the dough. I made the poolish version; the dough was fairly easy to mix. I ended up adding the cheese when I shaped the individual loaves, folding them twice instead of once. I placed them on a sheet pan to rise and did not attempt to turn them over. They rose so much that I couldn't bake them all at once, so I removed 2 loaves to a sheet of parchment on a peel and transferred them (still on the parchment) to the baking stone to bake. I added hot water to the steam pan, but skipped spraying the oven later. They ballooned up a lot and ended up rather misshapen. Still, they were delicious; the cheese pockets were the best part, so I'd try to add more next time (I used aged jack and mozzarella).

  • Cinnamon raisin walnut bread

    • anya_sf on May 12, 2018

      I just made 1 loaf. I used about 1/3 whole wheat flour, 2/3 bread flour, but had to add a fair amount of extra flour, as the dough was quite loose and sticky, so probably ended up with 1/4 whole wheat flour. The bread turned out great, although the loaf was quite misshapen. I'm not sure why, except that all the raisins and nuts do make it hard to shape evenly, and the plastic wrap stuck to the top. But it made the most delicious cinnamon toast ever!

  • French bread

    • anya_sf on September 02, 2019

      This was my first attempt at baguettes and overall I was happy with them. I made the pate fermentee 2 days ahead. Transferring the risen baguette dough was tricky, but the instructions were helpful, and I also left them on parchment (plus watched some videos on the technique). My stupid mistake was not realizing my baking steel was too short, so the ends of my baguettes touched the oven rack and ended up burnt and misshapen. But the rest of the baguettes turned out well. After 22 min, they were definitely done, although the color was a bit light and the crust could have been crisper. Perhaps I should have left them in a few more minutes. The flavor was delicious and the crumb light and airy. I'll definitely make this recipe again, perhaps as batards.

  • English muffins

    • anya_sf on November 15, 2018

      These muffins are cooked on both the griddle and in the oven, providing reassurance that they will cook through without burning. They are easy to shape with no rings needed. The flavor was spot on. The crumb was less craggy and more closed than I would have preferred, but in hindsight, I probably should have added extra liquid. I will definitely make these again.

  • Whole-wheat bread

    • anya_sf on July 19, 2018

      I used regular whole wheat flour for the soaker. I added the oil, but not egg, and used water for the liquid. The bread was easy to make, but needed extra kneading to even approach the windowpane test (the bran seemed to tear the dough). The loaves were quite small, although they had risen the full amount - next time I'd consider one large loaf. The crumb was fairly fine and even, with a "classic" whole wheat bread taste and texture. Good for sandwiches or toast.

  • Pain de campagne

    • anya_sf on February 18, 2020

      This recipe makes 3 small loaves and took me 6.5 hours on baking day, as the loaves needed longer to rise, and I couldn't bake all 3 loaves at once. I made one pain d'epi, baked on a sheet pan, and 2 boules, baked directly on the baking stone (well, on parchment, as that's the only way I could safely transfer them to the stone). The whole transfer/steam/spray process was rather nerve-racking for a novice bread baker like me, and I initially forgot to turn down the temperature for the boules, so the bottoms burned a bit. Nevertheless, the breads turned out great, with a crisp crust and medium, airy crumb.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    Author discusses 5 changes in the bread world since the original edition of this book was published.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Corn bread

    • I Made That!

      And viola! The perfect winter dinner.

      Full review
    • Leite's Culinaria

      If, like some of us, you love the crusty corner pieces of cornbread...you may wish to consider increasing the exterior surface area of each serving by making muffins with this batter.

      Full review
  • Focaccia

    • Two Peas and Their Pod

      The focaccia bread is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. The olive oil, herbs, garlic, and salt perfectly season the bread. This recipe makes a huge pan loaf, so be prepared to share.

      Full review
  • Panettone

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      If this bread counts in any way as a fruitcake, then it’s my favorite fruitcake ever. In fact, I’m thinking this should become an annual tradition.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 1580082688
  • ISBN 13 9781580082686
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 18 2001
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 320
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper's Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world's largest culinary school, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America's artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday's baking triumph, however, Peter continues to refine his recipes and techniques in his never-ending quest for perfect bread.

In Bread Baker's Apprentice, Peter shares his latest bread breakthroughs, arising from his recent pilgrimage to study in several of France's famed boulangeries and the always-enlightening time spent in the culinary academy kitchen with his students. First you'll peer over Peter's shoulder as he learns from Paris' most esteemed bakers, people like the brothers Poilâne and Phillippe Gosselin, whose pain ancienne has revolutionized the art of baguette making.

Peter then walks readers through the twelve steps of building great bread, his clear instructions accompanied by over 100 step-by-step photographs. Then it's on to over 50 new master formulas for such classic breads as rustic, chewy ciabatta, hearty pain de campagna, old-school New York bagels, and the book's Holy Grail--Peter's version of the famed pain ancienne. En route, Peter distills hard science, advanced techniques, and food history down into a remarkably accessible and engaging resource that is as rich and multitextured as the loaves you'll turn out.

This is original food writing at it most captivating, teaching at its most inspired and inspiring--and the rewards are some of the best breads under the sun.



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