I heart Peter Reinhart

January 2nd, 2009 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

Most of you know that I quite openly admit my ‘nerdy’ tendencies. I can’t help it. I just like to learn.

So, after being introduced to a couple of Peter Reinhart’s recipes through recent Daring Baker’s challenges (pizza dough and lavash crackers) I was inspired to let him teach me more about the art and science of bread baking. One night, I even stayed up past my bedtime watching videos of him giving a lecture at Google on Youtube. The internet can be a bad place for addicts.
I am particularly taken by his new book’s focus on working with whole grains. I was raised in a family that ate exclusively whole grain breads-my father referred to wonder bread as ‘white death’. So, I don’t need any ‘transitional’ whole grain recipes (which Peter does include in his whole grain bread book), I’m looking for the real thing. Hearty, and full of fibre.
I placed a hold on his book at the library and I waited, and waited. Finally the email came and it was time for me take him home (I mean, his book), for a short stay.
The first recipe I tried was his cinnamon-raisin bread.

I love that the recipes describe the different ways to work with the time required to develop the flavour in the soaker and biga.

I went for the two-day approach and the results were delicious. The texture of the bread is perfect. Exactly what I would expect from this type of loaf. I found it a little too sweet for my taste but I tend to stay away from sugar so that didn’t surprise me.

The next recipe I attempted was his oat broom bread.

I thought the title was funny. I know, I told you, I am a nerd. It is a high fibre bread that calls for both oat bran and flax seeds. I made a big loaf of this in a round shape and added it to my brother’s christmas gift and used the rest of the dough to make a pan of buns. They make a perfect breakfast once slathered with almond butter and sliced bananas.
The next recipe I’d like to attempt is the whole wheat sandwich bread. I probably should have done this one first. But I really like things with raisins. So, I didn’t. And now the book is staying at someone else’s house. I do like libraries. I just sometimes wish I was the only person who knew about them.
I may have to put my name on that hold list again. I’m not sure that I bake bread enough to actually purchase this book. Although, Peter might take it as a token of my love and affection.

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