Synopses & Reviews
Creating the perfect loaf of bread--a challenge that has captivated bakers for centuries--is now the rage in the hippees places, from Waitsfield, Vermont, to Point Reyes Station, California. Like the new generation of beer drinkers who consciously seek out distinctive craft-brewed beers, many people find that their palates have been reawakened and re-educated by the taste of locally baked, whole-grain breads. Today's village bakers are finding an important new role--linking tradition with a sophisticated new understanding of natural levens, baking science and oven construction.Connoisseurs of good bread and good food.
Daniel Wing, a lover of all things artisinal, had long enjoyed baking his own sourdough bread. His quest for the perfect loaf began with serious study of the history and chemistry of bread baking, and eventually led to an apprenticeship with Alan Scott, the most influential builder of masonry ovens in America.
Alan and Daniel have teamed up to write this thoughtful, entertaining, and authoritative book that shows you how to bake superb healthful bread and build your own masonry oven. The authors profile more than a dozen small-scale bakers around the U.S. whose practices embody the holistic principles of community-oriented baking based on whole grains and natural leavens.
The Bread Builders will appeal to a broad range of readers, including:
Home bakers interested in taking their bread and pizza to the next level of excellence.
Passionate bakers who fantasize about making a living by starting their own small bakery.
Do-it-yourselfers looking for the next small construction project.
Small-scale commercial bakers seeking inspiration, the most up-to-date knowledge about the entire bread-baking process, and a marketing edge.
Review from Ecology Action Newsletter
The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott, is a serious book, written for people who take their bread baking seriously. It is not a cookbook but one whose object is to help the baker understand all parts of the process that go into creating an excellent loaf. As such, it is a technical journal that thoroughly details natural fermentation, bread grains and flours, leavens and dough, and dough development. The second part is about masonry ovens and their construction, since both authors agree that such an oven is a necessary part of creating the excellent loaf. Each chapter of the book includes a visit to a commercial or private venture which is using some or all of the processes being described. The book is not a light read but should prove inspiring to those wanting more information about the baking process, how to construct a masonry oven or anyone who is glad to see that these traditional methods are being nurtured rather than forgotten.
About the Author
Alan Scott is a craftsman and metaphysician who combines a lifetime's experience in metalwork, farming, and masonry oven-building with a constant awareness of the spiritual dimension of our activities on this earth. Originally from Australia, Alan lectures and leads workshops throughout the U.S., under the aegis of his oven building and consultation firm, Ovencrafters, which is based in Petaluma, California. Dan Wing, a biologist and physician by training, has written for publications as various as Fine Homebuilding and The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He travels out from his home in Vermont in a gypsy wagon of his own construction, and naturally he built his own bread oven on wheels.
Table of Contents
Introduction Looking for Real Bread, Finding Masonry Ovens xiii
Chapter One Naturally Fermented Hearth Bread 1
Visit: Upland Bakers, Marshfield, Vermont 18
Chapter Two Bread Grains and Flours 23
Visit: Giusto's Specialty Foods, South San Francisco, California 41
Chapter Three Leavens and Doughs 43
Visit: Sands, Taylor, and Wood (King Arthur Flour), Norwich, Vermont 69
Chapter Four Dough Development 72
Visit: Acme Baking Company, Berkeley, California 89
Chapter Five Baking, Ovens, and Bread 93
Visit: Consulting and Marketing Services, South San Francisco, California 108
Chapter Six Masonry Ovens of Europe and America 113
Visits: American Flatbread, Warren, Vermont 123
The Cheese Board, Berkeley, California 127
Chapter Seven Preparing to Build a Masonry Oven 129
Visits: Mugnaini Imports, Watsonville, California 149
San Juan Bakery, San Juan Bautista, California, and Home Fires Bakery, Leavenworth, Washington 153
Chapter Eight Masonry Materials, Tools, and Methods 157
Visit: Cafe Beaujolais, Mendocino, California 169
Chapter Nine Oven Construction 173
Visit: Depot Town Sourdough Bakery, Ypsilanti, Michigan 193
Chapter Ten Oven Management 195
Visits: Della Fatoria, Petaluma, California 210
Rani and Keith, Garberville, California 213
Chapter Eleven A Day in the Life at the Bay Village Bakery 216
Bakers' Resource: Sourdough Microbiology 227
Recommended Sources 233