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Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes

Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes

Confessions of a French Baker: Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes by Peter Mayle, Gerard Auzet
Knopf | 2005 | ISBN: 140004474X | 112 pages | EPUB | 4 Mb

This petit but useful compendium contains centuries-old Provencal lessons in bread making as relayed to Francophile foodie and memoirist Mayle (A Year in Provence, etc.) by Auzet, an award-winning baker from Cavaillon, Provence. The collaboration between author and baker yields a mix of regional history, first-person essay and a portrait of a family boulangerie through the generations. The modest Auzet boils down his expertise to a few secrets: among them are that the exact combined temperature of the water, flour and kitchen air should be 56°C, and that a good kitchen scale is imperative. Traditional recipes for baguettes, batards and boules are simple, though, as with any bread made by hand, quite time consuming.

To keep second-guessing to a minimum, Auzet offers helpful tips for testing both the dough's gluten and the bread's doneness. He also explains how these basic formulas can be amped up with a number of French flavors: olives, thyme, saffron, apricots, nuts and garlic. Additional chapters concern making breads with wine, olive oil and sweet yeast. For true authenticity, a suggested list of wine pairing is included at the end. Throughout, Auzet's suggestions are spot-on, making his "confessions" an invaluable contribution to aspiring boulangers and bread-lovers.