I had high hopes for this book, but even though it was full of thoughtful commentary and clear, step by step analysis of philosophy and methods, it just didn t work for me I didn t really connect with the contents Also, the author relies on slow fermentation and overnight retarding of dough a process which, classically, is typically confined to sweet doughs , and I m not convinced that this has any real benefit to outweigh the fact that it almost exponentially increases the preparation time. Nothing about this is an easy read It s small print and low contrast and dense, dense, dense in content Still, well worth the effort to chug through because there are very few questions about bread that can t be answered in these pages If you re easily intimidated by baking, might be better to look to one of the general baking books Bagel recipe in here is worth price of admission alone. Discover The True Heart And Soul Of Bread In CRUST CRUMB, From Whole Wheat, Sourdough, And Rye To Pita, Focaccia, And Naan In This Classic Cookbook, Expert Baker Peter Reinhart Shows How To Produce Phenomenal Bread, Explaining Each Step Of The Process In Detail And Giving You Knowledge And Confidence To Create Countless Variations Of Your Own Awards James Beard Award Winner While I hesitate to include mr Reinhart as a historical figure in bread making or a radical pioneer in talk of bread philosophy as per his introduction , I found this an impressive book collecting both rustic kitchen terminology and the science of cooking specifications from the late 50s and 60s I found the marriage of these styles underplayed, a technique which adds an important dialog for a book on bread In this sense, the author did shine Though it takes a chef to proclaim this himself. I ve been wanting to make our own bread for some time now Peter Reinhart has in this book than I will need in this lifetime Not only did I learn about making all sorts of artisan bread, I thoroughly enjoyed Reinhard s stories. Once you get past Reinhart s slow rise as metaphor, you may find his stuff hard going It took me several goes at this one to understand what else he had to teach me Finally, I think I get it Build your bread at the rate the yeast performs best, not at the rate you perform best You will make better bread and it will take you a really, really long time I like to read cookbooks and try to understand the science Enjoyed this one. An earlier work, and well worth space on the shelf I miss the illustrations though. Not a book of bread recipes so much as an in depth discussion of baking several select formulas Includes a lot of very helpful background on the basics of bread making This is NOT a book for beginning bread bakers The formulas he doesn t call them recipes are complex, most of the simplest ones taking two days to make I m not sure this is a book I ll go back to again and again when I want to make bread rather than making it seem simpler, as I d hoped, it makes the task seem very complex and time consuming but it has given me a much better grounding in the subject, which I can then use to make recipes from, well, other bread books. In some ways I prefer this to his later book, The Bread Baker s Apprentice For some similar recipes from both books, CC tends to have tips and background info on how the recipe was created.