Author Topic: The Taste of Bread  (Read 1087 times)

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Offline BrickStoneOven

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The Taste of Bread
« on: January 29, 2010, 10:13:54 PM »
The last 2 days I have been on here reading nonstop and I saw a couple people mostly Peter talking about The Taste of Bread by Raymond Calvel and how great it is. So I went on the search and found that the cheapest one I could find is $70.90! is that how much this book normally costs? They get even more expensive up to $200. Is this book really worth this much?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 10:33:43 PM »
David,

Professor Calvel was one of the superstars in the French bread world. He was at his craft until he died several years ago in his 90s. His book is always sold above $70. I do not think that it is a book that one needs to do what you want to do--start a pizzeria. I like the book because of his discussion of technical matters. The book is perhaps more useful to bread makers because there are a lot of bread dough recipes. I think there is only one recipe for a pizza dough. I mention his book often to explain a technical point. Professor Calvel was the father of the autolyse method, so I often quote him on that topic although it is only mentioned in his book in a few places. The book is not a modern book. It is all about the classic methods for making mainly French bread, in commercial settings, not in the home.

Peter

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 10:11:11 AM »
Doesn't beard making and pizza making go hand in hand. Couldn't a great bread maker make a great pizza. I want to learn all aspects of a skill because after all aren't they both made from flour and water its just in the way you make them that is different. I want to get the Ed Wood book as well.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 10:49:24 AM »
David,

Yes, bread making and pizza making do go hand in hand. There are actually many pizza makers who started out on the bread making side and incorporate bread making principles into their pizza making. Examples include Peter Reinhart, Jim Lahey, Anthony Mangieri, Nancy Silverton and Brian Spangler. They are the more artisan type of pizza maker and will incorporate dough making principles like autolyse, preferments, natural starters, room temperature versus cold temperature fermentations, more fully developed gluten structures (usually from longer kneads), and stretch and fold and similar dough handling and strengthening techniques. They are also more likely to use above average dough hydrations, which I suspect also came from the bread making side. Then there are others, like Tom Lehmann, who was always on the pizza side. He advocates slight underkneading of the dough and relying more on biochemical gluten development and, while he is aware of the bread making principles mentioned above, he is far less conversant with them than the artisan bread makers and does not generally recommend them to his clients or to pizza operators who seek his advice on the PMQ and Pizza Today forums. He advocates mostly cold fermentation of doughs, with fairly low hydration levels (at least compared with the bread guys) and usually small amounts of yeast. His base is the regular mom and pop independent pizza operator turning out basic pizzas.

I play and experiment in both sandboxes, the bread side and the pizza side, but I tend to lean more to the pizza side (the Lehmann side) than to the artisan bread side. I have found that in using bread making techniques my crusts can often end up more like bread and can even taste like bread, albeit an artisan one. I have mentioned before that I have had crusts that taste like baguette crusts and, while I like that taste in a bread, it is not what I want in my pizza crusts. Had I started out on the bread side, I might prefer that kind of taste. So, my advice to others is to experiment with both sides of pizza making and make your own choices. You can then pick and choose the features you would like to incorporate into your own pizzas. And, in the process, you will learn a lot.

Peter