Having made pizza for the last year or so, I have just begun my journey into homemade breads. I have now only made a few awesome loaves of bread from this book. If one has some experience with dough be it pizza or bread, the techniques offered in this book are very simple to pick up. The book is well written with lots of pictures for the home baker to compare to.
I have been so busy doing rather than reading, that I finally decided to start reading this book. I've only made it 30 pages or so into the book and once again find myself impress with the author. He shares his personal story and his lifelong quest for his perfect loaf. I can really connect with his philosophy and methods.
He shares in this book some really key truths about bread that really stands out as significant & important to me. For example on page 8, he tells of how his first mentor would like to say "dough is dough" implying all breads are closely related - even the ones that seemed different.
To the casual reader, this statement may not have any significance. To the baker that envisions a perfect loaf and approaches bread making "as both a craft and a philosophy of ingredients and how they interact" it has much significance.
On page 20, Chad speaks of another mentor Richard Bourdon who taught him about proper hydration of the dough through the example of cooking rice. "Try to cook a cup of rice in a half cup of water".
Growing up in an asian family, I understandbly ate a ton or rice.
Depending on the year the rice was harvested, each crop requires a different amount of water to cook it in. Underhdyrate rice and its tough and uncooked. Overhydrate it and its mushy. Adding just the right amount of water makes the grain come alive giving it proper moisture and texture. Same with bread and pizza dough.
Chad says of Bourdon's bread being "exceptionally moist and tender.. (having)...a depth of flavor achieved only after a long, slow rise using natural leaven.
Anyways, just a few tidbits from the book I thought important enough to share. This book is full of pearls of wisdom that will likely improve any readers skill and understanding of the process of bread making. I would also say it has improved my understanding and management of my pizza dough as well.