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Continuing my bread baking trials, I was wondering if my picklers out there have a preference for Rose Levy Beranbaum vs Peter Reinhart's bread recipes. Are there much differences between their recipes and/or bread books?

asked by happycao almost 4 years ago
5 answers 1023 views
added almost 4 years ago

I don't have a huge amount of experience with Beranbaum's books, only have used her recipes from the web. I do have Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice", which I love for the science and theory behind the practice of bread baking.

However, I have found Reinhart's "formulas" (he doesn't call them recipes) to be very involved. Luckily, I have the time, usually 2-3 days, to invest in them. And they always turn out wonderfully, I've never had one fail. They are flavorful and just what I expect, but they do take a lot of time.

I sense Beranbaum's aren't that involved, and can be accomplished in less time, but as I said, I'm not going from experience with her book.

That said.....long, good, slow fermentation and rising absolutely yields better tasting bread than quick and easy. It comes down to a matter of what fits your life.

added almost 4 years ago

I like Reinhart's approach for the all the explanations--I love to know all the science and whys of recipes. I'm afraid I haven't used Beranbaum's book, so I can't really answer your question. I do love Jim Lahey's book (no-knead bread) and even though I've made literally hundreds of loaves of bread, I am addicted to his overnight rise method and use it devotedly--it makes bread with a crisp crust and moist interior and takes almost no time. The only downside is that now I am reliant on just one or two types of bread and don't stray too far--but it's not at all boring!


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

Reinhart's book was an instant classic, but so was Lahey's. Another to take a look at is "Tartine". There are no short cuts to bread, it's neuroscience.

added almost 4 years ago

thanks everyone, seems like Reinhart might win this mini Piglet round, I think I'll have to check his book out.

added almost 4 years ago

I have Reinhart's book, but then I tried Jim Leahy's no knead bread and I have never looked back. Buy his "My Bread" book. You will not be sorry.