Frankie G's note: This is the book that started my love of and for woodfired ovens. I built MY OVEN directly from the pages of this book. This book explains building an oven from ground up, and baking hearth-bread from grain to loaves. It's a must for anyone considering building an oven or baking bread from scratch.
Creating the perfect loaf of bread--a challenge that has captivated bakers for centuries--is now the rage in the hippees places, from Waitsfield, Vermont, to Point Reyes Station, California. Like the new generation of beer drinkers who consciously seek out distinctive craft-brewed beers, many people find that their palates have been reawakened and re-educated by the taste of locally baked, whole-grain breads. Today's village bakers are finding an important new role--linking tradition with a sophisticated new understanding of natural levens, baking science and oven construction.
Daniel Wing, a lover of all things artisinal, had long enjoyed baking his own sourdough bread. His quest for the perfect loaf began with serious study of the history and chemistry of bread baking, and eventually led to an apprenticeship with Alan Scott, the most influential builder of masonry ovens in America.
Alan and Daniel have teamed up to write this thoughtful, entertaining, and authoritative book that shows you how to bake superb healthful bread and build your own masonry oven. The authors profile more than a dozen small-scale bakers around the U.S. whose practices embody the holistic principles of community-oriented baking based on whole grains and natural leavens.
The Bread Builders will appeal to a broad range of readers, including:
From the Wood-Fired Oven: New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking and Baking with Fire
Frankie G's note: To me, this is the most comprehensive and "complete" book about baking, cooking, and using a woodfired oven. We are really proud to offer this to our FGpizza family...
In the past twenty years, interest in wood-fired ovens has increased dramatically in the United States and abroad, but most books focus on how to bake bread or pizza in an oven. From the Wood-Fired Oven offers many more techniques for home and artisan bakers—from baking bread and making pizza to recipes on how to get as much use as possible out of a single oven firing, from the first live-fire roasting to drying wood for the next fire.
From the Wood-Fired Oven offers a new take on traditional techniques for professional bakers, but is simple enough to inspire any nonprofessional baking enthusiast. Leading baker and instructor Richard Miscovich wants people to use their ovens to fulfill the goal of maximum heat utilization. Readers will find methods and techniques for cooking and baking in a wood-fired oven in the order of the appropriate temperature window. What comes first—pizza, or pastry? Roasted vegetables or a braised pork loin? Clarified butter or beef jerky? In addition to an extensive section of delicious formulas for many types of bread, readers will find chapters on:
Appendices include oven-design recommendations, a sample oven temperature log, Richard's baker's percentages, proper care of a sourdough starter, and more. . . .
Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:
Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.
Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.
Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.
Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement—from his seminal work, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, to today. In Bread Revolution, he explores the cutting-edge developments in bread baking, with fifty recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, nut and seed flours, alternative flours (such as teff and grape skin), and allergy-friendly and gluten-free approaches.
A new generation of bakers and millers are developing innovative flours and baking techniques that are designed to extract the grain’s full flavor potential—what Reinhart calls “the baker’s mission.” In this lushly photographed primer, Reinhart draws inspiration from these groundbreaking methods to create master recipes and formulas any home baker can follow, including Sprouted Sandwich Rye Bread, Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread, and Sprouted Wheat Croissants.
In many instances, such as with sprouted flours, preferments aren’t necessary because so much of the flavor development occurs during the sprouting phase. For grains that benefit from soakers, bigas, and sourdough starters, Reinhart provides the precise guidance that has made him such a trusted expert in the field.
Advanced bakers will relish Reinhart’s inventive techniques and exacting scientific explanations, while beginning bakers will rejoice in his demystification of ingredients and methods—and all will come away thrilled by bread’s new frontier.
Southern Italian Desserts - Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily
An authentic guide to the festive, mouthwatering sweets of Southern Italy, including regional specialties that are virtually unknown in this country as well as variations on more popular desserts such as cannoli, biscotti, and gelato.
In Southern Italian Desserts, author of the acclaimed My Calabria, Rosetta Costantino, collects seventy-five favorite recipes from the regions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily. These picturesque areas have a rich history of beautiful desserts, many of them tied to holidays and festivals. For example, Zeppole di San Giuseppe are doughnut-like pastries topped with cream and cherries, traditionally made in Campania for the celebration of Father’s Day. And the Sicilian chilled watermelon pudding Gelo di Mellone is a refreshing dish served in summer for the festival of Palermo’s patron saint, Rosalia. Other desserts such as persimmon gelato, chocolate-dipped figs stuffed with almonds and candied orange peel, and chocolate-hazelnut cake rolls celebrate Southern Italy’s local bounty and traditional foods. With recipes for more familiar Italian desserts such as cannoli and gelato, as well as deliciously obscure sweets such as rich cassatas, almond-flecked cookies, and flaky cream-filled sfogliatelle pastries, Southern Italian Desserts features a treat for every occasion.
In addition to explaining the regional history, symbolism, and lore behind the desserts, Costantino teaches you how to stock your dessert pantry and provides all of the foundational recipes you need to embark on a sweet tour of the Italian south from your kitchen. This delightful confection of a cookbook will expand your dessert repertoire and leave you dreaming of Italy. Buon appetito!