This is the second bread book by Bath-based baker Richard Bertinet and doesn’t disappoint. If you have Dough in your cookbook collection you will already have reserved a bit of space just next to it for this sequel.
Richard has a very different technique for kneading dough but if you follow his method you will be producing the lightest bread imaginable. Crust is the book for you if you have failed in the past to produce a loaf that is anything other than brick-like.
Photographer Jean Cazals has, once again, produced fine pictures that illustrate the process of bread making. The combination of Richard’s written instructions and Jean’s photographs enable you to feel confident that you can, with practice, achieve a professional and tasty loaf, or Bath Bun, or Gingerbread Biscuit…or many other delicious baked treats.
Crust, like Dough, has a DVD included which gives detailed instructions for the slightly more complicated breads like Sourdough. I say more complicated but it’s not a difficult process to make fabulous traditional Sourdough. Richard takes the fear out of fermented bread and teaches you that, yes, you can do this at home. You are missing something very special if you have never tasted Sourdough bread. It has a flavourful tang that is unique.
Home bread-making allows you to use different types of flour to produce, using the same kneading and baking process, amazingly different breads. There are no additives to increase shelf life, no flavour enhancers. You have total control over the bread your family eats. Your additives will be some whole grains, some raisins, some nuts.
Richard was born in Brittany so it’s no surprise that he also includes Croissants and my very favourite, Brioche. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine to present warm, fragrant, sweet breads for Sunday breakfast. All the information is in this book to enable you to impress the in-laws with your skill, and I promise that shop-bought croissants will never cross your threshold ever again.
Most of us eat bread every day. It’s a healthy part of our diet if we make good choices. There are lots of different flours to try that will help to improve digestion and manage problems like wheat intolerance. You take care to buy the best fruit, vegetables, meat and fish because it’s important to give your family good food. Baking your own bread is another way (and an easy, fun way) of ensuring flavourful and nutritious meals…and the kids will never ask for white sliced again.
Author: Richard Bertinet
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018