Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread

  doughlDough subtitled Simple Contemporary Bread is one of the most inspiring cookbooks I have seen in a long time. The unassuming name does not even hint at the wealth of extraordinary variations on this most ancient branch of cookery contained in this 160-page beautifully illustrated volume.

The author, Richard Bertinet, trained as a baker in Brittany then worked in Paris and many other places. Moving to England he set up The Dough Co. in 2000, developing breads for food chains and businesses. In 2005 he launched The Bertinet Kitchen (www.thebertinetkitchen.com) a cookery school in Bath.

Dough has sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into seven  languages. It won the Julia Child Award, the IACP Best Cookbook of the Year Award, a Guild of Food Writers' Award and a James Beard Foundation Award. It was short-listed for an Andre Simon Award and a Glenfiddich Food & Drink award.

The book comes with a free 30-minute DVD which gives additional guidance on techniques as well as showing recipes step-by-step. Each of the five chapters begins with a slightly different dough - white, olive, brown, rye and sweet - and from this 'parent' dough you can bake a vast variety of breads.

I have been making bread for over 30 years, yet even while watching the short DVD I learned some things. Bertinet's poppy seed stars look so amazing I will just have to try them the next time I bake bread. And then there's the fougasse and the gruyere and cumin bread, and the amazing puff balls, and the ...

Excuse me, I think I'll just go and put an apron on and start.

 

Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread (including DVD), by Richard Bertinet, $39.95, paperback 2008, Kyle Cathie, Ltd. Available at all good bookstores

 

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