Author(s): Daniel Wing & Alan Scott
You may have noticed the renaissance of good bread. Not just good bread, but excellent bread. Not just excellent bread, but nutritious bread that tastes fantastic. Exploring both the science and the artistry of baking bread, The Bread Builders takes you behind the scenes of this revolution, revealing the keys to making your own great bread from start to finish, from grain to oven. The secrets in a nutshell? Whole grain flour, natural leavens (also known as sourdough), and masonry ovens. 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. Along the way, Daniel visited numerous commercial bakers steeped in the traditions of natural leavens, masonry baking, and the archetypal village baker. 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 first half of The Bread Builders talks about grains and flours, leavens and doughs, the chemistry of bread, and the physics of baking. The second half provides a step-by-step guide to constructing a masonry oven, in typical Chelsea Green style.
"This book is ice cream for a baker! We visit legendary bakeries, meet wonderful people, learn all sorts of fascinating scientific information with practical usefulness in bowl and oven--and best of all, get the skinny on masonry ovens, that cherished fantasy of us all."--Laurel Robertson, author of Laurel's Kitchen
Alan Scott was a craftsman and metaphysician who combined a lifetime's experience in metalwork, farming, and masonry oven-building with a constant awareness of the spiritual dimension of our activities on this earth. Originally from Australia, Alan lectured and led workshops throughout the U.S., under the aegis of his oven building and consultation firm, Ovencrafters, which is based in Petaluma, California. He returned to his native Australia several years ago after becoming ill. He died Jan. 26, 2009, in Tasmania. He was 72.
Dan Wing, a biologist and physician by training, has written for publications as various as Fine Homebuilding and The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He travels out from his home in Vermont in a gypsy wagon of his own construction, and naturally he built his own bread oven on wheels.