Volume 3 – Techniques and Equipment

Bread making can be broken down into a series of discrete steps, and in volume 3 of Modernist Bread, we devote a chapter to each of them, beginning with Fermentation in chapter 12. We provide instructions for making preferments as well as key tips for storing and freezing them so that maintaining them will fit into your bread-baking schedule.

Mixing and Bulk Fermentation are the focus of chapter 13, which also includes a bit of myth busting about the nature of kneading. Chapter 14 covers Dividing, Preshaping, and Shaping, including detailed instructions on how to shape 26 basic breads, braided breads, and French regional breads.

Chapter 15 on Final Proofing features advice on how to call proof and a variety of hacks for creating a proofer if you don’t own one. Scoring and Finishing are highlighted in chapter 16, which includes a number of ways for you to score and add decorative finishes to your bread. Chapters 17 and 18 can be viewed as companion chapters because they cover Ovens and Baking, respectively. In those chapters, we discuss the differences among ovens and what factors matter, as well as what happens during the baking process. The volume wraps up with chapter 19, which walks through Cooling, Storage, and Serving, with tips for home bakers and professionals alike.