If your high school science classes were anything like mine, they were never like this.
The Krebs cycle, hydrogen bonds, osmosis, asexual reproduction. Does the mere mention of this stuff make you start to hyperventilate? Or fall on your knees and thank all that is good and powerful that you will never have to endure those fathomless lectures again?
If it does, then it’s a shame Emily Buehler wasn’t your teacher, and Bread Science your textbook.
Buehler, a PhD chemist who turned out to have a calling as a professional baker and baking teacher, gets down and dirty with the science of why bread works. What is fermentation, exactly, and why does it make bread taste good? How does the seeming magic of gluten development really occur? What makes those atoms want to nestle together in just the right way to produce a lofty loaf? Buehler tells and illustrates all, more clearly than any teacher or textbook I have ever had.
But even if you don’t think molecules and reactions are at all your thing and you just want to know how to bake better bread, read the book. You can defer Chapter 2, the hard-core science chapter, until you’re ready for it, and skip ahead to the chapters on the how-to of bread baking. No recipes here (well, maybe one or two), but tons of good information on the why and and the how of preferments, mixing, shaping, proofing, and baking.
Because she is generous in addition to being smart and talented, Emily Buehler has a signed copy of Bread Science to send to one of you seasoned or budding bread scientists. A comment about your best or worst science class memory gets you a chance to win. The deadline to enter the random drawing is 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday, May 16; international entries welcome!
Funny that so many people with such a distaste for science want in. Oh, well. My personal horror stories come from high school English and college Economics, I distinctly remember taking an exam in that monstrosity several times before scraping a B. Still can’t stand the thought of it.
Dave Reed says
My worst science class memory comes not from the class itself, but as a 14 year old in 1985 and my mother made me get what was supposed to be a “body wave” in my hair and it turned into a full-on perm! Science was my first class of the day, I sat in the front row, and when the teacher was taking roll he seriously asked where David Reed was. I have a lot of great science class memories, but an unsure adolescent boy with a perm who wasn’t recognized by his science teacher was the worst!
My 8th grade biology teacher, on the first day of class, told us: “I love biology. I love all the sciences, but I love biology the best, because it is juice! And if biology were a woman, I would embrace her deeply!” I learned basic intro bio from him, but also Zen koans and meditation. (Thank you, Señor Bob from St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights!)
Aaaah, I am late to be considered
Karla Parker says
I am a culinary teacher in south Georgia and would love a copy of your book. We grind wheat and make whole wheat bread as part of our curriculum.
Joke: A true funny: One of my culinary students tried to separate the egg yolk and egg white yesterday…with a tea strainer…… I’ve almost learned never assume anything!
Skye Hussain says
The usual remedy for common cold is just lots of water, fruit juice and also vitamin-C tablets.’:.