I'm back from SF and Portland, where I ate a lot of pizza and completed the photo shoot for the new book. Due to the spirited feedback on various web discussion groups, the title is back in play. We should have it settled soon but, suffice it to say, "Peter Reinhart's Best Breads Fast," which many of us didn't like, looks like may now be changed!
I'll write a longer post about later about my trip west but you can see some of the photos from the booksigning in SF on our photo gallery, as well as our gathering at Tastebud in Portland on The Fresh Loaf site.
Okay, here's the story on recipe testing: there are still many of you who missed the earlier rounds and would like to join in. Now is your chance. Also, many veteran testers are curious to see if the new tweaks make a difference. All of you are welcome to join in or jump back in. I am re-writing the English Muffin recipe today, based primarily on the great work of tester Lucille J., and should have it ready by Sunday. This new version is simple and really works wonderfully (we shot it for the book)--bravo Lucille!! She even came up with a crumpet variation which I may put in the book if there's room. If not, we'll invite her to share it on the community forum (see a previous post for the link to the forum and gallery). In addition, there are minor tweaks in many of the recipes so feel free to request whichever one you want to try or re-try. Please do not start writing till Sunday. New testers, please let me know that you are first timers so I can send you the response form along with the foundational recipe.
Please note: none of these are not re-written in the final book form. That process is happening now and the steps in the book will be given in a bullet point format, so no need to write in about that. If something is unclear, however, by all means please note it. But your concerns in this regard will be fixed during the copy-edit stage over the next two weeks. The next time you see the recipes will be in the published book (October) with all the corrections and stream-lined instructions. The current instructions that you get will still seem too wordy and in the same format as before but be assured it won't be published that way. I mainly want to know if the recipes work as described and how you like them.
For newbies, here are the agreements: I won't be able to compensate anyone for testing other than a list of names in the acknowledgements (this is beginning to look like over 400 names!). I will be offering signed copies in the fall for a tester's discount (at my cost, basically) should you want one that way. Also, you are pledged to confidentiality in terms of posting these recipes to other sites or sharing them with others. Once the book is published, no problem, but for now, especially since they're not in their final form, I ask that they not be shared outside own tester's circle, which can be done on the Forum and the Gallery set up by Mark Witt. (I haven't been on the site for a while due to the photo shoot, but I hope to catch up soon). Please send all correspondence related to this new book, including test recipe requests and responses, to email@example.com If you write or have written before Sunday for a recipe you will need to write back again on Sunday or shortly after to request one. This new tester period will be open for one week--after that I will have to close it again. However, for those who are signed up in time, we will keep testing for the next month or so. Every time you complete a test I'll be happy to send you another recipe to try. (For non test related correspondence, use my yahoo address: firstname.lastname@example.org ) Please don't be disappointed if I don't write back a personal note--I have a feeling I'll be inundated and will be spending many hours a day just reading through the feedback.
The recipe list:
--Lean Dough (wet, multi-purpose French bread dough--foundational recipe for the book)
--Classic French Dough
--Soft sandwich dough
--Multi purpose sweet dough
--SF Sourdough bread (if you don't have your own starter let me know and I'll send you the instructions--it takes about 7 to 9 days to get one up and running)
--Pain au levain (French style sourdough)
--Whole wheat hearth and sandwich breads
--Crispy rye and seed cracker
--Cheese bread (soft and also hearth style)
--Multi-purpose rich holiday bread
--Laminated dough (croissants and Danish)
--Rustic doughs (including pizza and focaccia, ciabatta, and pain a l'ancienne)
--Wild rice and onion bread
--Struan multi-grain bread
--Soft sandwich rye bread
It all begins Sunday. For those wanting to see a video of my talk at Omnivore Books in SF last Sunday, here's the link: http://www.chezus.com/video/omnivore-books/peter-reinhart/video.html. It's long but covers a lot of ground. Thanks to Denise and all the folks at Chez Us!