Baking with Michael Ruhlman’s ‘Ratio’

So far, I’ve got a little bit of a crush on this book.  The subtitle, “The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking” is absolutely on point.  Here’s the take-home message:

“This book is about the culinary fundamentals, without which, as Esoffier said, nothing of importance can be accomplished.  Nothing.  But because it’s about the fundamentals, it’s also about all the thing you can do with those fundamentals, about variation and improvisation.  While it’s filled with recipes, I like to think of it as an anti-recipe book, a book that teaches you and frees you from the need to follow”.

I think I’ll keep finding interesting little bits as I get further and further into the reading.  For now, I’ve been inspired by one of the first chapters about bread.  The ratio is simple, 5:3, 5 parts flour to 3 parts water.  Of course, there are limitless variations, and some techniques must be observed for good bread making.  But, that simple ratio was the basis for the following loaves.  A good pinch of salt and a package of yeast later, and we were ready to roll.  The story is below in pictures.  I can’t recommend this book with more enthusiasm.  Anyone who is curious about cooking / baking / science / recipes, will find this a fascinating read that will inform the way you think about food and cooking.  Cheers!


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