We like all kinds of bread but after living in the UK the past year, American store-bought bread is too sweet! So I'd like to try making my own.
Bernard Clayton's book is a classic, tried and true. http://www.amazon.com/Bernard-Claytons-Complete-Book-Breads/dp/0743287096/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328622026&sr=1-11
I really like the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day books. Very easy, the method saves so much time, and tons of great recipes in both books.
I LOVE Laurel's Kitchen Bread book for whole wheat breads. It really improved my bread baking. Also The Bread Bible, Rosie Levy Berenbaum, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.
I vote for Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads
And his Bread Baker's Apprentice.
I am a huge fan of Daniel Leader's books, especially "Local Breads"
For great photos and inspiring variety, I like HomeBaking by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid. http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780679312741
The book covers more than bread and focuses on baking traditions all over the world, but has some really good bread recipes.
Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible is wonderful. If you ever get the itch to make sourdough, try Tartine Bread. It changed the way I bake bread!
Can't live without Chad Roberston's Tartine Bread Book. He narrates his thought process so that it is interesting & enjoyable & truly valuable. Also love Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters & Peter Reinhart's books.
An oldie/goodie is the Tassahara Bread Book. Good baking, and the best directions for making an 8 braid Challah.
Some of the best recipes are right here on this site! Boulangere's Hearty Harvest bread got me baking again after a long break -- wonderful!
Ohhhh, Susan G, you are so kind! Peter Reinhart was my Breads chef in culinary school, and I did recipe testing the The Bread Baker's Apprentice. He was the reason I went to the school I did.
I'm reading Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day", which focuses on the no-knead method, and have made some amazing bread over the past week. I haven't read his other books, but from reading his intro, I gather it updates some of his older recipes. Working with the wet no-knead dough can be hard, but this book offers some of the best tips I've read so far (like using oil or water on your working surface and hands instead of lightly dusting with flour, which has never quite worked for me with wet dough.)
Couldn't agree more; you said it all.
Another classic: Beard on Bread.
Yes, for a wonderful variety of recipes of breads from all over the world, as well as various American breads, Beard on Bread is unmatched. It was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself, and I've bought it for each of my sons. The recipes are excellent and Beard's writer's "voice" is my favorite, ever, for this genre. ;o)
Excellent bread book is Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf :) he also has a great website full of recipes http://www.danlepard.com/
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