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bread baking books

Hi, all I feel now I am ready to buy a bread baking book. Which one do you all most recommend? Tartine , Peter Reinhart or something else. Only one best book , which has easy to follow instructions , may be which has pictures also .

asked by PistachioDoughnut almost 4 years ago
29 answers 4326 views
46d131cd f2c2 45e6 a471 166131eec02e  jess otoole
added almost 4 years ago

My favorite bread book is Richard Bertinett's "Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads." His method is easy for the beginner with plenty of step-by-step photos and the book comes with an instructional DVD. I like to bake a lot, and his recipes are the ones I turn to most. Last year I wrote about the book on my blog, with links to a video of him on youtube here:
http://www.ladomestique...

I've also have a post on his Anise and Guinness Bread here:
http://www.ladomestique...

Plus his Cardamom and Prune Bread here:
http://www.ladomestique...

A couple years ago I decided I would never buy sandwich bread from the grocery store again, committing to baking my own at home. Richard Bertinett's book helped me achieve that goal. Happy baking!

912afe92 8600 4e38 b9b3 c4f43c85a976  saffron bread

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the suggestion La Domestique. I love your blog. The moment I could bake my regular sandwich bread for the first time,I haven't looked back to buying it from stores either. It is so much fun to bake it at home. Seriously, all credits to Food52. Since few months ,I always make dinner rolls also at home for an Indian dish which is quite a staple/regular dish in my family called "Pav Bhaji" and another dish "Dabeli".

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

There is a smallish, fun, mostly narrative but wonderfully entertaining book by William Alexander called "52 Loves." There is a fair bit of silliness in the first half, but the ending is marvelous, as is his 100% hydration wild yeast levain, which I have been using successfully for well over 6 months. Borrow it from your library. Alexander is a non-professional baker who writes well, and to whom other non-bakers can easily relate. ;o)

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

Ooops. That should be "Loaves", not "Loves.".

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 4 years ago

Thanks! Loaves or Loves both make sense. :-)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

I depend on Rosé Levy Berenbaum's Bread Bible. The directions are thorough, and ranges from the most basic hearth bread to croissants. Every thing I've made is great.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

Such a difficult question to answer! In my opinion, one of the best researched and most inspiring bread books in print is "Artisan Baking in America" by Maggie Glezer. It is a beautiful book.

C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added almost 4 years ago

Do you have a kitchen scale? I have found that serious bread bakers use a scale for accuracy, and some books only give ingredients by weight. Browsing through books at your library (or a book store, do they still exist?) is a good way to get a feel for technical level and clarity. The blog The Fresh Loaf is great too and there is a section called book reviews: http://www.thefreshloaf...

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added almost 4 years ago

One of the books that got me started in baking bread is The Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown. It is all done with by-hand techniques, lots of grains and a wonderfully helpful point of view. It came out in 1970, and there are many wonderful books that have made artisan techniques accessible recently, but I still love his breadth and point of view.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago


I'm a big fan of Beranbaum's baking books. She's an excellent instructor with a great depth of knowledge about the subject. Recipes are given in weights but also converted to volumetric measurements (and percentages), instructions are given for both mixer and hand methods. She includes variations on basic recipes, "pointers for success", as well as detailed notes so you can understand the reasons behind the techniques. "The Bread Bible" is a big book which at first may seem a little overwhelming but it really does cover pretty much everything bread, beginning with essential knowledge and then allows you to explore wherever your interest leads you.

4f98639e b8b3 42cd 9b01 ec8a503c5fdd  2010 09 15 14.22.07
added almost 4 years ago

I second susan g's vote for The Tassajara Bread Book, which also got me started with bread baking. I believe it was re-issued last year and you can find used copies online. Beard on Bread by James Beard is also a nice volume, accessible and with excellent recipes.

3d9a3882 c161 441f 8a91 0efd10979f7c  2007 09 11e s4
added almost 4 years ago

"Beard on Bread" by James Beard. I second that selection!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads is a great addition to the Peter Reinhart , James Beard and/or Rose Levy Berenbaum books. (I'm not familiar with the others.) It's much less 'artisan', but has a huge range that works well for new bread bakers as well as avid ones. My favorite section is "Small Breads." All my cookbooks are in storage for this year, and it's one of the few I miss the most. There is a short intro to virtually every recipe, and I learn something every time I open it, even if it's only the history of the recipe. I also love "Baking w/Julia...." but it's more than a bread-baking book.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cooking, Nancy Silverton's The Breads of La Brea Bakery. Second James Beard's Beard on Bread, the Tassajara Bread Book. Also think about Laurel's Kitchen Bread, includes how to build a bread baking brick oven outdoors and how to make a Flemish starter.... I have to admit I haven't tried either one.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

Jim Lahey's, My Bread the Revolutionary No-Work, No Knead Method is a treasure for the home cook! He stresses a long rising (overnight) and less kneading. Plus he suggests heating a pot with a cover for a half an hour and then adding the dough. It comes out very crusty and delicious!

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 4 years ago

I was also considering buying this book. Thanks.Somehow decided to go with Peter Reinhart.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

I always recommend Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice when this question comes up. He was my breads instructor in school, and his wisdom, experience, and deep understanding of the chemistry of bread combine with a gift of communicating to readers and bakers of all levels in a way that elevates, enlightens, and grows confidence. Happy baking!

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 4 years ago

Hurray, Boulangere!I finally got my book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I am looking forward to learn a lot from it. Thanks for the suggestion.

7c5ec0de a7dc 46d1 9914 8b1ec7ad782e  stringio
added almost 4 years ago

I see that no one has recommended The Italian Bread Book (I may not have the exact title, but captured its essence) by Carol Field, I'm pretty sure it's the best bread book I've ever used. I find mr. Reinhardt's books less useful, Ms. Fields is very technique driven, there's food science here but there's a lot of "feel" of dough instruction. I also highly recommend the bread section of Baking with Julia, an indispensable manual on all things baking. Have fun and remember you can always throw a dough into the fridge if something comes up, it's super forgiving.

7c5ec0de a7dc 46d1 9914 8b1ec7ad782e  stringio
added almost 4 years ago

I see that no one has recommended The Italian Bread Book (I may not have the exact title, but captured its essence) by Carol Field, I'm pretty sure it's the best bread book I've ever used. I find mr. Reinhardt's books less useful, Ms. Fields is very technique driven, there's food science here but there's a lot of "feel" of dough instruction. I also highly recommend the bread section of Baking with Julia, an indispensable manual on all things baking. Have fun and remember you can always throw a dough into the fridge if something comes up, it's super forgiving.

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

I just got Flour Water Salt Yeast a couple of days ago, but think it should be a contender. It's got some great background info on the whys and hows, as well as sections on commercial yeast only bread, pre-ferment breads, levain breads, and pizza/foccacia. It also talks about how to make a dough you can call your own.

0e5c2b73 3f18 46e4 95c9 cbc8af359f65  sadie crop
Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

The L.A. Times weighed in on this subject today: http://blogs.laweekly.com...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

The Best is Beard on Bread. I have shelves of cookbooks and always go back to this one. Outstanding !

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

The Best is Beard on Bread. I have shelves of cookbooks and always go back to this one. Outstanding !

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

The Best is Beard on Bread. I have shelves of cookbooks and always go back to this one. Outstanding !

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 4 years ago

Thanks everyone so much. With all these lovely thoughtful suggestions. I am thrilled to start serious bread baking. Woot Woot!

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

One final suggestion: Go to your public library (and if they have an online catalog/branch sharing system, order) as many bread baking books that look interesting or potentially helpful as you can. I stumbled on "52 Loaves" that way; otherwise, I may never have found it. It's a small, mostly narrative book with a lot of useful information that I'm glad to have discovered. (I used Alexander's technique for making a 100% hydration wild yeast levain and now make several of his artisan breads on a regular basis.) Getting a variety of books allows you to glean insights from several different perspectives. Have fun! ;o) (P.S. If you like making sandwich loaves, my finalist "Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread" and my "Everyday Potato Bread" posted here are both excellent, if I may say so.)