The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

The Fresh Loaf
Pocket Book of Bread Baking

Books are where amateur bakers get most of our information about how to bake. We are fortunate, because there are a lot of wonderful bread baking books out there, with new one's coming out each year. Whenever I get a chance to read another bread baking book, I read and review here. There is also a forum for site members to post their book reviews. If I am missing your favorite baking book, please, post something about there! The links to my reviews, each with a teeny synopsis:


KathleenM's picture

I think this was recommended by the King Arthur catalog about 10 years ago, I borrowed it from the library, and promptly bought a copy. Similar to the Bread Baker's Apprentice, but written in a more folksy manner, good guide to the process and the "why" behind the methods.

Amazon link to reviews

sonofYah's picture

Excellent book. I now own it along with "The Blessing of Bread" by Maggie Glezer.

keen de'el yeshuati

pincupot's picture

My first bread baking book was: "Home Baking, the Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions From Around the World" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I truly enjoy this couple's cookbooks due to the wonderful recipes, photographs and stories. This book is certainly not a first bread-baker's book recommendation, but it is a nice addition to a cookbook collection.

sphealey's picture

Don't forget The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. Their "loaf for learning" chapter is one of the best-written beginner's guides I have seen, and of course their discussion of whole wheat and other whole ingrediants is unmatched.



silvermanp's picture

This book about sourdough bereadmaking has some of the most wonderful breads I have ever made.  Try the whole wheat boule--it's incomparable.

Kate's picture

I LOVE Nancy Silverton's book. The whole-wheat sandwich bread was the tastiest, lightest sandwich bread I've ever had!  Her info on sourdough starters is great, too.

Dave W's picture
Dave W

We've just received this book as a Christmas present from some American relations, first bread to try is the Italian ring bread and the onion and parmesan bread sticks, the braed sticks are in the oven now as I type this email, I will bake the loaf soon after. I'll try the whole wheat boule next.


Dave W


2brownbraids's picture

2brownbraids/ Vancouver, BC

Hello Silvermanp, I totally agree with you.  I love her book.  I bought it 10 years ago when it first published.  If you have not tried her Raisin Brioche, give it a try, it is amazing. I usually make multi batches when I bake this bread, all my friends and relatives ask for it regularly.  

pacicca's picture

I thought the Bread Bakers Apprentice was on the long winded side. A much better book is Ultimate Bread by Eric Truille & Ursula Ferrigno---The Recipes --explainations---pictures---are all on the same page. I have tried almost all of the recipes and have not been disapointed with the results. The book explains just about everything you need to know to make a good loaf of bread. The recipes are very easy to follow.

Srishti's picture

Does anyone know of a really good book with focus on whole grains, instead of whilte?



jbaez13's picture

King Arthur has a whole grain baking book. Not just breads, but cakes and the like too. Peter Reinhart has one coming out sometime later this year as well.

Poupic's picture

King Arthur whole wheat is whole wheat but it is like talcum. I use Stone ground Hodgson Mill flour both the whole wheat and the rye flour for my bread. You can see each particle of the flour! THey are big! Vital gluten then is a must to have a good rise. It result in a bread that could not possibly get a glucose spike in my blood since the yeast itself has a hard time digesting the potent mix. 

Poupic's picture

King Arthur whole wheat is whole wheat but it is like talcum. I use Stone ground Hodgson Mill flour both the whole wheat and the rye flour for my bread. You can see each particle of the flour! THey are big! Vital gluten then is a must to have a good rise. It result in a bread that could not possibly get a glucose spike in my blood since the yeast itself has a hard time digesting the potent mix. 

sphealey's picture

The aforementioned _Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book_ is entirely focused on whole grains.



Muffin Man's picture
Muffin Man

I've found Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" to be an excellent source.  He also goes into other grains.

victoriamc's picture

I dint know he had a whole grains book!!  i got so excited when I saw this thread I immediately hopped to amazon and bought the thing, I will be sure to comment if it turns out the be a great book for whole grain breads in my kitchen!


Poupic's picture

I just ordered it too in Amazon.

lindasbread's picture

I love his book, he soakes the flour, which gives the bread a very nice crumb and it is good for my digestive system.

Jessica Weissman's picture
Jessica Weissman

Not part of the fancy artisan movement, but has a lot of really good breads in it.  The production was messed up a bit by the publisher so some recipes are off. 

Don't automatically scorn it because it includes BM recipes - that's how she got it published.

Srishti's picture

Oh wow,

Thanks a lot for the info....

I'll check these out


pjkobulnicky's picture

For those bakers who are ready to move beyond first steps and understand more about artisan breads, The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonery Ovens by Dan Wing and Alan Scott is an exceptional read. Dan, a physician, is really good at explaining the chemistry and biochemistry of breads in ways that are accessable to the amature. This is not a recipe cookbook but a book about artisan breads and traditional ovens.


I also happened to be able to take a two day workshop with Dan at King Arthur a few years back and found him to be as good in person as he is in print.


Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

slidething's picture

 Looking for a pastry book By Bo Friberg ~ Not sure of the name*But I bought it back arround 1990 -1991 ~ Was small in size but thick ( I think ) Lost it when moved from FLA. back to PA. Lost a whole wooden crate of "professinal" books (about 20) - Have replaced almost all of them (13)- of the ones I have not replaced 3 are out of print - Have been searching for the " Bo" book - Think it was called* " The Pastry Chef or The Professinal Pastry Chef - was a first edition if that helps .

Any one with info - it would be great to hear from you.

P.S.S. yes I do know this is a "Bread site" LOL but it never hurt to ask

 Thanks . 


goetter's picture

That would be The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry by Bo Freiberg (note surname spelling). It's still in print, now up to the fourth edition now at least.

I didn't think much of it, but I'm a bread baker exclusively.

Aha. Here it is on Amazon.

expatCanuck's picture

No Need to Knead, by Suzanne Dunaway

Now tragically out of print; used copies on Amazon rather overpriced at $70/copy.

The underlying philosophy/approach is well-hydrated doughs, gluten development through folding, and maximizing the crust:crumb ratio.

Well worth obtaining if you can find it at a reasonable price -- I think the $40 I spent on a very good used copy was certainly worthwhile.
[and so do my family & colleagues ;7) ]

- Richard

AnnaInMD's picture

I was ever so fortunate to win an Ebay bid for Suzanne Dunway's book for $15.25, can't wait to receive it. Have read so many good reviews. 

Thank you for mentioning it.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Are you referring to her book about baking Italian breads? I borrowed a copy from the library and returned it today before getting into any depth.

jkm's picture

No Need to Knead, by Suzanne Dunaway

I loved this book, my first good bread book.

My copy is carefully wrapped on the shelf. Cost 10$ at Powells bookstore. But is priceless to me.

I use BA more for a few things, but no knead is a good book and much overlooked by the serious bakers, it is a starter book, but no less wonderful.

Jana's picture


As a very begginer baker I bought Bread Baker's Apprentice, but the other day I saw  at the bookstore    Local Breads: Sourdough and Wholegrain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers by Daniel Leader,  and was wondering if anybody has any comments about it.

Floydm's picture

Local Breads is a very good book.

dolfs's picture

The book is great in that it provides recipes for a great many breads from all over the place. It suffers from a problem in that it lists full instructions for each recipe, and much of that is repetitive from one recipe to the next, with only subtle differences. Copy and paste appears to have been the major vehicle for dealing with this repetitiveness, but unfortunately, insufficient proofreading resulted in several errors and confusing instructions. Despite this, I would recommend the book.

Another thread on this site is attempting to document them, and even to get corrections from the author. Initially Daniel was very responsive, but it seems he is too busy to truly give answers. As a result, I think that thread has also lost momentum, so you can not be sure that all problems are listed there. Now, none of the problems is insurmountable and the more experience you have, the easier it is to figure out the ambiguous situations. Of course you can always ask your fellow "loafers" for help.


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Jeff M's picture
Jeff M

I have been making bread from a Barm I started Nov 2001 and refresh on a regular basis.

May 2nd my 96y.o. mother in law gave me the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  "I" having made this Barm and over the years might have used 500 pounds of flour to keep it alive all but turned my nose up at the concept of mixing all the flour, water, salt, and yeast together at one time letting it rise THEN put it in the refrigerator over night. Now when you want to BAKE some bread you take out a pound or two depending on how muche you want to make.  You stretch the dough fold it under rotate stretch it again fold it under form a ball and set it on your peel.  THATS IT! You don't knead it, pray for it, or beg it to turn into bread.  After it comes to room temp in about 40 min you bake it and EAT IT!.

CAUTION!  I have to give some caution here.  Even starting with "The Master Recipe" make sure the container that you put it in is 8qts or more in size.  Thinking that "I" knew the volume for flour, water and yeast expansion put "my" first batch in a 4qt container.  Well let me just say that it was NOT big enough.

The bread came out great each time I baked a loaf.  To get the crust that "I" wanted I increased the oven temp to 500*.

I still have and feed my Barm but along side that in a much larger container I have the makings of some very good bread.

chicamarun's picture

I have this book sitting next to me as I am rising the "American White Bread" which my family likes for sandwiches.  As we live on a farm, I can't always spend time making bread - so this book gives me what my family wants (fresh bread) in a shorter amount of time.  For dinners I LOVE the master recipe as it never fails to impress people.  Also, our family is Italian and we have been super happy with the Olive Oil pizza dough.  I use my kitchen aid mixer to make the dough and now with 4 kids I plan on making a lot (3 loaves today at least!!)

pjaj's picture

I currently own 4 books on bread, and apart from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread, there are

Bread from Ciabatta to rye by Linda Collister.

Exceptional Breads by Dan Lepard & Richard Whittington

The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard.

This last book has an idiot proof method for leaven (sourdough starter) It worked first time after I'd had 2 failures with Peter Reinheart's method.

I can recommend them all.

Francine's picture

I found a website by chance that carried historical cookbooks; I loved the 1917 "War Bread" book; what a wonderful history...  

I have included 2 links for the 1917 War Bread & 1918 issue of War Bread & Cakes Recipes; I  have also included a link at the bottom for the historical cookbooks website. 

" Great History" 1917 War Bread:

1918 issue: War Bread Recipes:

 These cook book's are [e-book editions] and many of them are bread books with a wealth of history...

 This is the general website for the historical cook books;



Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Great link, thank you for that. 

mutantspace's picture

not enough said about Dan Lepard on this forum - i think he's brilliant and his SHORT AND SWEET book is fantastic - not just bread but all sorts of baked deliciousness

mary t's picture
mary t

Hi, I hope some one can help me. I doubled my recipe for cinnamon buns and when it has risen twice I punched it down and let it rest for 15 minutes.  I then rolled out 2 of the four rolls all went perfectly but when I went to roll out the 2nd and 3rd they would not stay put but kept shrinking back. Consequently, the rolls were much too thick.  Does anyone know what happened here, I sure would appreciate any help.  Thanks  Mary

jemudd's picture

I believe one of the best books for beginners is Beard on Bread by James Beard. Although it uses active dry yeast and most of us use instant yeast, it is simple and has great recipes. I also like Mary Gubser's America's Bread Book and The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Brother Rick Curry. 

venkitac's picture

This was the second bread book I read, and there's a huge amount information in this book, including various yeast conversions, what to do to substitute sourdough starter for a commercial yeasted recipe, etc. I didn't see this one mentioned in this page, I thought I would.

M2's picture

Currently, I'm reading these three books:

River Cottage Bread Handbook by Daniel Stevens (great book for an enthusiastic beginner).  It covers bread with dry yeast, wild yeast and without yeast.

Crust: bread to get your teeth into by Richard Bertinet

Local Breads: Sourdough and Wholegrain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers by Daniel Leader

And I'm going to get more :)

JerryLeeBee's picture

I've got River Cottage Handbook No. 3 - Bread (ISBN-13: 978-0747595335) - It's an amazing book.  Before even attempting to provide a recipe, the author spends a good 30 pages explaining exactly why each ingredient (and we all know how few there are in really good bread) is important.  I found this extremely useful and interesting because it gives you an idea about where to turn if your dough begins to misbehave (we've all had a naughty dough or two).

There are another 140 pages dedicated to recipes and baking, followed by an instructional on how to make your own clay-and-brick wood-fired oven in your own back yard (something I'm aching to do once I own a house instead of a flat).

I can't recommend this book highly enough.  Well written and beautifully photographed (in colour as all good recipe books should be).

column01's picture

Love this book.  Although too expensive to buy, I borrowed from the National Library.

I tried the crackers - good for youngsters, got more 'teeth' to chew

I tried on the pitas - very good.  I did 2 variations : rye and wholemeal.

pita bread  inside

Thanks for the recipe.

(or view from

AnnaInMD's picture

of a Jewish Baker by Greenstein.  With little fuss he gets down and does a wonderful book of explaining several methods of achieving wonderful results.  The methods are using a food processor, flat beater mixer, baking machine or strictly manual.

Worth checking out !


AnnaInMD's picture

don't forget The King Arthur Flour Baking Companion, the $35 price is drastically discounted at places such as Costco and BJs (maybe Sams as well, or online). It offers a wonderful section on breads, including sourdough, as well as other baking goodies.


virginiann's picture

I am one of the newer newbies here, I've posted a question or two I think but this I had to jump in and give my two cents.

When I do something I do it all the way and needless to say since I've been learning how to bake bread I've bought a ton of things and that includes books.

My first book was "Bread" by Daniel Lender, and as far as I was concerned he was a 'Bread God'.. then coming onto here I was introduced to Peter Reinhart and I so far have three of his books. But I have to say, that as a newbie to the Bread world that his last book "Artisan Bread Everyday" is a must have for any new bread baker who has a passion and the 'want to' to learn like myself.

The recipes are easy to follow and the results are wonderful! Peter's techniques were the answer to a lot of questions I had about why my bread wasn't coming out as I had hoped. Now my breads have come out so beautiful and the crumb is near perfect. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is starting out.

I have made the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich bread, the croissants, the danish rolls, and several other breads from this book. I can't wait to go make each recipe in this book!

Good Luck! Have fun! and Happy Baking

Virginia C

ananda's picture

Is the book "Bread" not Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes", by Jeffrey Hamelman?

If so, and no disrespect to the wonderful Peter Reinhart, but I think Hamelman has delved and explained some of the greater complexities of breadmaking in the clearest way any of these fantastic authors.


katecollins's picture

Wanna rock your baking world. Try Janie Quinn's new book, Essential Eating Sprouted Baking (Azure Moon Publishing).  The flour in these recipes digests as a vegetable,not a starch!  Her passion was to produce a superior sprouted flour that performs like all-purpose flour in recipes, not the usual dense sprouted flours of old.  The first certifed organic sprouted flour mill in the country is now producing amazing sprouted flour and Shiloh Farms sells the Essential Eating flours at most stores.  Her book explains the beauty and the benefits of sprouted flour, including full color photos of all the recipes.  For more visit  Bake on!

Susan's picture

Here's an article from NPR this morning that mentions, among others, Peter Reinhart and Rose Levy Beranbaum.

The 10 Best Cookbooks Of 2009

frenchcreek baker's picture
frenchcreek baker

One of my favorites is a find from Amazon UK. Artisan Bread by the Swedish baker Jan Hedh and photographer Klas Andersson has a wide range of recipes and beautiful photography.

Originally published in Swedish, this English edition from 2007 uses the metric system for measurements. The directions are straightforward for the experienced baker. 

I highly recommend this book for those of you who already own books by Leader, Ortiz, Silverton, Hammelmann, and are seeking new inspiration. It is a fabulous addition to any bread baker's library.



Selma Miriam's picture
Selma Miriam

I found Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters a very useful book.  He is from England and speaks to old style European traditional breads.  He is interested in local flours.  Most useful  for me was his list of gluten free flours, and what was the best per cent of each to use in a loaf.  Since i make bread for my restaurant, Bloodroot, I wanted to make a gluten free loaf that tasted good, without eggs or milk in it.  I spent over a year trying to do it, and Whitley's book was a breakthrough.

The other bread books were useless in this regard.  Also: I have been making bread from sourdough starters for many years, and I dont get all the issues folks write about.  I have 3 starters in our restaurant walk in and they always work.  Best is the GF one; it is what makes that bread rise....Recipe available on request.  I also make a sour dough potato rye, and a very good pumpernickel.  Everyone likes the oatmeal sunflower bread, a sweet one.  I like it less...

Selma Miriam

noucktourno's picture

Well worth reading your article. Thanks for sharing the books. I got a chance to know about them. Rezultate Fotbal LiveClasamente Fotbal EuropaBiletul Zilei

AnnaInMD's picture

Book of Breads -     Was able to get a used version from Amazon. What a super book, so many items I remember from my childhood in Germany. Cannot wait to try some, will start with the ones using almond paste (even gives a recipe how to make).

Regretably no photos but sure worth having the old recipes in one tome.


dabrownman's picture

Book of Breads was my first first bread book.  I made my first sourdough starter from it in San Francisco that same year using milk and flour only.  It took 3 tries to get one going, but today, that very same starter which I have nearly killed at least 50 times and starved to death the whole time, baked 2 different SD breads nearly 39 years later.  It is the only bread book I have and it is in tatters but I will be getting J. Hammelmann's ? sometime soon - now that I am only distinctively ignorant about breads.

MmeZeeZee's picture

I'm looking for the bread book that will help me with the chemistry of baking, which has good writing (by which I mean, not too folksy and very straightforward and exact), and which provides a manageable variety of breads.  I've been baking bread for several years and I feel like I'm ready to take it to the next level.  I have been torturing my family with experimental breads for several weeks now (I bake weekly, bi-weekly, all our bread) and some have really been... hardly worthy of the name "bread".  Your recommendations are welcome!

chip c's picture
chip c

  look for something by Joe Amendola from Culinary Institute of America

chip c's picture
chip c

 For me , Carol Field's The Italian Baker,; La Brea by Nancy Silverton; and Bread Alone by Daniel Leader are tops

Daisy_A's picture

What would people recommend for a beginner who is particularly interested in sourdough bread? Like Zeb I warm to writing that is not too folksy but I also need formulae explained in a fairly straightforward way. I was interested in the Leader book but understand it has key errors in it. I was attracted to the description of the Jan Hedh book but it seems to be out of stock at Amazon UK, sadly. Baking in the UK I would prefer weight not volume measurements but am interested in international breads.  Regards,  Daisy_A

ananda's picture

Hi Daisy_A,

I think I made a comment on one of your other posts recently.

Anyway, I'm UK based too; I work at Newcastle College, in the North-East, as a lectuer in Bakery.

The book I would recommend is Jeffrey Hammelman's "Bread".   My only qualifier is that this is quite an advanced book.   But you could dip into it a little at a time.

However, for recipe and formulae, I don't believe it can be matched.   He gives accurate measurements in metric and imperial, as well as baker's percentages.   His metric recipes can be geared towards larger scale commercial, but it is easy to scale up and down.   I think someone on TFL has spotted one error in the book, but, in general there are many people on here who would agree with me that his work is pretty flawless.

It's a good price on Amazon at the moment, and it is far and away my favourite recipe book.   For the more advanced baker, Hamelman's techniques will prove one of the finest learning resources to be had...besides the Fresh Loaf, of course.

Best wishes


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Andy,

Greetings to you in Newcastle. I'm nearer London now but come from Carlisle and my husband went to college in Newcastle - great city. 

Thanks for giving such detailed feedback to my post. The Hamelman book does sound good and I have seen positive feedback on it elsewhere. A book with clear recipes and formulae is exactly what I am looking for. As a beginner I'm on enough of a learning curve without finding that I've spent hours on an inaccurate recipe! I'm also happy to trust your judgement as a lecturer as I'm sure you've used a range of books.

Thanks to resources like TFL and Sourdough Companion I've come to understand basic Baker's Maths, which was a breakthrough as it allowed me to scale recipes up and down and anticipate the general hydration of a dough. I now have a spreadsheet which would help scale down the metric measurements. I find this much easier than converting from cups.

I have access to resources that would help with more basic recipes so from what you say the Hamelman would be a good advanced primer. One of the great things about TFL seems to be that  there is no need to feel marooned in the kitchen with a recipe or result that you don't understand, as help is at hand!

With thanks and best wishes,    Daisy_A

mayK's picture

Hello.    I have several books of Jan Hedh, he is a master-baker "of any kind" and have also published books about desserts, ice-cream-making and a delicious book about making jam/marmalade. But I would tell you that his newest book   about bread is releasing on Amazon in november 2011. He is swedish, but also trained in sentral Europe, so his recipes is covering both Scandinavian/Europa, and of course whole-grain bread baking. I have been baking a long time and done some sourdough-baking, but after reading his book I really felt that learning!

Best regards from mayK




SydneyGirl's picture

Maybe this is unreasonable, but I am a little bit disappointed because of some doubts about authenticity of recipes in Daniel Leader's book, which I just got yesterday. 

I bought the book primarily because I thought the title and the reviews,  promised authentic European recipes with perhaps suggestions for adaptation to the baker's local conditions. However, looking at only two of the recipes ("Vingchter" and German Pretzels) which I know a little about, he apparently took the decision to adapt the recipes without describing what changes he made. 

This is particularly in relation to his recipe for "Vingchter", a type of roll which I became obsessed with on a trip to Alto Adige. Firstly, there's no such thing as a "Vingchter" - they're "Vinschgauer" or "Vinschgerl" or "Vinscher Paarlen" or "Vinscher Fladenbrote" and originate in Vinschgau. Is "Vingchter" a misguided attempt to anglicize the name, or sloppy spelling? I would have thought Vinscher Flatbread is reasonably easy to pronounce. 

As with other baked goods, there's certainly no single authoritative recipe. However, any online post, blog or encyclopaedic entry about this regional specialty will refer to the fact that the key flavouring ingredient for  Vinschgerl is "Brotklee", a ground herb from the fenugreek family (specifically, blue fenugreek).

Now, you may not be able to buy it in the USA, let alone in Australia, but , I'd still like to know that this is a key ingredient in the original recipe.  Did his Austrian baker not tell him about the ingredient? He only mentions fennel & cumin as flavourings, when any Austrian recipe I've ever read call for fennel, coriander, and caraway (Kümmel) -  not cumin (Kreuzkümmel), which is not very common in Germany/Austria - as well as anise seeds.

The other recipe which I take issue with is German Pretzels. He describes boiling the pretzels in a baking soda bath. However, even the most cursory research will tell you that baking soda (NaHCO3) is a substitute, not a great one, for the lye (NaOH) which is actually used. He doesn't even mention that the baking soda mixture is a variation for home bakers and is not likely to give the same result as using lye. Might have been worth an FAQ entry or something at the end of the recipe. 

Anyway, not that I'm really surprised. I suppose I should put this down to well-meaning adaptation for his US audience. rather than just another example of German breads being disregarded.

Visit a German bakery and then visit a French or Italian one - the difference in the sheer range of breads offered in even a small village German bakery is astounding. Yet German breads are always treated somewhat cursorily in baking books. (Am I whining? I'll stop now) 


rossnroller's picture

Hi SydneyGirl. Just want to say, I identify strongly with much of your post. Like you, I place a high priority on regional specialities (not just with bread...give me great street food and provincial traditional specialities - preferably out of the domestic kitchens of accomplished locals - over arty Michelin Star type fare every time). Authenticity, then, is vitally important.

I can well understand your disappointment with the recipes of Leader's you've noted. I was put off his book when I read that some of the quantities in his recipes are incorrect. That sort of sloppy editing (or worse!) is a cardinal sin in any cookbook. Add to that the instances of inauthenticity you've picked up, and I feel disinclined to add Leader's book to my already ample collection any time soon.

On German breads: I spent a year in Germany back in the mid-80s and was astounded at the variety and quality of the breads I encountered. In fact, that's where I came to understand what good bread was all about. It set off an obsession with bread that has endured ever since.

Like you, I have never been able to understand why Germany is not globally acclaimed for its bread as, say, France is. I didn't spend as much time in France, but while there, I saw nothing to compare with the diversity and quality of the German breads. It may have been that France at that time had not come out of the bread doldrums that industrialisation imposed (beginning in the 60s I believe...although my recollection of the book in which I came across this information may be hazy and inaccurate).

I have since learnt that other middle European countries, such as Czech, have a long tradition of wonderful breads that rivals Germany's. Maybe France has simply managed to brand itself more successfully as a superior bread locale!

Anyway, good to come across someone who shares my views on German bread. When I returned to Australia I raved on about the German breads until I realised that no one seemed to understand or care. I suppose I would have been the same had I not spent extended time in Germany - until you've experienced quality bread (which was a rare phenomenon downunder in the 80s), you have no idea what you're missing!


ananda's picture

Hi Ross,

I think you are really onto something with your ideas about industrialisation.

And yes, that historical branding success the French enjoy is certainly important.

I just wonder about a couple of things:

Marketing:   maybe it's not deemed so easy to sell "heavy rye" breads as it is the lighter and easier eating breads of France?   I know this is a gross over-simplification, but German heritage would be more rye-centred and sour in perception than the breads of France.

Manufacture:   I have more idea here.   In terms of larger scale production, it is definitely harder to set up plant to cope with sticky rye.   At smaller and local level, the French bake twice a day, and their breads are acknowleged to have no shelf life.   The traditional German breads probably keep much better, making for a whole different pattern of buying.   A family needing to buy bread twice a day isn't necessary, so bread is maybe not so much "in your face"?

I'm just throwing a couple of ideas around here.

I loved Leader's book when it first came out; particularly the discussions with all the bakers he went to meet.   Since then I've hardly ever used it as a recipe book, for some strange reason.   I made the Couronne and loved it.   We made the Pane d'Altamura in a Breadmatters class I was assisting on, and I've always wanted to try the Genzano, and get into the rye section.   But, I never have, and have been unaware of the shortfalls you mention until very recently.

I largely agree with your sentiments about authenticity, but I'd be loathe to criticise inaccuracies unless I had direct experience.   If you have, that's fine; just not for me to be making accusations without my own evidence.

Great topic tho'; I love working with rye, as you'll see in my posts, however I'm pretty ignorant about German bread heritage when all is said and done

Best wishes


rossnroller's picture

I think you are really onto something with your ideas about industrialisation.

They are not my ideas re the adverse effect of industrialisation on the quality of French bread in the 60s and beyond - the content I was referring to came from a book I read, but can't recall its title or author (borrowed it from the library, I think).

Marketing:   maybe it's not deemed so easy to sell "heavy rye" breads as it is the lighter and easier eating breads of France?   I know this is a gross over-simplification, but German heritage would be more rye-centred and sour in perception than the breads of France.

Quite correct that this is the perception. In fact, though, at least from my experience during several months in Munich and the same in Cologne, this perception is not borne out by the facts. The diversity of bread available in Germany is astonishing. They have the volkornbrot and heavy ryes they are known for, but there are any number of lighter breads on offer, too. eg: the delightful and addictive breakfast broetchens, which are a beautifully light white roll that are best eaten on the day of purchase.

I largely agree with your sentiments about authenticity, but I'd be loathe to criticise inaccuracies unless I had direct experience.   If you have, that's fine; just not for me to be making accusations without my own evidence.

Not sure of your point here, Andy. The only way I can have 'direct experience' re Leader is to buy his book! As stated, I am disinclined to do so because of:

1) the comments I've read from some purchasers re the inaccuracies in the ingredient quantities in some recipes (I hate that - like most folk, I suspect, I want to feel confident that I can follow a recipe and have it work out, rather than having to adjust it next bake due to inaccuracies), and

2) sydneygirl's complaints re the apparent instances of inauthenticity she noted in the recipes she mentioned.

Of course, individual perceptions vary, but it's surely the right of the prospective buyer to make an assessment of the credibility of people's findings on a book. I assess sydneygirl's comments as credible; ditto the multiple complaints I have read of quantity inaccuracies.

The whole raison d'etre of this thread is, I would think, to share findings on books - presumably to enable readers to assess whether they wish to purchase a particular book. On that basis, in the case of the Leader book, I have determined that it is not one I wish to buy. I should make it clear, it was never my intention to diss Leader or put other folk off. Values such as authenticity of recipes and the odd error in recipes may not be important to some; they are to me. I'd have thought that was evident from my previous post, but if not, hopefully it is now.



singingloon's picture

I totally agree. Lived in Germany / Munich before coming here and became enamored with their bread culture. A new book The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg covers the rye culture of European countries with history and wonderful recipes by region / country. Never seen anything like this book. Am surprised it isn't listed here in the books section.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I keep a red pen in my Leader Book and will add your comments to mine.  Lots of room in the margins, I'll give him that.   My book is just full on comments.  If you run across any others... speak up and I'll take more notes.

Is Blue fenugreek, blue?  I thought the blue melilot was used more in cheese.


ananda's picture

Just for all your posts, really; but particularly the funny ones that keep us all smiling!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

at one time (also in red) that under Volume and Instant yeast, I corrected 1 1/2 teaspoons to 2 1/2 teaspoons.  All the suggestions of "cumin" have been crossed out to read caraway (in red) at least in my book.

Hi Andy,  I'm on your side of the pond now...  Shall we throw bread at the ducks?


maria2's picture

This was my first sourdough book as i was so keen on learning how to do it. This book is FULL of mistakes when it comes to quantities, and I became very frustrated. Interesting to see your comments regarding authenticity. Shame because it could potentially be such a great book. I bought Peter Reinhard's book later and found it much better, as I only use whole grains and most recipes call for part white. Happy baking...

joyfulbaker's picture

I too have had difficulty with Local Breads.  I tried to bake the "Alpen Baguette" (p. 279) but had to toss the dough--too gloppy to handle, way too wet.  Similar to Hamelman's "Five Grain S'dough with Rye S'dough" (p. 227, 1st ed. of Bread), it has seeds in an overnight soaker.  In Hamelman's formula, he says to add salt to the soaker (initiated with boiling water) to inhibit excess enzymatic activity.  Water in his formula is 99%.  That bread was a great success.  Leader's formula doesn't have salt in the soaker, and the water percentage is 105%.  Gloppy, really liquid even after a full mix in the Bosch (book says 12-15 minutes in the K/Aid).  I just wrote to Sharon Burns-Leader ( asking for a review of the formula; hope she answers me.  If I get a correction (I have a whole page of "Local Breads Corrections" she published), I'll post it here.


chip c's picture
chip c

Anyone have any thoughts on Bread by Richard Bertinet?

ananda's picture

Hi Mini

Yummy white-sliced English pap or some authentic 100% rye?

You choose

Where are you at the moment?


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


frelkins's picture

Don't see this mentioned here, but a popular Danish chef/baker and "slow"/organic advocate, Claus Meyer, published a book last year with nice Scandinavian recipes, mostly based on sourdough and biga. There are some general bread and pastry recipes too.

But some of the sourdough recipes are most unusual, such as a recipe for an apple-based sourdough (easier, imvho, than the Ortiz apple sourdough) using the Scandinavian heritage grain "ølandshvede." (øland is an island in south Sweden, from which this grain was collected by the Nordic germ bank -  the grain appears to be an antique gene cross of wheat and spelt, but the berries are small  and round, almost barley looking.) Sadly the one place in Denmark that mills this doesn't seem to export, so you'll have to go to Denmark or rely on your Scandinavian friends for it.

He also has nice recipes for sourdough emmer, spelt and enkorn. If you love various kinds of traditional fuldkorn and seed breads made with sourdoughs or bigas, this is a great book. I think there are about a dozen recipes for different types of rye. He also has recipes for some global yeast breads (naan, pugliese, etc.) and some sweet specialties like black honey-cake and rhubarb kringle.

Anyway, if you happen to read Danish or be good with Google Translate, this is a pretty good book aimed at popularizing sourdough, and the pictures of the chef's clay mini-oven in his home courtyard are fun! Overall the recipes seem simply written, easy-to-follow, with nice tips for beginners and beautiful photographs.

"Meyers Bageri," Claus Meyer, 2009, Lindhardt og Ringhof, for DK300
(about US$50), Meyer's website is

hanseata's picture

I always wonder why - with a majority of Americans claiming some German heritage - not much of German cooking went into the main stream, only sauerkraut and pretzels (foods I eat probably once a year, if at all). Whenever I see a sign: "German Bakery" on a road trip through New England, I'll go in - usually to find nothing but the usual - squishy, pale loaves losing their last bit of crust (if ever there was any) in plastic bags.

I brought several boxes of Brotklee or Schabzigerklee (blue fenugreek) from Germany, it is a green powder with a very strong aroma. Yesterday I prepared Vinschgerlen dough (Vinschgauer Pairs = a South Tyrolean specialty bread) and the whole house was filled with the Brotklee smell. I do not know whether blue fenugreek is available in the US, but it's worth a try - bread made with it tastes wonderful.



AnnaInMD's picture

download free from here:

Lovely bread recipes are but a small part of this inspiring and educational book.


jyslouey's picture

I recently bought two of Bertinet's books - "Dough", his first book and "Crust" (but I didn't see "Bread" on the shelves)  Each books comes with a DVD of his kneading methods, one on sourdough and one on sweet dough and how to shape batard and a boule.  I also purchased Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread every day.  I may never be able to follow a lot of the recipes in there but it's still a good read with lots of nice pictures and the books keep me movivated.  I've only just started reading but I find that his method is quite different from conventional techniques that taught by other bakers. He doesn't "knocking back" nor does he knead his dough with the heel of his palms. With the books and posts from TFL, I'm going to have a very busy summer.   I've also signed up for a pizza dough class in Aug. and I hope I can find some good tips and recipes from TFL to prepare me for the class.

Barbara43's picture

I recently purchased "Bread Alone by Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik"

If anyone has this book, would you please clarify something for me?

On Page 111 in Chapter 7 it states..."All of the recipes in Chapter 7 will work as straight-dough breads" ... it then goes on to say how to make them using different total times ~ e.g.  5hrs ~ 13hrs ~ 29hrs. ...this is the extent of the entire chapter.

I don't see any recipes at all in this "Chapter 7" I missing something? Would someone please explain to me what the author means...thanks so much!

I'm new at this and appreciate all the help I can get.

Regards, Barbara

madruby's picture

I am a newbie to this journey of bread baking.  I stumbled on KAF website, which sparkled a desire to bake easy rolls, quick breads and foolproof recipes.  This eventually opened me to the world of bread baking and more specifically artisan bread...and that was barely 3 weeks ago.  In my search for a good baking book, I came across the name of Peter Reinhart.  For most of you, that name is synonymous to that of a "sommite" (ie the expert, the summun); to me, it meant nothing, until I bought his latest book - Artisan Bread Everyday.    Beautiful....just beautiful.  Well written, delicious pictures, easy recipes (have only tried one of them so far but I can already tell that Reinhart has gone through a lot of trouble to keep his recipes easy and foolproof and his method efficiently friendly - especially for a clueless baker such as myself).  I will not stop at only one recipe, and surely, I will not stop at only this one book.  Reinhart has ignited a craze in me to bake more, to learn more, to perfect an art that I thought I could never touch as I was intimidated by the veils of words such as yeast, rising, proofing, flour scale....

Merci Reinhart for the grace of this book, for your passion for dough, and for sharing your savoir-faire to others in something so earthly as baking.

Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

Can anyone recommend a book on artisan bread that gives formulae for large volume recipes?  I'm hoping to find something that starts with 25lb. doughs instead of the usual home kitchen recipes for 2-4lb. volumes.  Or do people just start with a small scale and multiply the volumes?  Does the yeast take particular accommodation in ramping it up?

Floydm's picture

Hamelman's Bread definitely has scaled up recipes.  I'm pretty sure Advanced Bread and Pastry does too.  Those are the two most professionally oriented books I can think of that I have on my bookshelf.

Lennie T.'s picture
Lennie T.

It took a class in commercial baking, and what we do is simply compute for large volumes using baker's %. Your flour, or combination of flours, will always = 100%. The reason for this is that flour provides the structure for whatever it is you bake. To illustrate:

Say your original recipe calls for the following:

Bread flour 1000grams

Water 550 grams

Yeast 10 grams

Sugar 10 grams

Salt 10 grams

Shortening 10 grams

Bread improver 5 grams

Just take the total weight of each ingredient, and divide by the total weight of the flour, and then multiply the result by 100 to get the baker's % for each ingredient. In this case your result would be 100% for flour (that's a constant given), 55% for water, 1% each for the water, yeast, sugar, and salt, and 0.5% for bread improver. You'll notice that the total % of all these, in bakers terms, will come to a total of 159.50% for this recipe. 

Now, say, using this dough recipe I have to fill the following orders, and have determined my standard scaling weight as follows:

25 pcs French bread with a SWt of 300 grams each (25 X 300= 7500 grams)

50 Baguettes with a Swt of 150 grams each (50 X 150= 7500 grams)

50 Vienna Rolls with a SWt of 150 grams each (50 X 150= 7500 grams)

30 Braided loaves with a SWt of 150 grams each (30 X 150= 4500 grams)

You'll notice that I multiplied number of pieces by the scaling weight of each to get the dough weight required for each product. I then add everything up to get a total dough weight of 27000 grams or 27 kilograms.

To get my base flour, I use this formula: (% of flour/total % of ingredients) X total dough weight, i.e., (100/159.50) X 27000. This tells me I'll need 16928 grams (or rounded off, 17000 grams or 17 kg flour) to make enough dough to fill these orders.

To get the bulk weights for each of the ingredients, multiply the total base flour weight with your determined baker's percentage per ingredient. This will give me:

19350 grams or 19.35 kg water (0.55 X 17000); 170 grams each of water, yeast, sugar, salt, and shortening (0.01 X 17000) and 85 grams of bread improver (0.005 X17000). 

As you can see, if you simply double or triple your recipes or whatever, you won't get the right ratios called for and that could be quite a disaster! Equipped with the formulas above, however, you won't actually need a book to show you how to scale bulk quantities, you can just do the math yourself! :) I sure hope this helps...happy baking!



Bluespyder41's picture

I picked up a copy of Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson & Eric Wolfinger at the William-Sonoma outlet here in Memphis for $20 after Christmas. I purchased the book just for the first chapter on the Country Loaf. One thing I have found lacking in some of the bread books I've gotten include and adequate number of photos and good explanations.

The first chapter on the country loaf is really really really really wordy and there are gobs of photos. You can follow just the recipe as it's enumerated. You might not like the fact that each photo doesn't have an explanation but they're in order of what you'd do, so you can almost not read the text to figure out what's going on.

I've been baking bread from the country loaf recipe and varying it since around Christmas. I've been baking 1 - 2x per week using that recipe. Some of my experiments have been more successful than others and all have been edible with none being outright, total failures.

I read some reviews on amazon that trashed the book due to it's wordiness and the number of years it would take to make bread the way the book describes. It's not fast bread and it's nice to make on the weekend when I'm off work. I fit it into my schedule and it needs a little attention here and there. The authors include a method for getting your own sourdough starter off the ground. I already had an active one so I moved ahead into making the leaven right away.

Also, the flour math makes sense in his book when you put the two types of flour together so it makes "100%" as the author uses traditional flour basis. He mixes a combination of unbleached flour and whole wheat flour to give the kind of texture and flavor he prefers. I've tried it using just all unbleached bread flour to adding 15% (flour basis) of Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal (soaked with some of the water to hydrate it).

My favorite variation of the country loaf is to take about a cup of tropical fruit & berry mix from Costco and soak it with ~1/2 cup of extra dry vermouth (basically hydrating the berries with the vermouth) when I start the first step of the dough process. I warm the mango & berries blend in the microwave and stir. The berries pick up the vermouth nicely (I use Martini & Rossi extra dry).

After about 60 - 90 minutes of the bulk fermentation (with folding every 30 minutes or so), I split the dough into two parts - one part goes into a clean bowl to continue bulk fermentation. The other half goes back into the bowl it came from and then I fold in the hydrated berries. Then I continue the bulk fermentation for another 90-180 minutes (depends on how the dough looks & feels. I sometimes add a cup of broken, toasted pecans to the dough when I add the berries.

 I bake the fruited bread second after the plain bread. Talk about tasty. I'm actually dreaming about it right now. And I only brought 3 slices to work today for breakfast....... Who said you could not live on bread alone?

I've not ventured past the country loaf yet as I'm having too much fun with the recipe/guideline. The book met my expectations of successful bread, good explanations (even lengthy to excessive information) and lots and lots of photos. It might not be for everyone. I'd suggest looking at the book before buying a copy - I'd recommend that with any book.

I also like Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. I've had some good success with that one. Bo Friberg's Professional Pastry Chef is wonderful. Rose Berenbaum's Bread Bible is worthwhile, too. I'm looking forward to checking out the other suggestions shared.

Fun thread. Thanks.


Sylviambt's picture

Thanks for the thorough review and for your ideas for dividing dough during bulk fermentation so that each loaf could be treated differently (fruits and nuts added to one half and not the other).


honeymustard's picture

I am surprised to not find in this listing--nor the comments--the amazing Tassajara Bread Book. In fact, it's this book that relieved me of my failures with whole wheat bread (for years I just made white flour based breads because of how dense my loaves were - no more!). It made me understand the yeast and bread process so easily, and the language with which Edward Espe Brown writes is just tantalizingly simple and carefree. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn easy but satisfying techniques that can be easily reapplied to many of your own bread recipes. Probably a bit too easy for the more experienced artisan bakers, but definitely an excellent stepping stone.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

My road home on a recent vacation took me through the wheat growing area of Kansas and in particular, to Marienthal, home of Heartland Mills. Ever since, I've had a curiosity about the growing of wheat and the process of milling wheat into flour. This morning's search through Amazon turned up some professional books but nothing at my level, that of home baking enthusiast.

I'm ready to delve into something that goes a little deeper than my bread baking books but not into those pricey professional tomes. Are there such books available or am I going to have to look at the used books stores around Kansas State University?

JerryLeeBee's picture

I already indicated (above, previous post) that I find "The River Cottage Handbook no. 3 - Bread" to be an absolutely wonderful book, indespensable for home bread baker.  That being said, this book ("Bread: The definitive guide to making bread by hand or machine") is an excellent starter book and the first bread book I owned.  It is simple to follow, gives recipes for both hand-baking and machine-baking, whatever's your preference, and has gloriously delicious pictures to tempt!

spinypineapple's picture

I have that book too, the first bread baking book (of many still to come) that sparked off my interest in baking bread. I agree that it is quite good for a beginner, but I find it slightly lacking in kneading methods. Also, after reading the forum, I'm very interested in pre-ferments, but that isn't mentioned in his book either. 

All in all, good for the beginner baker who isn't too ambitious! 

foodslut's picture

.... by Daniel T. DiMuzio ( listing here) is a textbook, but the chapter dealing with how to develop your own bread formulas was educational, comprehensive and understandable for an amateur like myself.  Worth the price of the book in my view.

hollyfeldl's picture

Been slowly revisiting several of my cookbooks... Here is my take on one of Peter's lesser talked about masterpieces...

azelia's picture

Could the person who put this list together please please add Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf book to the list?  It is such a hugely important book amongst sourdough bakers.  It is the book so many have started their Starter from as it has a really good step-by-step recipe for it.  It's how I did mine.

The book contains hybrid & yeast recipes but has sourdoughs too.  He travels Europe and makes up recipes inspired by the ones he sees on his travels.

When he brought the book out 2004 if was the first of its kind with sourdough recipes for the home baker, it was also the first one to show you the "folding technique" which is now so widely used by other bread book writers.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

"Breads of France" is one of those books that took me a while to get to. The local library didn't have a copy and the regional library system didn't have a copy in any of the associated libraries in NE Kansas. The hardcover version was originally released in 1978 and reprinted in 1984. It was also printed in paperback with the most current printing that I've heard of being in 1986. I didn't expect to find it at the local Barnes& Noble bookstore either.

So I finally went back to the library and requested a state wide search for a copy, knowing that it might take a while to go through the system. A copy was located in McPherson, KS and I began my wait. After nine weeks, the book finally arrived. It was a 1978 copy. The book is part travelogue recounting Mr Clayton's vacations in France to research material for the book and part recipes. D Leader's "Local Breads" followed this format. The recipes were gathered in different areas of France starting in Paris and heading out to the borders and coastlines. There are a surprising number of recipes that utilize rye flour.

My first reading left me puzzled at times and critical of his seeming overuse of active dry yeast. After second and third readings, I gained a better grasp of what Mr Clayton was doing and my appreciation of his work increased. So much so that I decided to try to find and buy a used copy of the book. Amazon had copies of both the hardcover and paperback but the prices were high, bordering on ridiculous when a used hardcover edition was priced at $80US and paperback editions were close behind. Fortune must have been smiling on me when, through persistent searching on the Internet, I located a paperback copy at Good Will Books for just over $9US+S&H. I was expecting a used copy that would show signs of use but instead received an essentially new copy that looked better than some "new" books I've seen in book stores. Someone had penciled in the price on the first page but that was the only detracting aspect that I found. I'll live with that.

I've come to enjoy the book and the format that Mr Clayton chose. The ingredients are listed in volume measurements but that's no surprise given the era when it was written. There weren't many "artisan" bakeries in the early to mid 1970s and even fewer home bakers that were recreating those loaves at home. After first attempting the Gallette Persane bread, I don't expect to have too much trouble with the recipes other than I never bothered to learn how to use a spreadsheet. It will take time to do the conversions and baker's math with calculator, paper, and pen. I guess I'm more of a troglodyte than a Luddite in this situation.

I'm looking forward to working on the recipes as projects for this year and will share my successes here and on my blog.


Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

I'm near Kansas City, and the Mid-Continent Library system used to have a copy of this book in one of its branches, but no more.... It was a great, interesting read.  One recipe I used several times was a raised dinner muffin-type bread that was quick to get into the oven on a moment's notice...maybe 90 minutes from start to finish.  Enjoy your treasure!

RuthieinMaryland's picture

Hi!  These two books re-introduced me to bread baking with incredible results and I'm looking forward to experiencing many of the recipes in both books.  Julia (Child) has recipes not only for bread but for puff pastry, danish, exceptional pie crust and other interesting concoctions!  Ms. Berenbaum is AWESOME and I learned a great deal from just reading through the recipes and other information as well as producing the best loaf of bread I've ever made or tasted! (her white bread loaf)  Can't wait to try out more recipes from the Bread Bible as well as from Julia!  I'd highly recommend both these books to anyone, newbie or "old"-bie!  :o) 

latmel's picture

Have just bought this book based on recommendations from Amazon customers.  It is so well illustrated, great photos with step by step instructions, and am looking forward to trying many of his recipes of which there is much variety in his breads, sour doughs, gluten free, and pastries recipes.   The only drawback is he is from England so the pan sizes are different from ours so am asking some of you math gurus to help me to increase this basic recipe to fit an 8"x4" pan instead of the English size of 6"x4".  I baked the recipe yesterday, using whole wheat flour and used the 8x4 pan which made a mini version but the bread is delicious.  This is such a good recipe for a one person household such as mine.  Have baked all my years, but never seriously baked the new methods of artisian or sour dough, espically, love the no knead.  Now that I am 83 years young, I have the time and patience for bread baking.  Have had good success with my starter made with pineapple juice and whole wheat flour and recipes from KAF and Peter Reinhart's Struan Bread, which is the best bread ever.  Seems my biggest problem for the day is deciding what bread to bake today!

On to the help with the recipe:

Basic Bread

300g whole wheat 

6g salt

2g active dry yeast

230g warm water

Need to increase these ingredient amounts for a 8x4 pan.    The recipe fits the English 6"x4" pan.

Many thanks, This is a very exciting new venture for me.


oitroi's picture

Hey guy, I am living in Viet Nam, and I am trying to practice all kind of delicious breads in order to open my own Bakery store in the near future, so thats why I love cookbook you mention here and I love some of them, but this time I am gonna try "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman's published in 2004. But I can not find it on Amazon, so Can you show me where I can buy this book online.

Thanks you guys so much.

richkaimd's picture

Powell's Books or Alibris.  I'd be surprised if you didn't find good used copies of the Hamelman at at least one of them.

sourdick's picture

I've been baking for about 40 years, probably a total of over 10,000 loaves in that time. For the last 10 years it has been mostly sourdough but I'm still definitely not an expert. I'm in the middle of a new book, "In Search of the Perfect Loaf" by Samuel Fromartz. He has traveled extensively talking to and baking with small artisan bakers. Along the way he has discovered a fascinating amount about flours, techniques, and lots more. Heartily recommended.

OneBirdieMa's picture

by Alford and Duigood.  Suitable for coffee table or kitchen (as in recipes) use. I've tweaked recipes (boules, truckstop cinnamon rolls, e.g.) for flours I use and quantities I make at a time.  With adjustments, spectacular.  Book is also proof that a volume can be un-remaindered, since I got mine cut rate and it went "live" thereafter at former price.  I've been baking most of my 67 years and I'd say this book has treads. 

hkitnow's picture

As a very new baker to sourdough bread, I took a stab in the dark and bought Classic Sourdoughs : a home baker's handbook by Ed Wood and Jean Wood.  It is a revised version that came out in 2011 as far as I can tell.  The method described seems unique to me in that you put your proofed loaf in a cold oven and bake it for approx. 70 minutes at 375 degrees.  I have had marked success with the San Francisco sourdough recipe.  All the instructions are very similar and in most cases identical.  He does use a proofing oven and he gives directions on how to make your own. 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I found this book in the new releases section of the Platte City, MO MCPL branch and spent a few weeks reading it. I think it's worth buying to add to my collection of baking books.

Mr Forkish's approach in this book isn't simply a rehash of material from FWSY. He made the point of not treating pizza dough like bread dough very early. Mr Forkish wrote with clarity and style of his travels through Italy to get a better understanding of pizza in Italy so I found the book to be both entertaining and informative. The recipes are geared towards the home baker who has baked at least a few loaves in their time.

If you haven't got room in your house for another book, borrow a copy from your local library system and spend some time reading it. People who like a good pie will enjoy the read.

DanAyo's picture

I read Trevor’s book entitled Open Crumb Mastery by Trevor J Wilson

 The information is unique. I’ve not seen this kind of detailed information dealing with open crumb in anyother resource. I’d say anyone that is seriously interested in rustic type breads with very open crumb would benefit greatly by reading this work. Others that I know who have read it seem to agree.

It is currently only available in PDF format. It is not intended for new bakers. Trevor advises intermediate bakers.

Dan Ayo

plevee's picture

Has anyone tried Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's new book? I'm very tempted but I've got 30+ bread books....