The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Great Bread Books

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Great Bread Books

David G recently asked for recommendations on the one bread book if you could only have one.  Certainly an interesting question but one with severe limits.


A list of great bread books for any reason seems a worthy follow up and I should like to mention:


Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer and The Italian Baker by Carol Field


While not all fulfilling or the final word in bread baking these are two fantastic books that I would highly recommend to anyone baking bread.


Jeff


 


 

raidar's picture
raidar

My bread baking was helped enormously by Peter Reinhart's BBA, and Laurel's Bread Book (whole grains). They pushed me to really improve. I will definitely look into the two you mentioned Jeff. Thanks

dulcypas's picture
dulcypas

Good Morning


I sugest the book of:


Paco Torreblanca ( spanish - english ): is the best pastrychef in Spain and one of the best in the world.


Ramón Morató:( spanish - english ) And recently he has been awarded the Prize for Best Book on the 2007 World Chocolate.


Magazine: So Good magazine ( english ) , Dulcypas ( spanish )


If you need more information about this books or magazine you can send a mail to:


dulcypas@dulcypas.com


Best Regards


Roser

suave's picture
suave

Italian Baker is a fine book, but I would be hard pressed to call it a bread book.  It has a limited number of bread recipes, really just 50 pages of that book is devoted to classic Italian breads.  Some procedures look contrived or simplified and great many recipes in it have been superceded by recipes in later books by other authors.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

In defense of the Italian Baker and at the same time my reasons for mentioning the book in the first place....I have found that her recipes and techniques work.  Simple enough but certainly not true of all books using recipes.  The recipes are not overly complicated and most bakers with moderate experience can produce very nice bread following her instructions.


I wonder if we are refering to the same book as the book I own is over 400 pages long with more than the first 300 pages devoted to Italian breads.


Jeff

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

At the time of its publication -- the late 1980's -- Carol Field's book was almost as iconic as the bread chapter in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  About the only other major bread works out there then which had any influence on future American artisanal bakers were James Beard's Beard on Bread, and maybe Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery.  No Dan Leader book.  No Joe Ortiz book.  No Peter Reinhart book.  From a bread-baking perspective, there just wasn't a lot out there.


If you wanted something that gave detailed instructions and background on Italian breads before then - forget about it.  Carol was it.  I can almost guarantee you that more than half -- probably a LOT more  -- of the U.S. bakers who have gone on to compete at the Coupe du Monde have a copy of her book either at home or at work.  Nobody before then (outside of Italy itself or some Italian-American neighborhoods) could pronounce "ciabatta" or "pugliese", or knew that Sicilian breads often contained semolina flour.


Don't take my word for it -- ask any professional artisan baker if her book is on their shelf.  There are plenty of books about good bread baking today.  Carol's was simply one of the first, and it really WAS the first to introduce super-hydrated Italian doughs to the American baking world.


--Dan DiMuzio


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Dan, you continue to provide of wealth of information for us at TLF, both on baking and on everything else associated with the topic. What would we do without you!


--Pamela

suave's picture
suave

Dan, I understand all that very well, and the idea of buying book based on its historical value is not at all foreign to me, but there's no denying that from practical point of view the book is dated.  I know that this is the book that brought ciabatta over here, but it's not the book where one should get his ciabatta recipe, not these days.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

But I just can't agree.  You can make very, very good bread from Carol Field's book.  And the recipe for a classic lean-dough ciabatta has changed remarkably little over the years, just as that for a good baguette hasn't really changed much. 


 

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Many of us cut our bread baking teeth on this book, and it's still very good for a beginner who needs to really get what's going on with yeast and gluten.


I used the basic Tassajara method to bake 25 pounds of dough at a time for cinnamon rolls that I sold many years ago, and it worked very well. It also made it so that I can still throw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl and come out with decent loaves just by feel and the way they look...


Patricia

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Also, I think Gail Sher used to work at Tassajara.  She wrote a book called From a Baker's Kitchen.  It was out of print some years ago, but I believe it has been re-published.  Good introduction to the use of sponges in breadmaking, and a killer oatmeal-raisin muffin recipe.  Kind of whole-grain oriented, but its baking principles mostly apply to any form of bread baking.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

...and I'd like to recommend submitters include why they like their particular recommendation in specifics, e.g., pros and cons, subjects emphasized, ommissions, weight or volume use in recipes, yea or nay formulae format, readability, pictures (both instructional and eye candy--I love the eye candy, it sets a goal to shoot for.), uniqueness,i.e., things you've never seen in other bread making books: in short, a review.


David G.

paddyboomsticks's picture
paddyboomsticks

Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman


pros - wealth of recipes that are very reliable. Beautiful prose and very in-depth explication of baking science. No needless steps.


cons - Geared at the professional - will be intimidating for begginers. Most recipes seem to require longer rising times than stated.


 


Local Breads By Dan Leader


pros - excellent recipes, truly delicious breads, with good formula lay-outs


cons - Leader particularly likes high hydration loaves - the results are delicious but I personally find higher hydration loaves can be more temperamental, and they're certainly a real bugger to handle sometimes!


 


I would like to point out that I am yet to read the bread book that even approaches what I get from The Fresh Loaf Community.

karladiane's picture
karladiane

Since Dan DiMuzio is too humble to mention, I have a book called "Bread Baking:  An Artisan's Perspective" on my book wishlist (I'm assuming you are one and the same person). 


Regardless, if you check it out on amazon.com, it looks like a fantastic read - I can't wait to dive into it.


And Carol Field's "Italian Baker" is one of my most cherished books, along with another of her books called "Celebrating Italy".


Lastly, "Bread Science" by Emily Buehler is another favorite.


peace&love!


karladiane


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I agree that Dan's book is excellent. He devotes a chapter to each part of the bread making process (e.g., fermentation, proofing, baking) where he goes into the specific process in great depth. Dan's book is new but definitely destined to be one of the industry standards in years to come. It's not big on formulas, but it does cover all the basics and includes guidance on variations. It also has a lot a detailed photos on shaping and scoring bread among other things. I continue to be impressed by Dan's book.


--Pamela

jkmanosque's picture
jkmanosque

Dan Lepard's book the Handmade Loaf has been the greatest influence on my novice baking experience.  He has a very simplistic method for creating sourdough starters and breads.  His recipes avoid the use of any machinery which works perfectly for me - a novice who doesn't want to invest hundreds of dollars into a mixer that takes the fun out of baking.  In addition to this site, Dan also has created a wonderful website with very useful forums.  One other source, not a book, that I've used and again it really gave me some confidence in baking bread was the dvd put out by King Arthur Flour on Artisan Breads - I learned alot from that dvd.  


By the way great subject - i think I'll try to find the Italian Baker book.


jk

xaipete's picture
xaipete
Steve H's picture
Steve H

Actually what might be nice is some sort of grid of basic and advanced topics, and a sorta checklist of what books cover which topics, if that is possible.


So far, I /think/ I have pretty good coverage with Hamelman and the two Reinhart books (BBA and WholeGrain)