The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

If you could choose just one bread book to buy, which one please??

rolls's picture

If you could choose just one bread book to buy, which one please??

Hi everyone, I currently have:

The Bread bible by Rose B

The Italian Baker Carol Field

foccacia  Carol Field

100 breads  Paul Hollywood

Cordon Bleu: Bread

and jus some miscellanious small books etc

I jus want to get one bread book, as I really have too many cookery books, so from your experience which one do you think?

Thanks heaps :)



rolls's picture

Thanks so much, I jus went through all of it and it reminded me I have 'village baker', joe ortiz, how did i forget that one? as well as his wife's baking book.

in your honest opinion, with the selection that I already have, do you really thnk I need anymore, even if its 'bread' by hammelman. I can't rate myself as experienced although I have made many breads.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I use Hamelman's Bread a lot. I find it to be a very comprehensive bread book and although it is a bit "text-book" like I find it to be enjoyable reading as well. Most of my best breads and favorites have come from this book.

00Eve00's picture

Have too many books hehe..

You shouldn't probably ask me, while I only have two bread books, my home is overflowing with books of all sorts of subjects....I have books sitting in piles.

As far as bread books go, perhaps you can decide by figuring out what you want in a particular book. it volume of recipes, technical information, particular ethnic tradition etc...

I have Hamelman's and DiMuzio's books.  Without rambling too much, I learn with theory first so I chose books with a good bit of technical information.  Hamelman's book is nice because it has a marriage of both technical information and many recipes.



davidg618's picture

It depends on your relationship with books. For me, since a mere lad, books have been my primary source of information, and, on many occasions, my primary source of escape and comfort. Consequently, I've turned to books as a primary resource my entire life. 

I have a son who was a Washington Post acclaimed chef a few years ago. He doesn't have a similar relationship with books. He relies primarily on his experience, and creative imagination.

When I only want recipes, I search online. I haven't bought a cook book in more than a decade. When I want technical information I also search the WWW, but constrain my searches mostly to *.edu sites. When I want technique information, I rely first on books, but, recently, find myself turning to UTube videos, especially dough handling and shaping techniques.

David G

Gary Turner's picture
Gary Turner

Dough by Richard Bertinet closely followed by Crust by Richard Bertinet, and if your in bath (UK) go to his classes - its life changing

If you want to eat something different try his new book Cook


yes i'm a stalker!!

PaddyL's picture

Have you made anything from that book?  I have it too, but have yet to make any recipe in it.

rolls's picture

Okay, I think I'm starting to lean a bit more towards hammelman...although this is what I had on my wish list and in my basket , although I feel really bad to actually buy them as my house is overflowing with books

so, the books are:  Richard Bertinet's 'Dough' and 'Crust'

                              Jim Lahey's: My Bread

                             'Artisan Breads Every Day',


I really enjoyed watching the episode about Bertinet's cooking school in bath at

About P. Hollywood's book, I actually have made quite  a few of his recipes although this was years ago as I left my book overseas and jus recently got it back, but have been eyeing the halloumi and mint bread of late. I once made his tuscan bread, and eventhough it had a long fermentation, I still felt it needed the addition of salt, but thats jus personal taste :)

thanks heaps everyone though you're not helping to narrow down the options lol!

rolls's picture

I really love my books, have always been more of a book person. It wasn't until discovering this site that I began to spend too much time on the internet, and Youtube bread videos have helped me increase in my breadmaking knowledge also,  as well as the videos on this site, or reccomended by forummers and esp, marc sinclaire's videos.

rolls's picture

Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day, forgot to mention that one too.

logdrum's picture

by Hammelman.



rolls's picture

I did something a little silly! Had the intention of buying 'bread' by hammelman, ended up buying ten books but not that one! not quite sure how this happened but planning to keep an eye on this one and grab jus as soon as I find it on sale, can anyone reccommend the best place to buy at a really good price?? thanks heaps for your input :)


by the way richard bertinet's dough and crust were part of the order as well as 'artisan breads every day' and I think one was a dan lepard, not sure went a little crazy,. thats what happens when you restrain your self too much lol!

LindyD's picture

Amazon usually has excellent prices, plus free shipping.

Postcript:  With ten new books on baking bread, I hope you can find time to bake! :-)

rolls's picture

Lol Lindy, I reckon! Thanks for the head's up :) By the way 9 breadbooks, one Nigella express!

JoeV's picture

After yoy have the technique down for handling dough and learned the 12 steps to bread baking from reputable master bakers as you will find in Reinhart, Levy and Hammelman, then everything is else is a recipe book.  I bought Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and it is nothing more than a recipe book on cold proofed no-knead dough.I was very disappointed and it sits in a cupboard unused.

If you could only have one bread book, I would stick with any of the master bakers. My personal favorite is Reinhart's Bread Baking Apprentice, and even his subsequent work is nothing more than a recipe book supported by gobs of hands-on validation by a group of hard core bread enthusiasts who tested and critiqued his recipes.

Part of the fun in bread baking is experimentation, and once you learn the basics, there is nothig holding you back. FWIW, the Internet is my bread library, and you can find virtually anything your pallette desires. If you want to expand your horizons, take a leadership role in a forum such as this one, and get members to suggest a different bread each month that the entire group will bake, critiue and post pictures of. Kind of like Book of the Month club for bread bakers. Each can help the others to work out the kinks in techniques, and in one year you will have a dozen recipes to add to your files.

rolls's picture

That is an excellent idea, I would love to do something like this. Yes, I agree about jus recipe books, and with the internet I know I don't really need as much books, although I love them and love to look through them. I think I probably read more than actually doing. and need so much practice, but at the moment it is really difficult for me to find the time. Although, onece a month sounds reasonable and fun.

rolls's picture

Just thought I'd mentin the books I ended ordering (I know I have no willpower, but it has been a very long while since I did this) okay, please let me know if you're familiar with any of these books :)

Nigella Express

Breads from Amish kitchens By Phyllis Pellman Good

Crust By Richard Bertinet

Dough Richard Bertinet

Exceptional Breads By Dan Lepard

The Little Book of Bread Tips By Andrew Langley

Making European Breads By glenn Andrews

Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook By Joanna Farrow

My Bread By Jim Lahey

Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Fast By Peter Reinhart

I noticed with this last book that the title didn't match the pictured book title which was Atisan Bread Every Day. Have I ordered the right book? and do you think it's a good choice?