The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for a bread book to bake my way through…

Trishinomaha's picture

Looking for a bread book to bake my way through…


Having just completed being a tester for the Jewish Bakers Cookbook, I am now looking to make my own challenge. I would like suggestions for a bread baking book that I might work my way through from start to finish. I have purchased many bread baking books but have mostly just thumbed through them and maybe tried a few of the recipes some with better luck than others. I have a copy of and have looked through BBA but it seems so intimidating. Any recommendations on a good basic book that a novice baker could work her way through with some good results? I look forward to your suggestions!



LucyBee's picture

I'm a novice also and I really like Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Everyday, and Richard Bertinet's 'Dough' and 'Crust'.

These books got me started, the instructions are easy to follow and the results have been really good.


Yumarama's picture

looking at our little group, as we go through the Hamelman book. Our emphasis is on keeping it Mellow so although we pick three recipes a month, members are free to do as few or as many as they like or life allows.

However, if you find BBA intimidating, I'm not sure what you'll think of Hamelman. I'd actually recommend BBA as a first step since it's actually more "basic" with plenty of pictures to make it easy and/or inspiring.

I'd venture, however, that if you've done the Jewish Baker, you're probably well versed already and could in fact tackle either.

I don't know if there's currently a group doing BBA again from the start. There was one a year or so back but the bulk of members are already done or getting to the end. See this page for info.

There are other bake groups you might check out, like BreadBakingDay or Bread Baking Babes which select one type of bread per month and members post their chosen version of same.

These will hopefully get you started or at least point you to lots of blogs where you can find further groups, whether baking from one specific book or just general breads from multiple sources.

pmccool's picture

BBA would be a great choice for a challenge like you describe.  From what I've seen of your work, Trish, I can't imagine you having too much difficulty with the formulae in that book.  The one risk I can think of is that you might get stalled on the cinnamon rolls and just keep baking them over and over again.  The other thing about BBA is that it isn't a mega-collection of breads, which means it won't take 3 years to go cover to cover.


Trishinomaha's picture

Thanks for the responses and especially for your confidence in me Paul! I happen to have both BBA and the Hammelman book on my cookbook bookshelves. Ranibowz - I have joined the Mellow Baker's group and am looking forward to participating in that. I had so much fun doing the Jewish Bakers CB and I was sorry it was done. It was fun to have a recipe to look forward to each week end. I think I will start BBA on my own and participate with the Mellow Bakers. That should keep me busy through fall and winter and I have lots of willing "testers" at my office - they were sad the Jewish Bakers test was over too =).

Thanks for the input guys!


EvaB's picture

but its definitely a great book, I've made a couple of things from it, and will definitely make more, its a bit of a stretch for me, as I am a novice at bread, but the ones I've baked have turned out well, so for me that is the gold medal seal of approval, since I can and have made many recipes that don't turn out, could use them for brick bats!