The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking books

Floydm's picture

Baking books

I received a copy of Tartine Bread in the mail today and realized my baking bookshelf is now full.

My bread book shelf

(click the photo to see a higher res version on Flickr).

Um... yeah... I guess I'm going to need to start a new shelf!

Tartine Bread reminds me a lot of My Bread.  A West Coast version.  I haven't had a chance to bake from it yet but there are some interesting sounding recipes in there, like the Olive Oil Brioche that TXFarmer posted about recently.  I'm excited to check it out!


dmsnyder's picture

I'm on my 3rd shelf. But a good part of a shelf is occupied by loose leaf binders with favorite recipe printouts from TFL.


Floydm's picture


rossnroller's picture

I determined a while ago that I have enough bread books. I see now, though, that my collection of around 10 is meagre compared with you guys!

Thing is, I've come to an understanding that I buy bread baking books as much out of a collection compulsion as for educative purposes, or for recipes. I have read through them all and wouldn't part with most, but the truth is I don't really know any of them very well. Hamelman's Bread, alone, has enough good stuff in it to take up many hours of reading and re-reading, and many hours more of applying all the wisdom therein. I've barely scratched the surface.

Re recipes, I'm with you David. Most of the recipes I've tried, and all those that are now part of my regular repertoire, are courtesy of home bakers here and on my 'other' online SD home who have so generously shared their knowledge and formulae. My collection of downloaded recipes have now exhausted one fat file that is now straining to contain its contents...but only one. So far...

One of the best things about home bread baking is the endless variety of new breads to try. Books and recipes are the home baker's storefront display.

Ah, that's rationalised away the guilts. I do believe I have Tartine Bread and Breads From The La Brea Bakery sitting in my shopping cart this very minute. But I won't fetch my credit card. Does that sound convincing?


txfarmer's picture

But in addition to the break books (probably the # is on par with yours), I also have as many dessert baking books. Cookies, cakes, etc. A lot of times even if I don't exactly follow their recipes, I can get inspired just flipping through them. Any favorites? Mine changes all the time. I tend to zoom in and make a lot of breads from one book for a while then switch to another. Of course, "Bread" is always the classic, I go back frequently.

Floydm's picture

Bread was tough for me when I first got it but it grew on me over the years.  I have a soft spot for Peter's books, particularly the Brother Junipers Bread Book and Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe since I worked in said small-town cafe when I was in high school, and The Bread Baker's Apprentice is definitely the one that got me back into baking and inspired me to start this site.  I really like Local Breads and The Handmade Loaf.

There are some notable gaps in my collection though.  All of RLB's books, Artisan Bread in America, Beard on Bread, and The Village Baker come to mind immediately and I'm sure there are others.

berryblondeboys's picture

I only have two of the one's you have, but hae several of my own. I just counted the other day for someone that I have 78 cooking related books (5 are not cookbooks but reference type books for cooking/eating).  My friend has well over 200. So, one small shelf is quite restrained in my opinion!

GSnyde's picture

I'd have twice as many books.  Powell's is about my favorite bookstore anywhere.  I bet they have a thousand bread books.

I'd have more bread books if it weren't for the endless supply of recipes here at TFL.


Floydm's picture

I'd say "what a coincidence" because I actually walked to Powell's today during my lunch break and picked up a couple of books, except it isn't really a coincidence because I do it frequently.  More frequently than I should, probably, but Powell's is a treasure.

They weren't baking books, this time.  I'm a third of the way through the Aubrey-Maturin series and totally sucked in.