The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recommendation for beginner who likes whole grain breads?

zorgclyde's picture

Recommendation for beginner who likes whole grain breads?

I just recently started got into baking breads, and I want to get a book that's suitable for me. 

One thing I found out is that the breads that I like to eat are slightly dense, multi-grain breads -except for quickbreads- but these are also trickier to make especially for beginners.

So my question, which book would be good for this purpose? I would like one that's beginner accessible, have hand making instructions (I don't have a mixer and won't get one soon), and have good number of recipes that won't take 3 days to make. I've read the book reviews online but am still a little undecided so I thought to get more feedback here.

Thanks and I appreciate your suggestions.

wdlolies's picture


Have a look at Richard Bertinez.  He published at least two good books.  I've got his first one and it came with a DVD. He uses a very unique method of kneading, which is not only fun, but also foolproof.  I've move on since and use all kind of recipes, but always knead my dough according to his method.  Best of luck.


SCruz's picture

I would encourage you to go to the library and look at its collection, you'll see which ones fit your need the most. Some are good for recipes, some for information.This site will show you the ones with the strongest following.

I too prefer whole grain breads, and while I like white breads, they are not what I eat on a regular basis. I've made Tartine's WW, Peter Reinhart's WW, and the NY Times no-knead as a WW, and put them out side-by-side for friends to taste. While it may be to the chagrin of bread purists, my friends say they love the smell and texture of all three, but the no-knead wins on taste every time. You can find the recipe in the NY Times archive, Nov 2006, under no knead bread, the minimalist.



sparklebritches's picture

I have enjoyed Laurel's Kitchen and the Tassajara Bread Book.   I used these books before getting a mixer and I'm glad I started with them!

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

90% of the bread I bake is whole grain.  I have Laurel's Kitchen and like it, Hamelman's Bread and like it, and both of the Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day books (which I've used a lot), but Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is the winner for me hands down.  While the method mostly involves making 2 smaller doughs and letting them rest overnight, I've had good luck letting them rest for 1 to 4 hours so the loaves can be made in one day when I'm in a hurry.


zorgclyde's picture

Thanks for all your recommendations. I went to the library. Originally I wanted to look at Bread Baker's Apprentice but that book has a long list of borrowers waiting for it, but I did get my hands on the Whole grain book. I was apprensive because it seemed so technically, but when I actually read through it I found it very well-organized.

When I was browsing through the shelf, I saw Dan Leader's Local Breads. I skimmed a few pages and was going to put the book back when I saw that it had a section on German breads!! I loved the German sunflower seed and rye bread, and my experience in Germany was what got me to actually like bread in the first place, but I had given up all hope of finding it in the US after numerous disappointments. 

So even though I was looking for something easier to start with as a beginner, I decided to take the plunge and try making the rye sourdough starter as that was the kind of bread I had been craving for. I even started blogging so I can keep log of my success and failure! 

Laurel's and Tassajara also sounded good. I didn't see it in my library but if they have awesome German bread recipes I'll go hunt it down!

Long story short, I think I may go with several different books. Now, I am on day 1 of my sourdough starter...