The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) Recipe Recommendations

Dwayne's picture

Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) Recipe Recommendations

I've owned this book for a while now, thanks to my daughter, and I've baked maybe a quater of the recipies.  I have a list that I keep of breads that I want to bake from it.  After seeing GSnyde's post on "Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch" that bread has now gone to #1 on my list.  Thanks GSnyder.


That got me thinking what are the favorite breads from this book for other people?  There are a lot of breads that I am not familiar with.


So please let me know what your top 3 to 5 favorite breads are from this book.  When the answers stop rolling in I'll summarize.


Here are mine:

1. Focaccia - this is really a fantastic bread!

2. Ciabatta

3. Bagels


Thanks, Dwayne

kneadingbob's picture

I frequently make:

1. Italian Bread

2.English Muffins

3. Challah

4. Ciabatta

Oh, and his recipe for pizza dough is the best I have found. I like to make pizza on the grill by grilling the crust first and his recipe works great for that.

Sjadad's picture

1.  Bagels

2.  Pain a l'ancienne

3.  Challah

When I make pizza I tend to turn to PR's American Pie.  Every recipe in that book is a winner.

GSnyde's picture


This was my first baking book, at the suggestion of many TFLers.  I'm glad you liked the Vienna Bread write-up.

My favorite BBA formulas (so far) are:

1.  Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread (with swirl, and using a combo of Pecans and Walnuts).

2.  Vienna Bread rolls with Dutch Crunch.

3.  Focaccia with Rosemary and Garlic (I use less oil and more garlic than PR's formula).

The Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread disappears faster than anything else I bake.

I find his recipe writing to be both reliable and educational.

Happy Baking.


Dwayne's picture


I like your Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread variation as well as the Focaccia.  I have made a couple of sweet Focaccias and they were great.  One was Cranberry and the other was raisin and cinnamon.





basbr's picture

When I first tried the focaccia I was absolutely blown away. It was my first try with BBA. It just melts on your tongue. It's amazing. It blew Jamie Oliver's recipe I used up to then out of the water.

For French bread and pain a l'ancienne, I've had more luck with Artisan Breads Every Day (ABED). But I'm just two months into being into baking.

Dwayne's picture



I think that Peter should have highlighted this recipe a lot more.  I had never had any Focacia until I made this.  Unbelievably Good.



yy's picture

My go-to recipes in BBA are:

1. Pain a l'ancienne - great for use as pizza dough, too

2. bagels - very reliable recipe. Don't skimp on the flour - KA Sir Lancelot is expensive, but worth it. In my experience, skipping the final proofing step actually gives a better texture. I like a very chewy, dense bagel, so you may find the same results undesirable.

3. Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread - definitely do the cinnamon sugar swirl he recommends in the margin.

BBA recipes to approach with caution:

ciabatta - in the margin, he does say that you can push the hydration level as you get more comfortable working with wetter doughs, but I don't think this is optional if you want to achieve an open enough crumb. You definitely have to make the dough much wetter than he specifies in the formula.

Amori's picture

I would say Pane Siciliano for yummy-nuttiness.

Challah, traditional yet adaptable to many things like Apple, actually won a ribbon for that [french toast] last fall.

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

My favorites:

1. Italian Bread (I've made it so much I don't need to get out the book anymore to bake it).

2. Potato Rosemary Bread

3. Bagels

4. Vienna Bread (with dutch crunch)

5. Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

I use to make Pain a l'ancienne a lot.  Pane Siciliano is also fantastic, though I've only made it a couple of times.

jcking's picture

I've made about a dozen or so of the breads, yet Portuguese sweet bread used for french toast is too much. When relatives visit for the holidays they can't stop raving. Good book.