The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Books

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Bread Books

Good day everyone,

I have noticed numerous folks making comments about different baking books that they have or use.  I was wondering what books, if any, do you folks use, and how do you like them.  I have seen alot of diffent books out there, and was wondering what ones you may really love or not like so much.  I really enjoy reading and learning anything I can when it comes to baking, and Artisan style Breads.  Any insight you folks would be willing to provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and have a great day.

TattooedTonka

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Much is going to depend on your personal cooking and learning style. Many books mentioned here are loved and hated by some.

Floyd's book reviews (linked just below the banner) are worth reading.

After serveral false starts over many years, I finally got started with breakmaking when I received Rose Levy Beranbaum's _The Bread Bible_. I found that by following her very precise, very complete instructions I could make good bread fairly consistently. After doing that for 4-5 months (during which time I was getting good bread from the exercise) I started to understand what was going on and was able to begin changing recipes and doing things more to my liking. Others however find RLB too technical and precise.

_The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book_ is a solid reference on 100% whole-grain baking, plus a refresher on 1970s commune philosophy.

I don't have Peter Reinhart's _The Bread Baker's Apprentice_ (BBA) yet, but many on this board have spoken well of it.

_Bread Alone_ is a bread, bakery operation, and philosophy book with a lot of good recipies and advice.

There are many others out there.

sPh

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Thank you very much for your opinion.  I am a Technician in the coffee and espresso industry and a bit anal when it comes to doing things the right way.  I study as much as I can when I become involved with something, and I am not intimidated by advanced procedures, or technical jargon (as long as I can find an explanation of said jargon).  I am new to baking bread, and I had very good results with the breads I have made to date.  I know my days are numbered before I have a bad batch, but the positive results so far have just feuled my desire to learn more. That is why I ask for opinions from people.  I understand what one loves another may hate, but it is their reasons why that I learn from.  And hopefully make more informed purchases when I go this weekend to buy some books.

I thank you again for your reply.

TT

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Hi tattooedtonka,

Like so many others on this site, I keep paging through BBA, Hamelman and the Bread Bible.  After a bit more than a year of obsessive level of baking, I find myself going back to the technical pages of each book.  

Given your bent for technique, you might be interested in Good Bread is Back by Steven L. Kaplan.  It's a detailed history of the fall and rise of  artisan bread baking in France.  It is dense, but interesting (I'm only on page 60).

Sylvia

 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Well, speaking as a former test & measurement engineer, IMHO you will not be disappointed with RLB's _The Bread Bible_. When my son was assigned to write a complex procedure for his high school chemistry class I gave him that book and suggested that he use RLB's style as a guideline.

Hammelman's _Bread_ goes into more detail on how dough is processed in a controlled environment along with some hints on how to achieve that in the home (as does _Bread Alone_ in somewhat less detail).

And you should definately order _Bread Science_!

sPh

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey TT

My fav bread books are:

Bread by Jeffery Hammelman  In my opinion the greatest bread book to date.  Great recipies great technical information.  This would be the book you turn to when you have almost any question about bread or baking.  This book falls a little flat when it comes to pictures and illustrations though.

Artisan Baking Maggie Glezer  I love this book.  Great recipies including the soon to be famous "Essential Columbia"  Great pictures and stories.  Less tech than Bread.

BBA Peter Rienhart  This is the book that got me started in bread.  Simply the best book when it comes to pictures explaining how to do it.  Also great writing by someone that you can tell has found his niche in life.  I have had some issues getting my bread to turn out using some of the recipies though.

Like I said in a previous post in a perfect world I would like to see "Breads" recipies combined with "BBAs" pics and prose.  You can't go wrong with any of these books though.

Da Crumb Bum

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> Like I said in a previous post in a perfect world

> I would like to see "Breads" recipies combined

> with "BBAs" pics and prose. 

I would also want Rose Levy's "dough percentage" listed as that is actually more useful for the home baker than the straight baker's percentage.

sPh 

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

sPh, Sylvia, and Da Crumb Bum thank you all for some great info.

 Bread by Jeffery Hammelman 

RLB's _The Bread Bible_

Artisan Baking Maggie Glezer 

Good Bread is Back by Steven L. Kaplan

BBA Peter Rienhart

 I will start looking for these this weekend, that should keep me reading for a while.  I enjoy sitting in the kitchen reading while my baking is going on, so I guess I will be in the kitchen alot.  I have been baking desserts tonight, I just finished a couple about 15 minutes ago.  I really have enjoyed making bread, but due to the amont of time I work during the week days, I really only have adaquate time on weekends for that.  I find it very relaxing though, may seem kinda odd, but it releaves my stress.  I also find making all my breads and desserts by hand without the use of gadgets, and mixers very rewarding.  Heres the ones I just finished.  I know its not bread, but it has dough :-) 

Apple Peek a BooApple Peek a Boo

    Strawberry Peek a BooStrawberry Peek a Boo

Thank you all again for the information you have provided, you folks have made a really great site here.  I truly enjoy coming here each day to check it out.

Have a great day all,

TT

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Dang it, I tried to load images on the post but I guess I added them as there own thing as well.  Sorry, my newbie side to this forum is showing.

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Wow, TT

outstanding desserts.  Great way to have something going on while you read.  Way to go.

Sylvia