The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

updated Hamelman bread book

Edthebread's picture

updated Hamelman bread book

Hi fellow breadheads

I am thinking of purchasing Hamelman's Bread, the updated edition, and I wanted to find out if any of you have bought this book and find it useful.  I don't have the first edition, and despite widespread praise I remember there were some issues with the recipes being designed more for commercial bakers, and there were some errors in the book.  The large volume recipes would not bother me if there are baker's percentages listed, but I'm wondering if the errors were corrected.  I have other bread books such as Peter Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice and Whole Grain Breads, and Laurel's Bread Book, and I'm wondering if this book will offer anything not contained in these fine books.

I would welcome any input.

jcking's picture

Jeff Hamelman had Debra Wink check his formula conversions, and yes there are Baker's Percentages included.


PastryPaul's picture

If anyone has a previous edition, seriously consider updating to the new one. For someone who has no edition? No brainer, get it!

Jeff's book has helped pro and amateur alike.


Colin2's picture

I have the new edition and it's a useful book.  There is a a fair amount of overlap with Reinhart in terms of teaching basic techniques and a range of fermentation strategies, but Hamelman has more recipes and variants, and some differences in technique.  I don't know how often it's used as a textbook, but it's written and designed like one, aimed at professional baking with just enough translation and adaptation for geeky home bakers.

Jessica Weissman's picture
Jessica Weissman

Yes, go out and get Hamelman's book.  He has a wide variety of recipes which are utterly and absolutely reliable.  There's some overlap in technique with other books, but Hamelman is more businesslike and less rapturous.  And the recipes work.  No question.

You're more likely to find the first edition in a library.  The new edition has more recipes and uses slightly wetter formulas, but you can get the idea from the first edition.  Be sure to check the errata, which make a difference in a few of the recipes.

jackieosjunebug's picture

It's really a great book. My baker's hat is off to Mr. Hamelman. This book is awesome. Handy tips, no nonsense information. Interesting historical bits. It's got great appendices chock full of handy stuff. Worth every penny. I learned a lot from Rinehart. I've built upon that knowledge with Hamelman. He's speaking my language.

My only complaint is that there are no metric measurements for the home formulas. I like to vet a formula before committing to a large batch. That said, if you divide the metric by 10, the batch sizes are appropriate for a small planetary mixer.

Just do it. Unreserved praise for "Bread, 2nd Edition".

MANNA's picture

He gives bakers percents. You can scale a batch to any size. He has a section on this in the book.