The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


laureejeankissack's picture


Ok, I finally have given in..I can read from here, learn from here, but now I can see I need (knead) lol to read and learn so much more..can anyone out there give me some advice about which book to buy for my bread baking shelf?


Alpana's picture

Books are my first love (as a hobby) and currently baking bread is second, so my shelves are full of bread books. I learnt my entire baking from books. Different people may find different things useful, but here are some of my favorites :

1) Daniel DiMuzio's Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective - A right book to start baking. More of a textbook but details almost everything a beginner needs to know about bread. The appendices are quite useful for all.

2) Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes : If I had to have just one book in my collection it would be this one. Though many feel it is for advanced bakers, I have used it quite early in my baking and have not had a single bread which was not highly appreciated.

3) Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor : I am a big fan of Peter Reinhart and I feel his basic techniques are excellent for beginners and equally useful with bit of playing around as you move forward. I have all his books, but I choose this one as representative because I feel this is a build up on his earlier books and the one I use the most.

4) Jim Lahey's My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method : The method may be easy and I know many established bakers frown on it, but the breads are simply great. The book wins in terms of convenience, ease and result all put together.

5) Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza : This was one book which I was ready to hate even before reading it after seeing the author's You Tube video dumping a big chunk of starter and calling it spent fuel. But eating my words was never so tasty after going through and trying the book. I still do not agree with the wastage, but I cannot deny that his formulas work and the book is extremely well written, with beautiful photos. I just use my own sourdough starter or Yeast Water levain in place of his starters and they work well for me.
These five books are at bedside 24/7.

Other very good books for bread enthusiast in me are (in no particular order) :

6) Raymond Calvel's The Taste of Bread
7) Michel Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastry
8) Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible
9) Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread
9) All books by Richard Bertinet
10) Lauren Chattman's Bread Making: A Home Course: Crafting the Perfect Loaf, From Crust to Crumb
11) George Greenstein's Secrets of Jewish Baker books
12) Yoke Mardewi's Wild Sourdough: The Natural Way to Bake
13) Laurel Robertson's The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking (Updated Edition)
14) Dan Lepard's books
15) TFL Handbook is another very good starting place.

I am sure there are quite a few I have missed, which others will supply. I would suggest that you first check out the books from your local library and buy what suits you.

Happy reading and baking. I enjoy doing both & hope you will, too.


Donkey_hot's picture

If you decide to buy just one book, let it be "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman.
If there is a room for three, I would add "Artisan Baking Across America" by Maggie Glezer and "Local Breads" by Daniel Leader.