The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

new book

codruta's picture

new book

I want to buy a new book, and I need your opinions to help me decide which one.

1. I need weights for ingredients in metric system. And bakers percentages, if posssible.

2. I want formulas for sourdough breads. I usually don't bake sweet doughs, just plain and lean sourdough breads (but I don't mind if the book has some formulas for croissants, challah, panetone, etc)

3. I don't want a "begginners friendly" book. I want a book for advanced (home) bakers, with technical informations and professional approach.

4. I love Hamelman's book. I wish there was another book like this one.


I already have (in the order of purchasing):

a). P. Reinhart "BBA" (my first book, but I don't really use it these days)

b). Hamelman "Bread" for me, it is simply THE BEST

c). Chad Robertson: "Tartine Bread" (I liked reading it ... as a story, and I'm glad I bought it, and I loved his country bread)

c). RL Beranbaum "The Bread Bible" -

d). R. Calvel "Le gout du pain"


I was thinking to buy one of these:

- Advanced Bread & Pastry, by M. Suas

- Local Breads, by D. Leader

- Breads for the La Brea Bakery, by N. Silverton

- Bread Alone, by D. Leader

- The Bread Builders, by D Wing, A Scott

- Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective, by Dan diMuzio

- Artisan Baking, by M Glazer


I really appreciate any advice from those who already have the above mentioned books, and I'm open to other suggestions.



dwcoleman's picture

I have Advanced Bread & Pastry, by M. Suas.  I think its what you're looking for.  It's basically a textbook that would be used in an Advanced Bread & Pastry program as per the title.

It is a very heavy book, with over 800 pages if I remember correct.  It deals with very simple things like bread, and goes all the way to lavish artistic desserts.

ananda's picture

Hi Codruta,

If you want technical books, then Suas is probably your best bet.   Di Muzio's book, howver, is also excellent, and not to be dismissed as a fine alternative.

Of the others you list, my favourites are:

1. Leader's Local Breads.   For all the errata so often mentioned, the recipes and breads Daniel Leader finds throughout his journies in Europe are sensational.

2. Wing's Bread Builders.   This is one of my absolute favourites, and is wonderful for learning about the intricacies of traditionally-made "hearth" style breads.   It is NOT a recipe book, but I don't think for a minute that you would have any regret adding it to your collection.   Alan Scott has to be one of the most influential craftsman to emerge and pioneer a global move towards real bread.   Doubtless he is sadly missed by many.   Wing continues to inspire.....ask Larry [Wally] on TFL; he went on one of his courses at King Arthur!

All good wishes


jombay's picture

Having read almost all of the books listed, I would definitely recommend Advanced Bread & Pastry and/or Local Breads. I always keep going back to those 2 books whether at home or the bakery. Please consider buying them both, they are fantastic.

Good luck,


ehanner's picture

You already have a very respectable selection Codruta. I would love to have R. Calvel "Le gout du pain" in English. 

The Suas volume to me is less about building the best possible bread and more about a base line of correct information about many many bread and pastry products. Half the book is pastry.

The one in your list of prospects that stands out for me is Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking. I have been baking breads from that book for years but only recently purchased the book. It's loaded with beautiful photos and breads made by specific artists on that product. It isn't a book about her breads so much. I have learned some very valuable skills and understandings from my brief time with this book. Specifically baking 100% Rye breads. It is inexpensive at $15 and I would put it high on the chart of "Good Values". Hope this helps.


Janetcook's picture

I too have several of the books you mentioned.

I have to second the recommendation on DeMuzio's book as it is all about bread and the format is very user friendly. It too is written like a text book so there are good questions to refer to at the end of each chapter.  Has a lot of examples which I find helpful. It is not as 'heavy' as the Suas book - an easier read.

The Suas is also good but it mostly about pastry - has a few lean breads and many others but I agree with what Eric said above about it.  It is good for the information but there are better out there that fit more to what I think you are searching for.

I have Maggie Glezer's book and really love it.  You can't go wrong with it either but it is more about specific bakeries and their breads.  Let's you experiment around with other ways of building your loaves.  A book filled with her love for artisan baking.

Finally, Local Breads.  I own it but have been afraid to use it because I have read that it is full of errors that were never edited out or, when people tried to open a dialogue with him, there was a very limited response.  I sent an email to him in hopes of getting some information and I never got a response.  Do a search here and you will find some of the errors with their corrections that people were able to come up with and share for others.  

Good Luck.  Your choice isn't an easy one when limiting yourself to only one book....


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified) Nancy Silverton's The Breads of the La Brea bakery.

They're right to, as it doesn't fit your criteria and it's somewhat dated, being published in 1996.

Keep it on your list, however, as it has some really wonderful "high-volume sourdough" breads in it, like the Olive and Walnut loaves. You won't find a better tasting olive or walnut bread than the ones in La Brea. The Fig-Anise loaf, if you can get it to work, is out of this world.

lumos's picture

I think it depends on what you want from a new book. If you want to learn about technical/theoretical things from the book, di Muzio's book is good because it's basically like a textbook for bakers,  but since you already have BBA and Hamelman's, many things in that book are already covered by those two books you have. (I have Hamelman's and DiMuzio's and use both as good reference books. The latter is much more concise than the former but has  more photos)

The only other book I have in your list is M.Glezer's Artisan Baking.  And having seen what sort of breads you bake and know your artistic flares, I think it's a sort of book you'll enjoy a LOT, both the recipes and photos. ;)

codruta's picture

thank you all for taking the time and showing interest to answer my question. As Janet said, after readind your thoughts, it is impossible now to choose just one book. BUT...with all the holidays approaching, I hope I'll be able to indulge myself and take 3 of them: "Local breads', DiMuzio, and M. Glazer. "The Bread Builders" and "AB&P" will definetely be part of my collection soon. It will be my birthday and a good opportunity to persuade my dear ones to buy me a special present, by request :)

I'll buy from book depository, they are kind of slow, but I hope I'll get them till Christmas. Happy baking everyone!


Janetcook's picture


Good idea to put the 2 other books on a 'wish' list :-)

I had to smile when I read that you are going to get 3 instead of just one.....Something I do too because the temptation is just too great to let good books pass me by :-)

And, realistically, there really isn't just one book out there that says it all.  What is so nice, after getting over spending the money on bread books, is the variety and how each author adds something new to your understanding.  Many do say the same thing but there is always that one that will say it too but in a way that makes total sense - the 'ah-haa' moment.  Or a simple technique that fits in with what you are already doing....

I will be interested to hear what you think of each one after you have had them for awhile.

Enjoy :-)


joyfulbaker's picture

Guess most of the books I have in mind have been mentioned, but it never hurts to have another opinion.  I have D. Leader's Local Breads and successfully baked his "light rye" ("Chleba," I believe) and his "pane Altamura."  There is a list of errata put out by his wife: which came out awhile ago.   I also have had M. Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America, the hardback original, and that was my first "textbook."  I still love the book.  I agree that Hamelman's Bread is the best; there's a long list of errata (also in another posting on TFL):  I got it late in the game and haven't written in the corrections yet; I've baked numerous breads from this book very successfully (so I've thought).  Last mention:  N. Silverton's La Brea book.  Just about all the recipes are sourdough.  I like reading her recipes but have never baked from the book; the recipes seem more complex than those from other writers.  Happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas--enjoy your new books! 

joyfulbaker's picture

How could I forget--What about Inside the Jewish Bakery by Ginsberg and Berg?  It's a great read, lots of cultural history and tales of the baking life.  Lots of pastries, traditional breads for the Jewish kitchen--challah in various permutations, rye to die for (now there's lots of sourdough in that one!).  Wonderful pictures, some of them by TFL testers.  Errata already being listed (on the website).  There's a challenge about to start in December (another TFL posting), so check it out.