The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

English book on classic French breads

sanor's picture

English book on classic French breads

Hi all,

I'm looking for a particular book and hope to get some tips from the community. 

I would like to learn to make classic French breads, such as baguette de tradition, pain de campagne, pain au seigle etc. Unfortunately I can't get my hands on "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking", but does someone have a tip for a similar book? Note that i've already read most of the populair bread making books mentioned under Books here, but sometimes they're too broad.


  • English written book
  • Focus on classic French breads
  • Some theory about bread making and the process

Note: in France you have the de facto recently updated "Devenir Boulanger", unfortunately it's in French haha.

MaisPalestine's picture

New to this. But I came across a book called “tartine bread book”. I saw an English version. 

idaveindy's picture

I bought Fromartz's book "In Search of the Perfect Loaf" for $1.99 in Kindle format. I expect it to be discounted that low only once a year. I've seen it a couple times at 4•99

It's currently 7•99, but usually 10•99.

It has 8 bread recipes:

  1. Stirato
  2. Levain Baguette
  3. Pain de Campagne
  4. Emmer Flatbread
  5. Socca Américain
  6. Turkey Red Miche - high extraction, almost whole grain.
  7. Roggenweizenbrot (pan de seigle)
  8. Pain Nature

It may be more Americanized than what you're looking for. But he did go to France to study bread-making.


As far as baguettes go, check out the pro quality loaves done by TFLers here:

Over 2200 comments on that thread.

For the short version, download the PDF that alfanso created of the best bakers. the top 5 or 6 bakers equalled or exceeded the baguettes that I see in my books, (Forkish, Reinhart, Hamelman, Leader, Robertson) including the photos of European bakers in Ortiz's Village Baker, and Leader's Local Breads.

Bon appétit, amigo.

MTloaf's picture

A good writer with interesting stories for the home baking fanatics and the recipes are nice as well.

sanor's picture

Many thanks! I'll have a look into the tips.

idaveindy's picture

BTW, the Fromartz ebook page has a "send a free sample" button.

It also has the "Look inside" feature on it's Amazon page.

suave's picture

What I think you want is a set of two volumes called "Special and Decorative Breads".  These are relatively unknown (and therefore inexpensive) books published 20-30 years ago.  They will not necessarily appeal to  True Artisans - few things are autolyzed, folded or retarded, they don't strive for open crumb and have a drastically different notion of lamination, however they have some theory, show the techniques, authentic recipes, plethora of shaping options, and were written by practicing French bakers.

You can top it off by Breads of France by Clayton - this one can be sometimes had for the price of shipping.  His recipes are often dumbed down - he wrote for 1970's audience, but once you understand the techniques, much can be reverse-engineered.

Colin2's picture

Much agreed re Clayton.  _The Breads of France_ is very much of its time: recipes are in cups and teaspoons.  Not much natural leavening.  It is also more a compendium of many recipes, which was his specialty, than the more in-depth introduction to principles the OP wants. 

And yet, it's a lovely book, full of interesting breads and baked goods of all kinds, lots of ideas and variety, plus the stories of bakers he talked to.  It can be read for pleasure.  It's also the first bread book I encountered to do long fermentations.  

albacore's picture

I briefly owned Clayton's book, but it soon went off to the charity shop. The cup measures and obsessive use of bakers nonfat dry milk were too much for me.

I think it was a product of its time and did reflect bakery recipes in its era, but fortunately, bread baking has had a renaissance since then.



albacore's picture

The Taste of Bread by Raymond Cavel? OK, it was originally written in French (as Le Gout du Pain), but there is the English translated version too.

There is a lot of theory in the book, but also recipes.