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Sep 13, 2009 02:34 PM

Bread Books

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good bread making book? The only thing I have so far is Alton Brown's book that has the straight dough method section. I'm looking for a comprehensive book that discusses the bread making process and gives lots of great recipes.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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  1. A bunch of us on another board are baking our way thru Peter Reinhart's 'Bread Baker's Apprentice'. We're somewhere around week 15 (one bread a week). It's been fun, and I've baked a lot of breads that I wouldn't have tried. You could buy the book, start where we are at, then backtrack to make the first breads.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jeanmarieok

      Reinhart is a great book and although I don't have it I would also recommend Ciril Hitz's bread book 'Baking Artisan Bread'. I attended a demo with him and he was great. He also has a series of DVDs.

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          i also recommend bread baker's apprentice. i'm in love with the buttermilk white bread.

          i went to johnson & wales and have the exact uniform that the girl on the cover is wearing. sometimes i hold the book up and tell people that it is me on the cover. of course it is not me but it makes people do a double take.

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            I'm so glad I found your post and the link. I bought "Bread Baker's Apprentice" over a year ago and have yet to delve into it. I had bought a used Zojirushi bread machine on Craig's List, thinking I'd use it for the mixing/kneading part, then hand-form the loaves. In reality, I'm intimidated by the whole bread-baking process. Maybe this will give me the push I need to discover the joys of homebaked bread.

          2. I like Nancy Baggett's Kneadlessly Simple. All of them refined but easy no-knead recipes a la Jim Lahey's original concept. Nice insight into how dough works.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Brooks

              I have Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Bread Bible," which is great for understanding the science and art of bread baking, but I now find it overly complicated. I know, sacrilegious! For ease of use I love "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". It's similar to the Lahey method. Turned me into an avid bread baker with minimal effort.

            2. The bread chapter from the classis "On Food And Cooking"...


              ...was very helpful to me. Teaches what milk does to dough vs. water...the ideal temp. for yeast...why dough with sugar should be baked at a lower temp...etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: scuzzo

                Scuzzo is a fellow food and science geek.

                I also recommend peter Reinhart's classic tome. Shirley's newest book, Bakewise is very good if you want to know the science behind baking.

              2. My favorites are:
                Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart (got this before the Bread Baker's Aopprentice and never really took to the latter. This is shorter and more straightforward and the recipes are excellent - my standard bread is the French baguette with "old dough", have made it pretty much weekly for several years. Going to try the Apprentice buttermilk bread though...).
                Beard on Bread by James Beard (I learned to bake bread by making my way through this book).
                The Breads of France by Bernard Clayton (everything I've made from this has been excellent and authentic).
                The Italian Baker by Carol Field (as for Clayton).
                There is a lot of discussion on this topic on Home Cooking as well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: buttertart

                  I'll second Bernard Clayton. His "Pastry: Sweet and Savory" is one of my most dog-earred cookbooks, soon to be held together with a rubber band.

                2. The Tassajara Bread Book.
                  In the words of the Washington Post: "The bible for bread baking."
                  Somewhat old (from the late 60s or early 70s), but hey! bread is nothing new anyways.