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Bread book suggestions

annieqst's picture

Now that I'm on a roll (no pun intended, or maybe it is) with baking bread, I'm looking for suggestions on books to make different kinds. Gretchen, Knitpik and Nightrider were kind enough to send me three great recipes that I rotate through on a weekly basis. Thanks!


I think I'm ready for variation and thought I'd look for a good book (or good website). Do any of you have any recommendations?

Gretchen's picture

(post #62933, reply #1 of 24)

Can't go wrong with the Breadbaker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Sondra's picture

(post #62933, reply #2 of 24)

BBA by Peter Reinhart, in agreement with Gretchen.  Another favorite of mine with loads of different recipes (artisanal, grains, sourdough, sweet breads, even quick breads)  is Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. 

deejeh's picture

(post #62933, reply #3 of 24)

Echoing Sondra and Gretchen, the BBA is a terrific book.  Also, RLB's Bread Bible is very good, if you like her style of writing/baking.


deej

Sondra's picture

(post #62933, reply #5 of 24)

RLB's Bread Bible is very good, if you like her style of writing/baking.


I agree it's very good, but ONLY if you like her style of writing/baking.  Actually, I learned a lot from the book, but I don't bake from it.  I know it's weird, but she actually gets on my nerves.

LuciaK's picture

(post #62933, reply #6 of 24)

If two people agree, then it can't be all that weird. I have several RLB books (although not her Bread Bible), and the grids for the ingredient listings get on my nerves. Her recipes are certainly superlative, but there is no charm in reading them.

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

deejeh's picture

(post #62933, reply #7 of 24)

I know, she's a bit too pedantic for me, but I do find that I have success with her recipes, and her books are great for reference regarding such things as measurements, techniques, etc.


deej

LuciaK's picture

(post #62933, reply #4 of 24)

I'm a fan of Beth Hensperger's baking books, many of which are available through Amazon. I have the 1988 edition of Bread and I still pull it out for the brioche, blueberry muffins and banana streusel muffins. I think the Bread Bible won a James Beard award (not to be confused with RLB's Bread Bible).


The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, as well as the earlier KAF 200th Anniversary Cookbook, are also very nice for bread recipes.


Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

Lazio1954's picture

(post #62933, reply #8 of 24)

Like most people, my go-to bread book is BBA. I think chef Reinhart is still #1 for bringing more flavour and readability to any bread book. My second favourite is "Bread a Bakers Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman. No colour pictures, but a wealth of information and eminently readable. If you're into whole grains then then definitely Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is a must. If I were only allowed 3 bread books, those would be the ones I would choose.

Silvana

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Silvana We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill
annieqst's picture

(post #62933, reply #9 of 24)

Thanks everyone! I've ordered Peter Reinhart's book. I thought it interesting that many of you said a similar comment about the RLB's book. What is it about her writing that is so difficult?

deejeh's picture

(post #62933, reply #10 of 24)

She has such a cut-and-dried approach to the recipes - there's no excitement in the descriptions, and the recipes are so exact there's no room for the slightest bit of madmomming.  When I bake from her books I have the same feeling I used to have in Grade 8 when Sister Mary Rose stood behind me, ready to make my life miserable if I made a mistake.


deej

MadMom's picture

(post #62933, reply #11 of 24)

The funny thing is that she is such a delight in person.  She really makes things interesting and has a lovely way of teaching.  I have several of her books, though, and I don't find them intimidating, except for the fact that my butt doesn't need any more cake!



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deejeh's picture

(post #62933, reply #24 of 24)

Yes, I agree that in person she's very pleasant.  On paper, however, I don't find her intimidating, but rather annoying.


deej

Sondra's picture

(post #62933, reply #12 of 24)

Mainly, her exact exactness, lol.  And if you compare here to reinhart or Jeffrey Hamelman, their passion for the bread really outpaces hers.

knitpik's picture

(post #62933, reply #15 of 24)

annieqst's picture

(post #62933, reply #21 of 24)

Knitpik: Thanks! I have them bookmarked and will peruse them later. Looks like lots of info and recipes.

gmunger's picture

(post #62933, reply #13 of 24)

Not bread, per se, but I'll put a plug in for Greg Patent's books. You get good recipes for all types of baked goods, and a fascinating history alongside.

 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
Gretchen's picture

(post #62933, reply #14 of 24)

I just pulled out my BBA again and leafed all through it. What a compendium of knowledge about "bread".


And for those of you who don't want to invest in bannettons for bread rising he has a little snippet about just using Cost Plus wicker baskets from a famous bakery.


SO much information and so clearly put out for us.  AND all kinds of breads--stollen, sandwich, all the artisan, some sweet, etc.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Sondra's picture

(post #62933, reply #17 of 24)

I have the linen lined wicker baskets from SFBI, love them, such a deal.  I just ordered the wicker coiled bannetons in a couple of sizes.  A great deal on those too.


For those of you who would like to order the baskets, this is the best deal to be found:


http://www.sfbi.com/baking_supplies.html

Gretchen's picture

(post #62933, reply #19 of 24)

Yeah, but--in spite of supporting a great cause, you can get them for a dollar and use a tea towel or such.  I have bannettons because I found a cache at a flea market.


I thought PR's suggestion was really a terrific support item to making artisan bread without spending the big bucks. And he quoted the amounts of money in the book.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Sondra's picture

(post #62933, reply #20 of 24)

I absolutely agree that his suggestions were good.  I'd hate to think that anyone would read the book, get excited about artisanal bread, and then decide that the supplies were too expensive to give it a try.  And I would definitely have been in that position when I was starting to learn about bread baking.


 

Nightrider's picture

(post #62933, reply #16 of 24)

I'm glad to hear that the recipe I posted worked out well for you!  You reminded me that I need to make another batch!


Best of luck with the rest of your bread baking adventures!  Definitely give the pizza recipe in the latest FC a try too - a different kind of yeast dough, and the results are totally worth it :)

Plover's picture

(post #62933, reply #18 of 24)

I'd like to recommend The Art of Handmade Bread by Dan Lepard. The American edition is called something else - can't remember - but isn't this the one that Sally's been working with and raving about?

Haven't actually made anything from the book so can't speak to the recipes, but it is a wonderful read, nicely photographed, and has a great variety of recipes.

Plover's picture

(post #62933, reply #23 of 24)

Bingo!

That's the one