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Bread Books for the Home Baker

Bread Cookbook

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#61 albiston

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 06:27 AM

Amy Viny mentioned Alford and Duguid's most recent book. I'd love to hear more about that, as well as opinions of the breads in their Flatbreads and Flavors.

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Suzanne,

Flatbread and Flavors is many things in one book: a travel diary, a cook book and a baking book, if not even more. The recipes are divided according to Geographic origin and each chapter includes bread recipes, dishes and dips that can be served with them and a few travel stories related to these. The whole makes for a very pleasant read.

I found the recipes work fine and the bread-accompanying dish matches are great when I'm looking for some new "ethnic" :rolleyes: dish to prepare at home and have no inspiration. Still, there are a few things that can be improved. The leavened breads recipes use IMO too much yeast and therefore rise too quickly compromising the final product's flavor. I've modified them decreasing yeast amount, increasing rise time (using cooler rooms and even fridge), and even adapted a few of them to use sourdough starter with very nice results.

If you like flatbreads it definitely is a book to have, I don't think there's anything comparable out there.
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#62 Carbo

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 10:14 AM

Glad to see so much praise for "Flatbreads and Flavors", I put it on my list of favorites on another bread book thread. I'm prejudiced since I got to spend a beautiful Napa day baking with Jeff and Rohit Singh (owner, Breads of India in the Bay area, and, hope that he writes the book he said he was working on - three years ago).

I guess that anthropology is my thing because my faves are books that document times past - Clayton's "Breads of France" because it preserves some of the recipes from the S.S. France. The "Secrets of Jesuit Baking" by Brother Rick Curry - because he is a member of the order that had a seminary in my hometown as a kid - and sold their bread once a year as a fundraiser, (haven't recovered this recipe that turned me into a bread freak tho). But, the other recipes rock in general.

"The Modern Pastry Chef's Guide", by Dominique D'Ermo (1962). It's the Miami Beach school of pastry and bread, but back then you had to know both disciplines to call yourself a Pastry Chef. I found a copy of this book at Kitchen Arts and Letters a few years back. What's old is new again.

"The Holiday Inn International Cook Book", edited by Ruth M. Malone (1962 with a bunch of newer editions). The grand-daddy of retro, with lots of regional American bread recipes - and influenced by the many European chefs working in these kitchens at that time. I re-read it at least once a year for giggles and re-inspiration.

#63 ruthcooks

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 05:16 PM

For almost 40 years my favorite bread book has been Dolores Casella's "A World of Breads" published in 1966. I'm not into sourdoughs and artisan type breads, preferring to buy them, but love to bake sweet dough breads and novelty loaves. I don't know of any cookbook in my library I've used as much as this one. Amazon has several used copies.

Some of my favorite recipes from this book are: Sour Cream Muffins, Jewish Braids (richer than challah, not as rich as brioche, great for sandwiches), Parmesan Bubble Loaf, Potato Bread/Rolls, Swedish Limpe, Whole Wheat Refrigerator Rolls, Sour Cream Waffles, Viennese Christmas Fruit Bread, Stollen, and Orange Bread--which makes the best bread pudding I know, using Vincent Price's double boiler method.

"Beard on Bread" may not be a great book but it contains one of my all time favorites, his Oatmeal Bread.
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#64 Comfort Me

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:02 PM

This is a great post which deserves resurrecting.

Reading through the thread, so many of my favorites came up, it was like running into old friends.

I have E. David, and have read her, but have never baked her. The book was educational, but the recipes did not inspire.

I love Bernard Clayton's Breads of France, and have baked many of the breads. One I recall was a corronne made with pear and pepper, which was wonderful, and another -- was it Pain Brie? -- which needed to be beaten soundly with a club for something like 20 minutes. Heaven! I made the Pain Hawaiian, mentioned in Seth's original post, and it was the only disappointment of the lot.

Baking With Julia has some wonderful recipes. Were it not for BWJ, I would never have attempted croissants or danish pastry -- both fun and delicious. The buttermilk loaves are my staple white bread recipe.

I read and re-read The Village Baker so many times that I wore my paperback out. I purchased a hardback to read and, having saved all of the falling pages, bake with the paperback leaves! There is one started by fermenting an apple -- I never felt more accomplished in my life!

I wasn't move by Maggie Glezer's first bread book enough to buy it, but I absolutely love her latest -- A Blessing of Challah. I've made several breads now, even though we are in the middle of a heat wave and we don't have central air -- and I have loved everything I've made. The sweet glazed challah from the South stands out in my mind, as does the babka, which was so beautiful I didn't want to cut it. When I did, it made my 8-year-old squeal with delight. Her basic recipes start mostly with slurries including the yeast, 1/4 or so of the flour and all of the water, set aside for 10 to 20 minutes. She does give directions where appropriate for using a sourdough.

While I love Dugoud & Alford's breakthrough cookbook, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, I was not as thrilled with their baking book. I loved reading it, I loved looking at the pictures, but I didn't enjoy the recipes very much. (That said, there is a laminate cookie recipe that is really too good to be true!)

I'm glad somebody mentioned Ramballi's Boulangerie. A charming read and, IMHO, a terrific brioche recipe. I haven't tried any other, I don't think, but that one was a keeper!

Now I'm jonesin' to make bread -- gotta get my yeast fix!

Edited by Comfort Me, 27 June 2005 - 01:04 PM.

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#65 jackal10

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:42 PM

Let me plug Dan Lepard's latest book "The Handmade Loaf" ISBN 1-84000-966-7. The recipes are interesting (e.g. Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf), well researched, with excellent pictures of technique, but also I feature on page 160...

#66 bethesdabakers

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 03:34 PM

and that the forum on his web site http://www.danlepard.com/ is like having an interactive book ....

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#67 Catherine Iino

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 09:19 AM

I am newer to Egullet than the origin of this thread, so I probably would not have discovered it if you hadn't resurrected it; thank you!

I add my thanks to SethG for the original, spot-on reviews. It's wonderful to remember the hippies and prehistoric giants had an important place in the personal development of so many of us breadies. And even if the books seem like relics now, I, for one, still have favorites that work for me--Tassajara's whole wheat pancakes, for example, or Beard's corn chili bread (with vastly reduced proportions of butterfat).

Also, long before I knew about slow fermentations, or any theory at all, for that matter, I developed a method based on Beard's recipe for what he called "Pizza caccia nanza" that involved making the dough one evening, refrigerating it, and baking it the next evening. Who had heard of "retarding the dough" back then? But that was my introduction to focaccia-like bread, before I'd heard of that, either. I made it hundreds of times, and I still sometimes use his technique of inserting garlic cloves and then removing them before serving.

Thanks again for the memories and the updates.

#68 doronin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 01:56 AM

Let me plug Dan Lepard's latest book "The Handmade Loaf" ISBN 1-84000-966-7. The recipes are interesting (e.g. Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf), well researched, with excellent pictures of technique, but also I feature on page 160...

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It's not available from amazon.com... :unsure:

Edited by doronin, 20 September 2005 - 01:56 AM.


#69 jackal10

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 02:10 AM

Let me plug Dan Lepard's latest book "The Handmade Loaf" ISBN 1-84000-966-7. The recipes are interesting (e.g. Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf), well researched, with excellent pictures of technique, but also I feature on page 160...

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It's not available from amazon.com... :unsure:

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Oh yes it is!
http://www.amazon.co...=books&n=507846

#70 doronin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 02:13 AM

Oh yes it is!
http://www.amazon.co...=books&n=507846

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That is their Marketplace, not Amazon itself - they have outrageous intl shipping rates...

#71 maggie

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:16 AM

Okay, hold on a minute! The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger, out way before Rose Levy Berenbaum's, is not on anyone's list, and I'm afraid it MUST be! It is our most frequentlly referred to book in my bake shop. Beth knows her way around a loaf, I have to say. Also not to be missed are her Bread for Breakfast and Breads of the Southwest. The directions are easy to follow, the breads are delicious and there are breads for all occasions.

Personally, I think Breads From La Brea Bakery is not for the faint of heart, or for people who have other things in their lives to do other than bread. I make one of her breads regularly, but maybe my oven just isn't cut out for her methods or I just don't have the patience for a three day bread. Lovely read, though.

And I must take up for the Tassajara Bread Book. Heavy and cloyingly sweet? Are you sure you're following the directions? Cut back on the sweetener if you must, or add a little salt, but the basic bread recipe is my "little black dress" of bread. Dress it up with all unbleached AP, or dress it down with every whole grain in your cupboard, but the four hours you must spend with this bread is worth every second. And that's just time hanging out with it, not working it. Make the sponge by stirring 100 strokes (it's so relaxing!), let it sit for an hour. Add the rest of your ingredients, knead to a smooth and lovely dough. Rise once, gently deflate, rise twice, gently deflate, form loaves, turn on the oven, and by the time the oven in hot, the loaves are ready. It's one of my favorite things to make on my day off from baking, because it's effortless and rewarding. The four risings insure that the grainiest of loaves will hold together through slicing, and put up with sloppy sandwich fillings. And the carrot cake is the best in the universe, no exaggeration.

#72 zoe b

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 03:58 PM

I've been baking bread for a lot of years and my cookbooks are the old faithfuls already
mentioned here--Beard on Bread, Elizabeth David, Bernard Clayton; I used to make a great Cuban bread from The NYT Cookbook.

I read all the newer books--but i get them from the library because my goal is to simplify--I've gotten rid of most of my cookbooks in the past year or so--and the only one i was inspired to buy--and this may reveal that I'm a lightweight--is Beth Hensperger's Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook.

I love having homemade bread, but if t takes 3 days of work I'm only going to make it occasionally. Hensperger's biga recipes enable me to start a bread around lunchtime and finish it before dinner in the oven--and with at the most 15 minutes of work--they are stupendous, too--with crisp floury
crust and an open crumb--there are some nice foccaccia type breads, also--the Roman bread is a constant for me.

I haven't had much luck with her sourdoughs, but every other recipe has been at least decent, and sometimes wonderful.

Zoe

Edited by zoe b, 06 June 2006 - 06:50 AM.


#73 RuthWells

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:40 AM

I am new to the world of bread, and while I can understand some of the pique at RLB's tone, I have found her Bread Bible to be a wonderful tool for a beginner. The early section on technique is priceless, and I have had great success with her basic hearth bread and ciabatta. As the only in-depth bread book on my shelf, I have found it to be very user-friendly.

#74 Lindacakes

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:27 PM

I have to second the motion on Dolores Casella. I love her Mexican Spoon Bread, which is not a yeast bread, but I can eat too much of it anyway.

And I second the motion on paring down and relying on classics (prehistoric? ouch!) that work for you. Baking is in the hands, and if you find someone with hands like yours, you're going to want to walk with them.

Or some other mixed metaphor . . .

Edited by Lindacakes, 06 June 2006 - 12:36 PM.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#75 dividend

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:17 AM

This a great thread, thanks!

I love RLB's Bread Bible as a book to start with. I pretty much learned to bake out of it, and there are breads in it I turn to time and time again. What I love about it (and what I think makes it great for a beginning baker) is how warm and un-pretentious it is. The whole "I discovered wheat germ bread" idea aside, she doesn't assume that you know everything already, she breaks down each step with an explanation that makes sense to a novice, and her breads aren't technically tricky. It's not meant to be a master's thesis about bread, just a solid introductory education to the science and art of it. When I was starting out, I like the fact that her measurements were very precise, and she gave you some idea of what to expect the dough to feel and look like as you went along. This is without a doubt the book I would give to a freind who wanted to step up from bread machines.

All that said, my primary text now has been The Handmade Loaf. Wow! What a fantastic home baking book for taking it to the next level.
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#76 cajungirl

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:57 AM

I just purchased "Bread a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by J. Hamelman. I haven't had time yet to really read, just thumbed through, but it looks amazing. I'm really excited to read and try some of his methods and recipes. I've been using "Bread Baker's Apprentice" since it came out and have had success, but its time to try new things.... :wink:
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#77 iii_bake

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:00 AM

I just purchased "Bread a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by J. Hamelman.  I haven't had time yet to really read, just thumbed through, but it looks amazing.  I'm really excited to read and try some of his methods and recipes.  I've been using "Bread Baker's Apprentice" since it came out and have had success, but its time to try new things.... :wink:

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I got both books. They really enlightened me.
I am so grateful for both Peter and Jeffrey. :smile:

#78 butterscotch

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:49 PM

Seth! Thank you thank you thank you!
Your post alone is as good as any of the threads I have seen here.


But others obviously do need such books, and every so often someone starts a thread seeking info on the best bread books.  It's seemed to me for a while that we ought to have some sort of resource to which a person could refer to be able to get some kind of handle on the ever-increasing, but still relatively manageable, universe of serious bread books.  And so I've tried-- humbly, for the good of the community!-- to take a stab at creating such a resource here.

.

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#79 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:07 AM

I feel really spoiled to live with a guy who loves making me fresh bread. He has always had a starter or two and has gone by his standard recipe for years. But he was delightfully intrigued with my Breads from La Brea Bakery, having made several loaves from that book.

But always looking for inspiration, I started perusing a handful of gorgeous books in the bookstore last night and got overwhelmed. Heck, I thought, I'll just check with the consummate bakers on eG and see what they like before I spend hard-earned moolah on another book...

What'cha think? Some that intrigue me are:

The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Ron Manville

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum (I adore her Pie and Pastry Book)

Bread Alone by Daniel Leader

Yet another Bread Bible but this one by Beth Hensperger...

Or is there one I am missing that is specially good? I really only want to buy one more bread book. The top two on my list are my top two, but would love a discussion from other bread-aficiandos.

#80 duckduck

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:51 AM

I've been working from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Breads and haven't been thrilled with the stuff I've made from it, however my sister's vegetarian friends have loved the breads from it. Also been working from the Bread Baker's Apprentice and enjoying it very much. Dabbling with a bit of Beth Hensburger with really good results. Loving No Need To Knead by Susan Dunaway. Sunset book of breads is my old standby I've been baking from for over 20 years and I still love it. It has an incredible variety of breads from different cultures and you can get it dirt cheap online.
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#81 andiesenji

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:59 AM

I have all of Peter Reinhart's books (The Bread Baker's Apprentice, et al)
and I have the rest of the books you listed as well as many, many more.

However, the book to which I have been turning more often of late is Jeffrey Hamelman's book
Bread "A Baker's Book of Technique and Recipes"

I like the format and even though I truly love Peter Reinhart's books, I find that the charts and detailed instructions are very helpful, particularly when I am teaching another person, because the explanations as to WHY are so informative.

Read the reviews, I bought the book a year ago after reading the reviews on Amazon.
The following are the particular reviews I found most important in choosing this book.

As one reviewed noted it is handy to make a copy of the technique sections - I scanned and printed out the specific pages and laminated them with the recipes themselves and stuck them into the book as place markers at the particular recipes I have made. When I am ready to prepare one, I pull the laminated sheets out of the book and stick them up on the front of a cabinet over my baking prep area.

"Still learning, March 20, 2005
Reviewer: mb_quilts (upstate NY) - See all my reviews
I'm a home-baker and found this book to be an amazing education. Although I've been baking bread on and off for years, I felt like I was starting over again and learning correct techniques and principles. At first I often felt like I was juggling as I tried to put new techniques in action, but as the new ways became more practiced the awkward feelings subsided and the bread improved!

I now have two starters going and make bread on a more regular basis with predictable results.

For those interested in learning more about how bread making works this is a great book. Dense in places and different from most cookbooks which give you complete info for each recipe. Hamelman discusses the general concepts and techniques first and then provides formulas which rely on those ideas. Expect to do a lot of flipping back and forth at first or make a copy of the technique or recipe so you can see both at once.

I'm still sampling the recipes but I've tried rye bread, basic sourdough, challah, bialys - all with good result.

If you want to know why something makes a difference and want to learn so that you can bake bread with confidence and understanding, this is a wonderful book to have. My recommendation is to get a good scale too, so you can weigh all your ingredients for best results.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:

Best of the Bunch, March 12, 2005
Reviewer: DANIEL T. DIMUZIO "Dough Dude" (Birmingham, Alabama) - See all my reviews

I'm a bread baking instructor at a culinary school located in the Southeast U.S. I've probably read every bread baking book aimed at the artisan bread movement, and there are quite a few that are worth owning. Hamelman's book is simply the best of them.

I have to take issue with one of the previous reviewers who suggested that the book is intended mostly for professionals. It is true that many of the recipes feature small quantities expressed as weights, but I believe this is done on purpose -- to encourage the beginner as well as the pro to rely upon precise scaling as the best starting point for a successful baking job. Digital scales are now inexpensive to own, and any serious baker -- whether amateur or professional -- should have one.

I use his book as the primary text for my class. Most of my students are not experienced bakers, and they appreciate his ability to write for both amateurs and professionals in a clear, concise style that assumes no serious experience with bread while resisting the urge to "dumb-down" the material covered.

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:

The most advanced bread book I own, December 15, 2004
Reviewer: Robert M. Halperin (Champaign, IL USA) - See all my reviews

"Bread" is, by far, the best book on the subject that I own. It has large sections on breads made with yeasted preferments, sourdoughs and ryes. I made one of the ryes last week and it was superb.
This book is really written for the professional baker. The home baker is really an afterthought in this book. Each recipe is given in metric and U.S. wieghts for about 40 loaves. The last column of each recipe is for the home baker, but most of the weights are in fractions of an ounce. If you have a digital scale that will weigh out (say) 6.4 ounces of whole wheat flour, that is great. If not, you'll need to buy one. You can use the volume approximations in the "Home baker" column, but Hamelman highly recommends that you weigh. All recipes are also given in "baker's percentages" which, once you master the idea, should allow you to make any size batch of dough. The recipe I tried called for 1 teaspoon of rye sourdough culture. Can you imagine making rye starter for this small amount? I used my white sourdough starter and the recipe came out fine. There is a lot of arithmetic taught in this book. For example, it teaches the reader how to use baker's percentages. It also teaches the reader how kneading the dough affects the dough's temperature.
The book also uses terms such as "bulk fermentation" and "folding" which are probably not familiar to many home bakers.
Why did I five this book 5 stars? It is because I have been a serious home baker for over 30 years and this book is the next step in my enjoyment of this hobby. I feel ready for all of the technical material it throws my way. It is, however, NOT for the person who is just starting to bake bread at home.


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful:

Best bread book I own so far, November 8, 2004
Reviewer: agardenchair (Germany) - See all my reviews
There are numerous things that put this bread book above the other books about home-bread-baking that I own. Apart from the fact that the breads turned out exceptionally well from loaf No. 1. I have to insist that it is very clearly written and well structured. Side remarks are even in a different color, so you will not get distracted from the recipes.

The book discusses these methods for making bread:

- Breads made with pre-fermented dough using either a saltless starter, also known as "poolish" or "Biga" (or "Anstellgut" in german) or a starter made with a little salled called "Pte fermente"

- Breads made with levain (i.e. white sourdough)

- Rye sourdough breads

- Straight doughs (using no pre-fermented doughs)

(- Other assorted breads or baking goods, that didn't fit into the aforementioned categories)

Tthe author does a very good job of teaching how you can make a lot of breads out of small amounts of the starter. I finally got around to maintaining a levain and a rye sourdough culture! I didn't know it was that easy. And you only need to take up to two table spoons of any of those starters to have a great bread within 36 hours. The rye sourdoughs may not be as acidic as some of the breads you can buy here in Germany, but they still make very good mild rye sourdough breads.

The quality of the breads that I was able to make is astounding. I witnessed oven spring that didn't know was possible in a home oven.

I find it very amusing that I had to buy an american baking book in order to learn how to make a genuine "Vollkornbrot" or a good sunflower seed bread - both traditional german breads. And I wished german baking professionals were a bit more forthcoming when it comes to sharing their secrets. To be honest, I don't know one single german bread book that is even remotely as good this one."

Edited by andiesenji, 16 September 2006 - 10:04 AM.

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#82 srhcb

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 10:04 AM

Just for the record, I've had my problems with some of Bernard Clayton's recipes too. But, enough dwelling on the negative .... :hmmm:

I actually made it through English Bread and Yeast Cookery, by Elizabeth David, surprising even myself. It's not exactly great literature, but any serious bread baker will most likely find it interesting. :wink:

My default bread baking book is the original edition of King Arthur Flour's 200th Anniversary Cook Book. It's simple, basic and, well, that's why I like it. :smile:

Then, of course, there's Baking With Julia (Child, need I add?), partly because of the gorgeous photos and partly because .... it's Julia! :wub:

SB

#83 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 10:37 AM

Then, of course, there's Baking With Julia (Child, need I add?), partly because of the gorgeous photos and partly because .... it's Julia! :wub:

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I have that and encouraged Kevin to look at that from my collection as well -- I think he was put off by the fact that there was so much non-bread/loaf baking in it (Martha's wedding cake, for example), but I adore that book.

I really appreciate these suggestions, everyone! Looks as though I might have to break down and buy more than one!

#84 andiesenji

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 12:15 PM

I just counted the bread baking books in one bookcase as I try to keep my cookbooks grouped in categories, as much as possible - however there are more that are scattered here and there in stacks because I have been looking for some obscure recipes.

That one bookcase holds 181 books just on bread baking. I have to admit that there are more than a few from which I have never used a recipe. Some have been used a lot.
Such as,
Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking across America which contains some favorites.
Also Beth Hensberger's book, as you mentioned, I think I have all of her bread books.
Christine Ingram's "Bread Bible" (seems this is a favorite title) breads from around the world.
Several of the books are on bread machine baking.
Elizabeth David's book is interesting to read and I have baked a few recipes from it, but not recently.
Some are collectibles only, odd titles, such as the following.

"The English Bread Book For Domestic Use, adapted to Families of Every Grade, containing the Plainest and Most Minute Instructions to the Learner; Practical Receipts for Many Varieties of Bread with Notices of the present System of Adulteration and its Consequences; and of the Improved Baking Processes and Institutions Established Abroad."
by ACTON, Eliza
as you can probably guess, this one is a 1986 reprint of a book originally published in 1857.

They liked long, explanatory book titles back in those days!!!

Also, you might want to take at look at the bread books listed on the Bread Bakers Guild web site.
BBGA

They also have some recipes on the site that are excellent, I love the English Muffin recipe.
links and etc.

Perhaps your guy (or you) would like to join the Bread-Baker's mailing list. He can get it as a digest instead of individual emails which makes it easy to read through the titles at the beginning of the digest to see if there is a topic of interest in it.
There are quite a few professional bakers who post on the list. Rose Levy Beranbaum, Maggie Glezer and Peter Reinhart, Lora Brody are all frequent posters.
Bread-Baker's Mailing list

Edited by andiesenji, 16 September 2006 - 12:44 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#85 chromedome

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 06:20 PM

I personally like Peter Reinhart's BBA for the depth of information he provides, and I find the recipes to be very good (also I like getting baker's percentage even for small-batch recipes). Having said that, I think the Hamelman book would be the one I would get if I had to have only *one* bread book. Also, FWIW, it's the standard text used by the baking program at the excellent trade school here in Edmonton.
Fat=flavor

#86 andiesenji

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 11:49 AM

I bought Peter Reinhart's book Brother Juniper's Bread Book back when it was first published, because I was interested in the "slow-rise" method of developing more flavor in rustic breads. (1993)

I bought Ed Wood's World Sourdoughs From Antiquity (1996) after reading the National Geographic article about the re-creation of an ancient Egyptian bakery. I also purchased a culture from sourdo.com.

When Crust & Crumb was published I bought it and found that it further explained and refined these techniques that improved my baking exponentially. (1998)

And, of course, I bought Classic Sourdoughs when it was published in 2001. (also bought two more cultures, which I kept completely isolated from each other and maintained them for more than two years).

These particular books changed many of my ideas about what constitutes the "perfect" loaf and I did far more experimenting than I had done in the many prior years I had been baking bread.

In November 2004 I got the book by Jeffrey Hamelman and I recall spending much of the Thanksgiving weekend reading it and trying out a couple of the recipes.

I still love Peter Reinhart's Struan bread, in fact, I bought the Electrolux mixer especially for working this dough because I learned the hard way that it is much too stiff for a Kitchenaid.
The recipe, or a close relative, is posted here: Struan bread recipe.

One book I will not recommend is The Taste of Bread - there are a number of errors in the translation and some statements that do not make sense. For the price, one would think they would have had someone knowledgeable checking the translation prior to publication. Unfortunately I don't read French.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#87 cognitivefun

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 03:26 PM

my favorite would have to be a tie between Bread Baker's Apprentice and Van Over's Best Bread Ever. But if I had to have one only, it would be Van Over's book.

Why? Because his food processor technique produces bread that is quicker to make, tastier, with a longer shelf life.

Weak point of Van Over's book is relatively little about wild yeast breads. But it's such a fantastic technique that he teaches, that it is well worth finding this out-of-print used and snapping it up (I have two copies.)

BBA is such a close runner-up and is the superior book in many ways...it just lacks the food processor method as the centerpiece. So it involves 10 or 12 minutes of kneading which is eliminated with the food processor technique.

That's why my response would be to buy both!

#88 andiesenji

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:17 PM

The book is available through Amazon. for 29.95

and through ABE books for 22.50
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#89 DanielBerman

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 02:16 PM

Two top tips for me at the moment -
1. BBA as above... some great technical tips - abd my kitchen is currently filled with the wonderful smell of the Pain Poilaine - nutty and rich.

2. Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf - Dan was a professional photograper, and this book is a work of art, and is full of great recipes. His was the technique that finally got me baking really good sourdough! He is a regular here - and his posts occasionally come illustrated, and are always insightful.

I'm waiting for Crust & Crumb to be delivered.

#90 sleof

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:51 AM

Has anyone used Eric Kayser's book 100% Pain : La saga du pain enveloppée de 60 recettes croustillantes? The breads from his bakeries in Paris are very, very good?





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