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Bread book recommentations?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi folks!

 

My mom recently treated my boyfriend and I to a bread baking class.  It was relatively basic and I definitely didn't take enough notes (and my memory isn't what it used to be). 

 

We tried to make some bread two weeks ago which turned out...okay.  It actually tasted pretty good, but it was a pretty pasty little loaf and it didn't rise nearly as much as I was expecting.  I'm not sure if it was the yeast or because the water was too cold...but either way, I know I need to do a little more reading.  I also need to try following some of the recipes here on ChefTalk.  :-)

 

I found a thread from 2001 on ChefTalk with a couple of recommendations, but I thought perhaps I'd ask again given that it's 2011 now. 

 

Any recommendations for a very novice bread baker?

post #2 of 31

King Arthur Flour, Baker,s Companion

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post #3 of 31

Oh Lord, where to start.

 

Among the best (but by no means a comprehensive list):

 

The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This is Peter Reinhart's seminal work on the subject, and should be on every baker's bookshelf. His earlier Crust & Crumb is a great book, too. But BBA builds and expands on it.

Beard On Bread. An oldie but goodie. Somebody needs to reissue this classic, because it's still one of the fundamental guides for home bread makers.

Ultimate Bread. Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno's book on bread making as it's taught at their Books For Cooks cooking school in London.

Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective. A relatively new book by artisan baker Daniel T. DiMuzio. Provides some insights and slightly different points of view from BBA, and is valuable for that reason alone.

Plus just about any of Dan Leader's books. 

 

There are many reasons a loaf fails to rise properly and/or turns doughy. But bad yeast is the least likely culprit. If you provide the recipe, and how you proceeded, we'll probably be in a better position to advise you.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 31

Another vote for Beard on Bread.

 

I purchased it in the mid 70's. Excellent trouble shooting guide--as in, this happened,why?

 

I thumb through that part on occasion and still use several of the recipes from there.

 

enjoy,

Nan

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipscook View Post

Another vote for Beard on Bread.

 

I purchased it in the mid 70's. Excellent trouble shooting guide--as in, this happened,why?

 

I thumb through that part on occasion and still use several of the recipes from there.

 

enjoy,

Nan


And another vote from me! Came in very handy when starting out and not understanding why the bread wasn't rising properly with some recipes.

post #6 of 31

The Bread Bible by Beranbaum

 

Bread by Hamelman

 

Forget the rest.  And to tell the truth, shorten your proofing time to 20-30 minutes if using a preferment.  You'll get better surface tension that way that leads to a far far taller oven spring.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #7 of 31

I second Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"

Definite must have.

 

I'm gonna have to get "Beard On Bread". All of his books are solid. Is this still in print or am I gonna have to start looking for a used one?

 

http://www.ruhlman.com has a lot of good info on bread baking. He also has many links to other food blogs. Check out this post on yeast. 

http://ruhlman.com/2011/01/baking-with-yeast.html

 

 

post #8 of 31

peter reinhart is the man, but if you're a novice you don't want the bread makers apprentice, it's pretty advanced. I'd start with his Brother Juniper book, it's a little paperback and it's awesome. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201624672/1n9867a-20

 

I'd also recommend Carol Field's the Italian Baker, it was what we used and scaled up from in the Italian bakery I worked in. It's an older book, so you might be able to find it used.

post #9 of 31

There are some really good suggestions here already, but I wanted to include "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" by George Greenstein to the list.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580088449/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=089594605X&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0PSWN3VRSSSH0AW2ECWY

  Written by a retired baker/owner, this book is written with the home cook in mind. Each recipe comes with adjustments based on mixing method (I.E. Hands, food processor, or stand mixer), and he even includes a series of "menus" for a days worth of baking. Altogether it's very well thought out and beginner friendly.

post #10 of 31

Just reading this old thread I'm wondering what books are best for a beginner at home bread making? any type. I like it all thanks

post #11 of 31

You need to find a CD/DVD on breadbaking as words can't explain enough. OBSERVATION.  Once there was a CD put out at King Arthur and authored by Michael Jubinski.  That CD, in spite of all the bread books I read, really provided me with the observation and knowledge and from that CD my bread baking took off.  In other words, you got to see and observe what's taking place in the mixture, kneading  the dough and french folding it.  PM me for further info.

 

Otherwise my bread baking has really taken off.  It's taken me eleven years to achieve a great oven spring and ear - simply be shortening the proofing time, lessening the water volume, and using much warmer water when it comes to mixing the preferment into the remaining ingredients..

 

To a three-day old preferment just removed from the fridge, I add water that's been heated to approx 140F.  The hot water allows more extensibility in the final dough for a better oven spring.  Once mixed with all ingredients, the final dough reaches a temperature of around 90F and I mix, knead and french fold by hand. 

 

Allowing the preferment to rest in the fridge for three days allows the enzymes to break down more starch into sugar thus resulting in a stronger yeast activity, stronger oven spring and therefore better flavor.

 

Believe me, I've spent many a sleepless night asking myself what could I have changed in my bread baking process to achieve the improvements I've just mentioned.  I'm really focused, that's all!

 

Sincerely and forget the mixer,

 

Best,

-T

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #12 of 31

I taught myself how to make country-style European breads with Crust and Crumb and Bread Baker's Apprentice. The latter can seem a bit overwhelming at first but if you're motivated and have had a little experience baking bread it's definitely worth having--and poring over. It is not for the uncommitted. Crust and Crumb is sort of the cliff notes version.

 

The Italian Baker was reissued in full color just in time for Christmas last year. It, too, is a wonderful book and now it's gorgeous, too.

 

Beard on Bread is still in print and available on Amazon.com. It's got some great, basic, old-fashioned recipes in it. I love the Sally Lunn recipe.

 

I haven't read Rose Berenbaum's Bread Bible but her Cake Bible is excellently done so I'd trust her on breads, too.

post #13 of 31

Ditto the two really smart replies above.  If you look around on The Fresh Loaf there are a lot of really good videos out there, stuff I wish I had access to 30 years ago when I was first learning, and which I'm learning from now.

 

Could you say a little about what cookbooks you like, and what you have read on bread so far?  I ask because different kinds of books work for different people, and different books may work for the same person at different points in time.  There are geeky bread books, hippie bread books, trendy bread books, antiquarian bread books.  Some folks make bread part of their lives, tending funky starters that become part of the family.  Others make bread just occasionally and want simple start-to-finish processes.  

post #14 of 31

Hi Colin,

 

I have not read anything on bread just watched a very basic video on Rouxbe. Guess I'm looking to get the ground level basics down. Something that takes the student by hand. I'm actually new to cooking in the first place so I'm also learning about roasting, brining, smoking, the mother sauces a little of everything. Thanks 

post #15 of 31

I would suggest _Beard on Bread_ as an introduction, with the Peter Reinhart books, and the new edition of Carol Field's _Italian Baker_, on your list once you have more confidence.  Both authors have lots on technique.

post #16 of 31

What about the King Arthur Companion book?

post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

What about the King Arthur Companion book?


Just ssent you a pm or two.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #18 of 31

I like a lot of the suggestion so far, but am surprised no one has mentioned "Bread" by Jeff Hammelman.  Considered one of the basic bread baking books.  Dan DiMuzio's is pretty good.  Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking" book is quite good.  Peter Reinhart's books are pretty good.  One that wasn't mentioned was an earlier book called "Crust and Crumb".

post #19 of 31

I mentioned Crust and Crumb earlier. I use both Crust and Crumb and Breadbaker's Apprentice and wouldn't be without either of them. Between them I learned enough to be able to make a decent loaf of bread without a recipe as long as I have some sort of starter on hand. 

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankV View Post

I like a lot of the suggestion so far, but am surprised no one has mentioned "Bread" by Jeff Hammelman.  Considered one of the basic bread baking books.  Dan DiMuzio's is pretty good.  Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking" book is quite good.  Peter Reinhart's books are pretty good.  One that wasn't mentioned was an earlier book called "Crust and Crumb".


I use Hamelmans boook.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #21 of 31

I didn't care much for C&C as its recipe for scones was waaaayyy off the mark.
 

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #22 of 31

Do any of these books use the metric system?

I'm asking because I'm interested in baking, but I can't handle the oz, ounces, pints, sticks etc.......

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post #23 of 31

Butzy,

 

The Reinhart books do not give metric measurements. Neither does Beard on Bread.

 

It's possible that Beranbaum's Bread Bible does. Her Cake Bible does give metric measurements as well as Imperial volume and weight measurements. I can't tell from the Amazon reviews if the Bread Bible does or not. I work at a bookstore. I'll check to see if we have a copy and I'll let you know if I can find out. I'll check on the new edition of The Italian Baker, too. In fact, I'll flip through the most promising looking bread books we have on hand and let you know if any of them do give metric measurements, but I'm in the States and you know how stubbornly we have resisted metric here.

 

Best,

 

Terry

post #24 of 31

Thanks Terry,

that would be very helpful

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post #25 of 31

Butzy,

 

We did not have a copy of Beranbaum's Bread Bible but in looking again at the professional/librarian reviews on Amazon I see there is a comment regarding measurements in grams requiring a special scale.

 

Italian Baker does not include metric measurements.

 

However, there is a big, good-looking bread book that does. It is The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by the French Culinary Institute. Until today this book had escaped my notice but on a very quick flipping-through it looks quite nice. 

 

We had pathetically few bread books on the shelf today for me to look at for you-and none of the others recommended in this thread. Sorry not to be more helpful.

 

Terry

post #26 of 31

Thanks Terry,

Just looked it up on amazon.co.uk and it definitely looks very interesting. Bit pricey though.

I've been looking at "dough" and "crust" from Richard Bertinet. Has anyone any experience with these?

 

I grew up using the metric system and I can sort of deal with the cups and oz for cooking, but for baking I think metric is the way to go as it is much more precise

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #27 of 31

I really, really very highly recommend Bread Alone: Daniel Leader.  The method is the time-honored method before bad practices began to gobble up much of the industry.

post #28 of 31

Having grown up in America and several years of college chemistry coursework, the metric system is by far ahead of the avoirdupoids c**p.  However, you might want to learn baker's percentages; that's the way to go although for learning a recipe.  Then those percentages can be converted over into either metric or avoirdupoids.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post

Thanks Terry,

Just looked it up on amazon.co.uk and it definitely looks very interesting. Bit pricey though.

I've been looking at "dough" and "crust" from Richard Bertinet. Has anyone any experience with these?

 

I grew up using the metric system and I can sort of deal with the cups and oz for cooking, but for baking I think metric is the way to go as it is much more precise


Metric immediately gives you a sense of scale across any measurement used therein.  All of my own recipes are in metric. 

post #30 of 31

Metric utilizes the simple movement of a decimal point whereas avoirdupoids utilizes eighths, sixteenths and thirty-seconds to say the least.  Oh yes, and there's 14.7 and 5280 and blah blah blah.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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