Saturday, October 10, 2009

my favorite bread books

I have done lots of research about which bread books are the best, mostly on culinary school websites, bread websites, and by word of mouth. These are the ones I've collected so far (I don't actually own any of them. They're all borrowed from libraries or friends. I hate having to give them back! But it's great because they're free! By the way, I had to return the last one here, Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," to the library. That's why I couldn't include it in the top picture.):

E.J. Buehler - Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread: A scientific approach to bread baking. Lots of chemistry and hand-drawn diagrams of molecules and such. A good combination of art and science.

The Tassajara Bread Book: Coming from a Zen monastery in California, this is the book that brought back artisan bread baking to America in the 60s and 70s.

Dan Lepard - The Handmade Loaf: I haven't read this book because I just got it. I'll update this and add some info later.

Richard Bertinet - Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads: This book has really beautiful and shocking recipes, like the puff balls I made the other day, and a soup bowl made out of cracker-like cooked dough.

Richard Bertinet - Crust: Bread to Get Your Teeth Into: Similar to Dough. Really pretty and "quick" recipes.

Eric Treuille - Bread: I bought this book for a friend before I knew anything about bread. It seemed approachable enough, but now that I look at it it's not very specific. They show beautiful breads and pretend that you make them with a super simple recipe. It's not that simple to get nice bread, especially if you're a beginner.

Daniel Leader - Bread Alone Bold Fresh Loaves From Your Own Hands: Great for learning how to hand knead.

Peter Reinhart - Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor: Amazing book about how to make whole wheat bread taste delicious. Watch Reinhart's TED talk video.

Jim Lahey - My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method: I haven't read this book because I just got it. I'll update this and add some info later.

***Rose Levy Beranbaum - The Bread Bible: This has been my bible. I have learned most everything I know about bread from this book because it's written clearly and succinctly, and has wonderful hand-drawn diagrams. The rest of the books seem to be a repetition of something mentioned in this book. This is probably because I read The Bread Bible first, but I do think it's very comprehensive.

***Peter Reinhart - The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread: My second bible. I have used this book for its great recipes for bagels and pizza dough. Peter Reinhart writes beautifully, has great stories about the different kinds of bread, and his recipes work wonderfully. I hear he is a great teacher, and you can tell by the way he writes advice about baking bread.

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