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Best cookbook for baking bread?

DrugCoderDrugCoder Posts: 219
edited 1:05PM in EggHead Forum
My wife has shown the interest in starting to bake bread. She hasn't done any bread before other than the biscuits I taught her how to make.

Is there a good cookbook out there that starts out with the basics to help her get a good foundation in baking bread?

She's going to start in the oven for now but I will have her on the egg as soon as she gets comfortable with it.


  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    My favorite is: Bakers Bread Apprentice by Reinhart
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,211
    this ones descent, each recipe is broken down with different procedures based on what equipment you may have, will tell you how to do it by hand, mixer, foodprocessor etc

    i dont make much bread but the book really helps to make it easy, here were a couple first attempts
  • Both those books sound good. I'll probably be picking up a few for her.

    As for your first attempts they look great! I like the idea of the breadbowl. Perfect to go with the butternut squash soup she made just the other day.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I'll agree with V1 -- anything by Peter Reinhart, but the Apprentice is top notch for understanding why we do the things we do to bread at different stages in the process. Great book with terrific recipes. Probably the best cornbread you'll ever make is in there.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,512
    If you like whole wheat bread, I've got a recipe that I put together from numerous sources and have enjoyed baking for over 30 years. It employs the use of a K/A mixer and some limited, hand kneading. The recipe includes honey, and so the loaves will keep forever in the fridge. I will type it for post/e-mail if you're interested. Happy baking!
  • +1 on Reinhart's books. "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is a great place to start, but his "Whole Grain" and "Artisan Bread Every Day" books are wonderful extensions of BBA. If she likes to look at multiple aproaches to the same topic, here's my short list of favorite baking books in addition to the Reinhart tomes:
    --Hamelman's "Bread"....very detailed, an entry-level professional book. Good for hows & whys.
    --Suas's "Advanced Bread & Pastry", for sheer inspiration. Reads like a culinary textbook ('cause it is), but this means detailed photos and formulae.
    --Dan Leader's "Local Breads", especially if she likes European style ryes & sourdoughs. Good for learning about regional European styles.
    --Lahey's "My Bread", from the guy who pioneering wet dough baked inside a dutch oven. Interesting variations of his standard loaf, detailed pictures of the pot-baking technique.
    Bakers I know like Glezer's "Artisan Bread", Scherber's "Amy's Bread", and Hensperger's "The Bread Bible", but I don't personally own any of those. The new "Tartine" baking book is getting plenty of buzz right now in baking circles.

    Don't just give her books--give her a King Arthur Flour gift card to get some baking tools, too.
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    The CIA puts out a book called baking & pastry Mastering the Art and Craft.

    It is the one the CIA students use so basically any baking question is answered. If you want to cook better than a proffesional baker you might have to look elsewhere.

    The complete book of bread has a massive collection of recipes as well as a nice write up on general techniques and ingredients.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 540
    King Arthur Flour Baker's companion
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 540
    I started with that one about 20 years ago, and really like it too.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
  • "My Bread" by Lahey. It is the no-knead method and I have been very successful with the results. In fact Cheese bread will coming out of the oven this evening. .
  • I've really enjoyed The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Reinhart.. A++
  • Well I ended up going with Bakers Bread Apprentice by Reinhart and Bernard Clayton's book. I'm sure between the two she can get a good start.
    Now the only problem is Amazon emailed me and said they were out of stock and would be shipped when they got some in. Hopefully that will be before Christmas!
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    There have been lots of good comments about Peter Reinhart's books and I agree. I really like his book called "Artisan Breads Everyday".

    I like this one because of the explanation about making bread and the kneading technique which does not require a heavy duty mixer and no guesswork about how much hand kneading is enough.

    If your wife wants to bake bread, I really encourage getting a scale. It makes things a lot easier and you will be surprised how much weight variation you get on flour, when using a standard, measuring cup.
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