Bread baking books

canadianmountaingoat's picture
Hi all,

After a rather lengthy hiatus of not posting on the forum (but reading along occasionally, and baking all the while!) I am looking for advice on bread baking books.  About me: Been baking bread for quite some time, with sourdough exclusively for almost a year (and I haven't bought a loaf of bread since).  I bake primarily with spelt-wheat mixtures, and I like including seeds. I would like to learn more about using whole grains (soaking techniques and times, recipes) and I don't care much fore all white flour recipes.

I am looking for a book that will teach me baking techniques and recipes.  I was thinking about the Handmade Loaf but it's not available at the moment in Canada, so I would like your advice on what other text I could get.  Anyone have experience with the Bread Baker's Apprentice? Too advanced? Other Reinhart books? Other authors?

Thanks for any advice you folks have!

Happy Baking! And belated Happy New Year!

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celia's picture
celia 2009 January 16

Hi Goat!

I like The Handmade Loaf, and I think you could get it through Amazon.  There is also a cheaper paper back version of it now, converted to US weights and measures - here's a link to it.  One thing about THL though, is that the earlier editions had quite a lot of errors - there is a page on Dan's forum with corrections, and it's worth noting them if you buy a copy.  Other than that, the recipes are all pretty good, and an interesting foray into different breads.  There is quite a lot in there as well about different inclusions (seeds, grains, whey, leftover rice, you name it) that you can put into your dough.

I have the Breadbakers' Apprentice, but I don't find it nearly as approachable as THL.  In fact, I've had it for months now, and whilst I've read bits and pieces of it, I've never made a thing out of it.  I know a lot of guys here really find it useful though.

The other book I like is Dough by Richard Bertinet.  It's not a sourdough book, but it has some cool handling and shaping techniques, as well as lots of different things to do with your doughs once you make them.  I learnt how to make epi, fougasse, various rolls and sweet doughs from that book.  It also comes with a dvd of the very cute Mr Bertinet in action. ;)

Cheers, Celia
Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 January 16
Ceiia  has great advice... You may have seen me mention this before but I like to test drive books from the Library.  I also bought a couple of great books by great bakers but haven't used them much.  I found that it was better to get the book from the library and use it and see if the recipes work for me.  At least 2 books that I returned I missed so much I had to add them to my Christmas list.

Unfortunately I can't get Dan Lepard's book from the library, lots of people recommend it.  So I will have to break down and buy it I think.  But Many books are available through your greater Library systems.  I search by author and subject to find interesting choices.

I have been recently trying spelt and am still not sure it is worth the extra expense.  What is your favorite recipe for spelt like?  Are you using spelt for health reasons?  I too would like to find more info on whole grain sourdough baking.  Sometimes some of my breads are too sour or too bricky to be enjoyed by most.  But sometimes they turn out wonderful.  I still think they can be made without having to resort to commercial yeast hybrid baking.  Look at what used to be the staple of most cultures- breads made with rye, oats, wheat, barley and not just the white stuff but every part of the grain.  And they were all some sort of wonderful natural yeasted Sourdough - bread!


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