Question for bread bakers ...
  • Santa is considering bringing me a bread-baking cookbook. These are the books on my wish list so far:
    Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of these two books?
    Would you recommend one over the other, and why?
    Is there an even better book?
    Santa thanks you for your help!
  • I think they are both great books, but The Bread Baker's Apprentice is definitely my favorite of the two. In fact, in my bread class, it was used as a text. There are some breads that are so fabulous that you'll make them again and again. The recipes are all by both weight and volume measure so you can use whichever is easier. The first section is a primer on bread-making with great photos and explanations of various processes--great pictures and descriptions of braiding, shaping boules, etc. Reinhardt has several great books, but this is my favorite.

    The Carol Field Italian bread book is super--I have the old edition -- the new version is just out. But it is a more specialized book. Daniel Leader's books are great. I could go on and on. But if you're picking one bread book, the Bread Baker's Apprentice is a great choice.
  • I'd also vote for Reinhardt's book too. If you would like to become an all-round bread baker, it's the best book I know of, whereas the other book is a bit more limited in scope. I decided to focus on baking more bread a few years ago, and it was an excellent companion as I worked my way through his recipes. The Pain a l'Ancienne baguettes are incredible, and the Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire is extraordinary. I really did feel like an apprentice baker, and I learned an enormous amount.

    Like @kateq, I have read some of Peter's other books, but this one remains the gold standard in my view.
  • Thanks for the comments. It looks like I'll find Reinhardt under the tree. :-)
  • Please don't cringe, but does anyone have a machine cookbook they love?
  • For lots of good recipes, but not for reading and instruction: The Big Book of Bread Machine Recipes
    For information and some recipes: Bread Machine Magic
  • Thanks, I am looking for a book with lots of recipes.
  • Peckish Sister, I have friend who just joined cookbooker who uses a bread machine regularly. I'll ask her to comment.
  • Peckish Sister, Leeka told me about your question. I do use a bread machine often, but I don't use bread machine cookbooks. My favorite bread book is "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book" by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwyn Godfrey. I learned a lot about successful whole grain bread baking from that book, and I've transferred what I learned to successful whole grain bread baking in the machine. I started out by adapting my favorite recipes from that book to the bread machine. The 2nd edition has a section on bread machines that's helpful as well. I use the recommended timing they offer for Zojis for my whole wheat bread.

    Though I can't recommend a book, I can recommend a website. The King Arthur Flour Company website has a recipes section with lots of bread machine recipes. They have an education section that has information about using bread machines. They also have a community section with a bread machine discussion thread. I'm sure someone there could point you in the right direction. The website is

  • If you have "Baking with Julia" there are several Laura Brody bread machine recipes in there as well.
  • Thanks everyone, that is a lot of great advice!
  • Sorry- I am a little late to this one. I love Artisan Bread Every Day and use it almost exclusively. I particularly love the challah, bagels, ciabatta, French bread and babka.

    So....which book did you get?
  • Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was under the tree.:-)

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