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Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes

by Jeffrey Hamelman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
401663,874 (4.64)5
"When Bread was first published in 2004, it received the Julia Child Award for best First Book and became an instant classic. Hailed as a 'masterwork of bread baking literature,' Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread features 140 detailed, step-by-step formulas for versatile sourdough ryes; numerous breads made with pre-ferments; and simple, straight dough loaves. Here, the bread baker and student will discover a diverse collection of flavors, tastes, and textures; hundreds of drawings that vividly illustrate techniques; and four-color photographs of finished and decorative breads."--Publisher.… (more)
  1. 10
    The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Tuirgin)
    Tuirgin: I purchased Hamelman's Bread after I'd worked with BBA for a while. Hamelman's book does less hand-holding, but is more thorough in describing shaping techniques as well as the practical technical information on additives, sourdough, ingredient temperatures, etc. I don't think I would have wanted to start with Hamelman's book, and I wouldn't have wanted to finish with Reinhart's book. Between the two of them I have enough recipes and information to keep me baking for a long time to come.… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Even if you already know how to handle dough, I would suggest Hamelman's as a go-to reference. He covers the technicalities very clearly and discusses a few points, such as the all-important scoring just prior to baking, which none of the other books (that I've read) explain.

I have one niggle about this book ~ the author gives the home (not industrial) overall formulas in the recipes as pounds and ounces, no metric except for the commercial quantities. Yes, there are baker's percentages, but Hamelman's book is the only one of the 8 I've read in the last 12 months that doesn't stick to metric for home baking. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Feb 5, 2023 |
Do you bake bread?

Yes-> Get this cookbook.
No-> You're weird. Get this cookbook. Start baking bread.

An absolute essential in every bread baker's home, though not flawless. ( )
  womanwoanswers | Dec 23, 2022 |
Fabulous book. Hamelman treats you seriously, assumes you have a brain and can work out that things can be varied. His recipes include a conversation with you about the variations. He also informs you in general about what you can expect when you vary things.

The nicest treatment of grain breads I've come across so far. My only mild quibble is that I wish the amounts for the home baker were given in metric as well as imperial. ( )
  devilish2 | Dec 26, 2011 |
Buy this book if you are serious about making top quality bread. The techniques are here. The diagrams are good. Performing it all takes practice and more practice. I have taken Jeffrey Hamelman's Fundamentals of Bread class at King Arthur in Norwich, Vermont. This book memorializes his teachings, which is vital for your quest for excellence in breadmaking. My baguettes are better each time I make them. They are better than any baguette available locally. I make 4 a week, and since I can't eat 4 a week, my neighbors love me. You, too can join this quest for perfection in bread; just buy Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, lots of King Arthur flour, and go for it. ( )
1 vote brendajanefrank | Oct 13, 2011 |
This has become my primary reference for baking bread. I started with Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice and a few months later purchased Hamelman's Bread. While BBA goes into a fairly lengthy narrative describing Reinhart's flavor building techniques, Hamelman's Bread goes into greater detail on the actual handling and shaping of the dough, as well as providing detailed information on additives, ingredient temperatures, and other practical details.

There is one caveat to my recommendation of this book: earlier versions of it were very poorly edited and in some of the recipes the ingredient amounts are badly off, especially for the home baker. Make sure you seek out the errata sheet for the book. With this in hand, Hamelman's Bread is a complete success. I haven't had any disappointing bakes using this book. ( )
  Tuirgin | Dec 16, 2010 |
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"When Bread was first published in 2004, it received the Julia Child Award for best First Book and became an instant classic. Hailed as a 'masterwork of bread baking literature,' Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread features 140 detailed, step-by-step formulas for versatile sourdough ryes; numerous breads made with pre-ferments; and simple, straight dough loaves. Here, the bread baker and student will discover a diverse collection of flavors, tastes, and textures; hundreds of drawings that vividly illustrate techniques; and four-color photographs of finished and decorative breads."--Publisher.

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