Baking Bread Cookbooks
While many people instantly shudder at the thought of baking bread, others know that it is one of the most rewarding efforts that can be made in a kitchen. No food is more basic than bread and no aroma is more enticing than that of fresh baked bread. Baking fresh bread is actually quite simple. Most bread recipes are basic: yeast, water, dough, salt, flour. What can be easier?
There are hundreds of cookbooks that feature bread recipes. Some are wonderful, some are dense and a bit perplexing. While you want your bread to taste great and you want the baking experience to be fun, you don’t want to get too bogged down in history and chemistry. Knowing the basics of how bread rises and bakes will allow you to make some very fine bread for your friends and family.
Our Favorite Baking Bread Cookbooks
Flour Water Salt Yeast is the simple yet descriptive title of our favorite bread cookbook. Published in 2012 it won a Beard award and is considered one of the best bread cookbooks ever written.
This is a great cookbook for beginners as well as for seasoned bakers. The recipes are well written and the photos are fabulous, you can almost smell the bread.
We really like the variety of bread recipes that are in this book. There are recipes for various crusty breads, some pizza dough recipes that rock (try the Neapolitan) as well as offerings for rolls and other yeasty treats. This book is available in paperback and Kindle.
Bread Baking For Beginners is perfectly titled. The author understands that baking bread can seem like a challenge to a new baker and the recipes are designed to walk you through every step of the bread baking process.
To a beginner, baking bread can seem almost magical. Take some yeast, add some water, let it rise, add a few more things and somehow you have bread.
This book helps to explain in easy terms the basic science behind baking bread and how it works with you to create doughy treats. While you may use the dough hook on your stand up mixer, the author tells you how to knead the dough and why it works to make the bread rise and hold its shape. You can get this cookbook in paperback as well as Kindle.
The Bread Bible boldly states what its purpose it-to teach one and all about bread. Not just a few bread recipes and stories will do for this bible, there are hundreds of recipes and scores of baking tips and suggestions that will help bakers of all skill levels.
One of the helpful parts of this cookbook is the attention paid to baking tools and utensils. Too many cookbooks assume that every baker has every piece of equipment. No options are given if someone doesn’t have a baking stone. This cookbook has a lot of suggestions when it comes to equipment and utensils, all pieces of information that will be helpful to all bakers.
One difference with this cookbook is the use of line drawings instead of using just photos. The drawings are well done and the photo images are beautiful, it is just a different way of presenting a recipe. This cookbook is available in hardcover and Kindle.
Gluten Free Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day is a wonderful way to create delicious breads while removing gluten from the mix. Gluten diet issues have become very common, especially in children. More and more doctors and nutritionists are finding that heavy grains like wheat can’t be digested properly by some people. Here is a great cookbook that will allow you to enjoy bread even if you have problems with gluten.
When you talk to individuals with gluten diet problems they will often talk about the foods and beverages that they miss. Most will talk about how much they miss bread. They miss the texture and they miss the important part that bread played in their diets. Sandwiches, rolls, pizzas-all have bread as a core part of the recipe. This great cookbook shows how you can still enjoy bread in all of its uses while removing the gluten from the recipe. There are over 90 recipes and you will find options for muffins, caramel rolls and pizza dough as well as sandwich bread and other bread favorites. It is available in hardcover and on Kindle.
These are just a few of our favorite bread baking cookbooks, there are literally thousands for you to choose from. We have some family members who have had some horrible health issues from reactions to gluten and the Gluten Free Artisan Bread cookbook has become a staple in out kitchen.
You will want a few basic pieces of equipment in your kitchen if you are going to begin baking bread:
A good stand up mixer. You will be surprised at how well the dough hook will knead the dough and how much easier it is.
Some good loaf pans. Some bread recipes call for you to hand form the dough ball and bake it on a baking sheet. Others call for using a loaf pan. It’s always handy to have a couple on hand.
Baking Sheets. Every kitchen needs at least 3 or 4 good baking sheets. Use a steel sheet for baking bread.
A flour sifter. You will get a silkier, smoother dough if you take an extra few minutes to sift together your dry ingredients, especially the flour.
A good cooling rack. Don’t set you bread on top of the stove to cool after you remove it from the oven. There is still heat rising from the oven, even after you have turned it off. Cooling racks are inexpensive and help circulate cool air around your finished bread.
A sharp bread knife. Bread does not slice itself. There are elaborate gizmos to slice home baked bread but all you need is a good serrated bread knife.
Bread is one of the most satisfying foods that you can make. It has been a part of humanity’s diet forever and is still one of our most popular foods.