Best Bread Cookbooks – The Top 3 Cookbooks to Read

The cravings and memories that freshly baked loaves provokes is second to none. The aroma can stir your appetite more than most foods you can think of. This is why it’s difficult to not love bread. As a baker, you either have a lot of experience with baking and have made quite a number of delicious loaves based on a wide range of recipes, or you’re a beginner or intermediate baker who’s just getting started with basic or advanced recipes.

I’m happy to let you know that wherever you are on the scale of baking experience, the best books have recipes for you and tips you’ll need to improve as a baker and take this to a whole new level. Without further ado, here are the cookbooks I recommend:

Best Bread Cookbooks to Buy and Read

1. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

If you need a cookbook written by an author who doesn’t just teach you how to make bread but is passionate about the subject too, look no further than this product . This book is written by Peter Reinhart, who has 10 books on the same topic to his name and has shared his knowledge to his students over many years as a teacher.

This cookbook has two sections – a section that offers you lots of recipes to try out and a section that teaches you about baking. The recipe section offers you lots of different French, sourdough, cornbread, focaccia, rye, sticky buns, and challah recipes to try out, plus pain à l’ancienne, Reinhart’s famous recipe.

The other section introduces you to the basics, the 12 stages of baking, different yeast types, delayed fermentation and its importance, and more. If you want to learn about the science of baking, this section contains all the information you’ll need. This book has 336 pages and contains 66 different recipes, and each recipe has a guide that explains the process clearly, so it’s a beginner-friendly book.

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2. The Bread Lover’s Cookbook

Since bread machines are so easy to use that all you need to do is put the ingredients in and let them do their job, and then come back to a freshly baked loaf in 2 hours or less, their recipes are easy to follow and the recipes in this cookbook are even easier to follow due to how they are laid out.

Whether you’re interested in making sourdough, rolls, quick, buns, whole grain, white, or other types of bread, this book contains 300+ recipes to help you make virtually anything you want. If you feel you haven’t been making use of your machine as much as you’d like, this book will resolve that. When I got this cookbook, the number of times I use my machine per week went up significantly until I had made 90% of the recipes in the book.

The recipes are suitable for most models, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to make them with your brand/model. The author of this cookbook doesn’t just deluge you with recipes. You also get troubleshooting tips, information on flour types, tips on using specific models/brands, tips for bakers living in high-altitude areas, and more all in its 643 pages.

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3. Flour Water Salt Yeast

If you need a cookbook that thoroughly introduces and explains the concept and techniques involved in baking, this is the cookbook for you. This cookbook is specifically meant for home bakers, so if you’re one and you own a bread machine, you’ll find this book incredibly useful.

It contains 42 recipes and is 272 pages long, with lots of photos and detailed recipe instructions clearly laid out so both beginners and advanced bakers can have an easy time following the recipes. This is a comprehensive cookbook as far as pizza and bread recipes are concerned, so whether you wish to make Neapolitan-style pizza or you crave a boule instead, this book has all the tips and instructions you need to help you make the perfect loaf.

Flour Water Salt Yeast offers you a lot aside from recipes. After reading this cookbook, you should have an understanding of baker’s percentages, even if you’re a beginner. You should also have knowledge of various techniques such as folding dough, fermenting in the refrigerator, using warm water, etc. and the purposes of these techniques. This is a breadmaking manual in its own right.

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You Might Need More Than One

When I started baking, I read a lot. A lot. I read blog posts, books, mags, you name it. I started with one book, then amped up the reading to perfect my skills. What I’m saying in essence is that you might need more than one, so don’t just rely on one cookbook. Read as many as you can and watch your skills improve rapidly.