It looks like your husband uses a mix of on-line recipes and cookbooks… Any recommendations for tried-and-true bread books (especially sourdough) for amateurs?
Bread by Treuille and Ferrigno has a lot of explanation of different bread-baking processes and a number of their recipes involve a starter and they explain how you can modify any recipe to use a starter in the intro. I got a copy for my sister because it explains so much. (There are multiple editions– we have the 2004 one.) I can’t think of any dud recipes we’ve made from there. I think we started with the Stromboli recipe (so did my sister, actually) and are currently going through it somewhat in order, skipping recipes that require ingredients we don’t have (I keep telling DH we should just get malt extract, but our local brewing store only sells it in gallon increments…)
If you’re into whole grain only breads, The Laurel’s kitchen bread book is the one you want. It explains how whole grain breads being thirstier means they are treated differently. I’m sure at least one of those mystery breads listed is a bean bread from Laurel’s. These have all been good and there’s some discussion of things to look out for while making the breads which is helpful.
Ok, so those are our two books that are both tried-and-true bread books and good for people who want a little more guidance. We also have a number of other baking books.
Baking with Julia doesn’t have a lot of bread (it does have some though!), but it is a fantastic teaching book for other baked goods. This is how DH mastered the pie dough, for example. It’s an all-around fantastic book.
Home Baking by Alford and Duguid is a wonderful book taking you around the world and helping you make different breads. There’s not so much detailed how-to as in the Treuille and Ferrigno book, but we’ve found it pretty easy to make things like pita bread from their instructions. And the pictures are gorgeous. For a long time it was our coffee-table book.
If you want to up your sourdough game, Flour Water Salt Yeast is where to go. I personally don’t have the patience for this one, but DH does. We also have Artisan Bread in five minutes a day, but DH quickly got tired of it. I’m not sure why. Maybe the Jim Lahey original no-knead recipe is just good enough.
We talk a lot about Pure Dessert. This is mostly a desserts book, but it has our favorite brioche recipe in it. The recipes are generally pretty simple but often call for unusual ingredients that we have to special order. (Nuts.com, not a sponsored link, has a lot of them.)
Simple by Ottolenghi isn’t a bread book, but it does have some quick breads in it. So far we’ve been astonished with how good a lot of the recipes are.
And, of course it is no longer anywhere near in print, but I taught myself baking from the Old Fashioned Cookbook by Jan McBride Carleton which remains one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. The bread section is especially wonderful, particularly all the Christmas breads. (Likewise the cake section, and the stews… really it’s just an all-around fantastic book.)
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Grumpy Nation, what are your favorite baking books? Do you bake bread? Where do you get your recipes?