The 12 Best Bread Baking Books You Should Get In 2022

If you are new to bread and looking for beginner bread baking books or a seasoned pro looking for the best bread baking books to improve your skills, enjoy this review guide! Baking books are one of the best places to learn, some people like to learn from videos or websites, but many enjoy the front to back exploration of a bakers philosophy. Everyone has their favourite book and here, I’m going to share mine! 

Buying loads of these books will cost a lot, so I’ve reviewed my top 12 baking books from Amazon’s bookstore. I love the authors who explain their philosophy of bread, these people tend to offer more than a simple compilation of recipes. The ones in this list are written by bread baking masters from across the world, their thoughts and recipes are respected throughout the industry.

No matter what stage you are at you will learn something new from each of these 12 books about bread!

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Please note it’s been really hard choosing an order for these books! It depends on what you want to get out of it. Some are easy to grab and get started like, some are more step-by-step tuition like “Tartine by Chard Robertson” and others cover the scientific side of bread in more depth.

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1) The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Peter Reinhart

There are some books that you just can’t put down and this is the one for me and many other bread bakers say the same! Regularly dubbed “The Bread Bible” this cleverly made book by Peter Reinhart manages to captivate and drag you in with his passion and storytelling in the search for the world’s best bread.

There is a huge selection of recipes at the end of the book. They are properly calculated and though I’ve not tried many, I’m told they are really reliable. 

Peter goes into detail at each pinch point, without sounding too scientific. You’ve got shaping techniques (loads of them), a chapter on the differences in flour, every stage of bread making broken down, full-size tables on hydration and mixing methods for just about every bread you can think of…. It’s not a quick read, but a hugely satisfying one!

View The Bread Baker’s Apprentice on Amazon

2) Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread – Emily Buehler

Emily Bruehler’s book on bread science breaks down the bread-making process to probably the highest degree than the other books on this list. If you have some experience in baking bread and wish to learn the science behind it then Bread Science is a fantastic read. Learning about the science of bread making has really helped me make better bread and be more confident when approaching new recipes. What I really love is she shares alternate opinions (scientists don’t agree on everything) which makes you think and make your own opinions.

If you have never baked bread before this book will probably alienate you, but if you’re a reasonable competent baker, or just curious you’ll love Bread Science. 

View Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread on Amazon

3) Dough – Richard Bertinet

This isn’t the best baking book, but it is the best baking book for a beginner. It’s a fantastic book to get started with and offers some interesting recipes and styles. There is a run-through on the ingredients and equipment used in bread baking at the start before some basic techniques and several recipes follow.

I must admit I borrowed a few of these recipes and tweaked them in my bakery, especially the bacon and cheese slices, they were amazing!

The recipes are built around one dough for each section, you then alter the dough to make the different types of bread. This approach to baking is just like the majority of professional bakers follow and the bread I have made from following these recipes has always been top-notch. 

If you are taking up bread baking as a hobby and want reliable recipes from a professional tutor then Dough is the book I would buy first.

View Dough on Amazon

4) Tartine Bread – Chad Robertson

This book along with a Youtube video has propelled Chard Robertson and the Tartine sourdough baking method and bakery to worldwide acclaim. This book does not have the same structure as the others, such as How To Bake Info, followed by Recipes… etc. Instead, we kick off with the story of Chad’s life and how he got into bread, how it took years of practice to perfect his perfect sourdough recipe.

Moving on, we learn a basic country sourdough recipe over a short course of 35 pages. Yes! 35 pages for one recipe!! It really shows you everything about the tartine method so you can make exactly the same bread at home. 

Following this recipe, there are more recipes, but shorter this time. Plenty of snazzy, surfer style photos litters the book, plus loads of gorgeous bread pictures!

The Tartine Bread book divides opinion, it really does well to build the bakery as a brand, it is also very thorough in what it does teach, you will be an expert in the Tartine method. But if you want to learn to make several types of bread, don’t let this be your only baking book.

View Tartine Bread on Amazon

5) The taste of bread – Raymond Calvel

I just keep reading it and learning something new! I’ve not even read every page yet, nor tried that many of the recipes. This book offers so much to bread bakers to help you master your craft. This bread baking book has made the biggest difference to my skills than anything else I’ve read or watched. First off, this is not a beginner book. It is quite draining to read due to it being translated and I find myself re-reading sentences to make sure that I absorb the information. It’s for baking professionals really, but the home enthusiast will take pleasure in reading The taste of bread.

It’s not broken down into sections very well. However, as a change in conditions or an element will affect many different areas of the bread it is hard to keep things under one heading each time.

From the first page, you are hit with the most fascinating insight that I have ever read. Not only is the content so useful, but it’s also abrupt as well. There’s little waffle or side stories in this book, there’s just a drive to make fantastic bread that stems from the author. Raymond Calvel takes every element of bread production and breaks down what is actually going on. He compares classical baking methods to the high intensity, high-speed commercial bread that we see on supermarket shelves today. 

What I like is that he clearly prefers the traditional methods, however, explains why modern techniques work and how they can still be used (with a bit of love) to make fantastic bread, and when they shouldn’t.

This book is aimed at experienced bakers who want to maximise their bread quality. The recipes at the end of the book are fantastically straightforward but a lack of clear guidelines means this book isn’t suited to beginners. Again the recipes are fantastic and there are several variations for each bread depending on how long the baker has to make the bread and many other variables!

View The Taste Of Bread on Amazon

6) Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza – Ken Forkish

Flour Water Salt Yeast is broken into four sections; The Principles of Artisan Bread, Basic Bread Recipes, Levain Bread Recipes, and Pizza Recipes. Inside, you’re taken on a journey in baking bread from start to finish. Similar to the “Bread Bakers Apprentice”, you learn the theory behind the recipes and then take them on. The recipes are built using bakers formula for professional production so working with decimal accuracy when weighing is something you might have to get used to (or rounding up). 

The sourdough starter recipe calls for a massive amount of flour to be used which has caused many frowns from bakers who can’t stand the waste!

The step by step tutorials are extremely thorough and clear, nothing is missed out. There are pages and pages of information and they are all knitted together in a very readable way. Every baker takes something from this bread baking book, which is why it’s comfortably in this list.

View Flour Water Salt Yeast on Amazon

7) How to make sourdough – Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

If you want to make sourdough, there are plenty of books that can teach you. This How To Make Sourdough book really starts from the basics to show you everything you need to know when getting started with sourdough baking. 

To be clear, it doesn’t contain loads of troubleshooting or extra baking theory about fermentation or suchlike. But if you just follow his recipes, you can easily get started baking with sourdough quite easily without any stress.

There are some fantastic photographs inside demonstrating techniques such as kneading, shaping and cutting the bread. Emmanuel is possibly the leading bread baking teacher in the UK with tutor roles in The School Of Artisan Food and Bread Ahead baking schools.

View How To Make Sourdough on Amazon

8) How To Bake – Paul Hollywood

Paul has got a bit of an odd reputation in the UK, his onscreen persona seems to be more about him and than the bread. But he’s the baker that sells in Harrods, he really knows his stuff and this book proves that. The majority of his recipes are scaled-back versions of the true thing which are tweaked for the home part-time baker. 

What I like about this book is the step by step detail given when it’s needed and when keeping it simple is required, Paul does just that. It’s a good book that can be used by anyone to get started with baking bread. If you want to learn more professional baking tips however then choose another bread baking book

A guide on the basics of bread making, followed by loads and loads of recipes to try. All the basic British and European bread recipes are included, as well as recipes for sweets and pastries.

View How To Bake on Amazon

9) Wholegrain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor – Peter Reinhart

You know when someone is special when they have two books in the top ten, but actually, I debated adding his Crust & Crumb book too! Peter Reinhart expands his use of soakers and cool fermentation in this book to provide several fantastic recipes for making bread at home with whole grains. 

For bakers who specialise in home-ground flour and healthy, wholemeal bread this is the book that sets the benchmark for others to follow. A truly fantastic collection of recipes and ideas to make fantastic bread.

It’s not a beginner book yet Peter Reinhart has a way of reeducating the reader on baking bread without feeling patronising or boring. A fantastic read and an incredible selection of recipes. One of the very best baking books we will ever see.

View Wholegrain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor on Amazon

10) The Bread Bible – Rose Levy Beranbaum

You really get a sense that Rose Levy Beranbaum wants to help you with her thorough tutorials on how to make bread. Follow her recipes and you will make some really tremendous bread. The bread bible starts with 66 pages detailing the ten steps of the bread-making process which is followed by 150 bread recipes. Using Rose’s recipes you’ll find it really hard to go wrong, they are so thoughtfully put together.

Plenty of troubleshooting tips and information on how to get the best from your bread is listed at the start of each recipe, this is a book that lives up to its name. No pictures but plenty of illustrations.

It would be further up the list if it was a little easier to read, there are so many references and links to material that it gets hard to read and enjoy. The Bread Bible gives off the same vibe as the St Michaels cookbooks my Mum has from the ’80s!

View The Bread Bible on Amazon

11) Bread Matters: Why and How to Make Your Own – Andrew Whitley

This book is for people who love bread and making bread. It is a bit of an oddball, Andrew speaks about the state of modern baking and what he believes we should do to fix it. Mr Whitley is a founder of the Real Bread Campaign which supports artisan bread producers in their goal of being successful. 

After the Bread Matter set’s the scene we are then introduced to recipes. This is a really important book for bread lovers and the recipes at the back are great. You will want some experience in baking before undertaking the recipes as there are no illustrations demonstrating the steps taken, yet there are multiple tips throughout in breakout boxes.

View Bread Matters: Why And How To Make Your Own on Amazon

12) Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook – Bread Ahead Bakery

The Bread Ahead school is one of the major baking schools in the UK. They are based in London’s famous Borough Market and have made those big doughnuts where the filling pours out from the hole synonymous with their brand.

Much as I love the things that they do, a reissue to tidy up and streamline this book would be really helpful. The timings in the recipes are sometimes hard to follow and there isn’t as much detail compared with the other books in this list around the science of bread making.

There are a few contrasting views without any reasoning to back it up, for example, “A bread dough at a temperature of 10-24C is a perfect place for yeast to become active”. This is not perfect for yeast activity, yeast prefers it a lot warmer. That’s not to say that a perfect final dough temperature should be in the region of 10-24C, yet that is quite a broad range.

That said, some fantastic photos and if you follow the instructions provided you will learn how to make fantastic bread in this book, no doubt about that. There is a conscious effort made to teach new bakers how to make bread like some of the top artisan bakers craft theirs. The recipes are focused on making a beginner as good as a professional baker quickly so if you are ready to take that step then this book will be really helpful.

View Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook – Bread Ahead Bakery on Amazon

Which bread baking book is right for you?

Let’s be honest not everyone buys a book to read, some of us just like to display it on the bookshelf just to impress our visitors! But here is my top pick for beginner, intermediate and advanced bread books:

Best Beginner bread baking book

For this I would choose “Dough by Richard Bertinet“, it’s simple and really accessible yet the recipes are of a fantastic calibre. A nice mix of recipes and you’ll be ready to get started with your first loaf pretty much straight away.

Best Intermediate bread baking book

It’s got to be “Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart“, it really takes you on a story of bread, you’ll feel motivated by reading it and learn loads about baking bread. This was closely followed by Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish, there is not much in it!

Best sourdough baking book

This honour falls to Tartine by Chad Robertson. By reading this you will learn everything you need to get started with sourdough. Once you’ve mastered his country recipe you’ll be confident to tackle any other recipe you wish.

Best Advanced bread baking book

Bread Science by Emily Buehler is my top advanced baking book. It’s largely based on the theory of baking so expect to learn a lot of science and less about recipes. The taste of bread was my previous favourite, but I’ve found that this book is more accurate in modern science.

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