Bread-baking is a subject that you can never have too many books about. It’s a skill that can take a lot of time and feel to fully develop, even if the basics are simple. This is especially true if your goal is to try and replicate some of the top artisanal loaves in your home kitchen. Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home is a book that is intended to cover all the basics of artisan bread baking. Instead of overloading you with all kinds of detailed recipes, the book instead focuses on giving you a thorough grounding on the ingredients you need and the techniques you’ll use to make bread.
The recipe section is edited so that, while there are formulas for 10 different types of breads, there are only two or three different recipes (variations, essentially) under each category. This careful selection means that the book dedicates most of its time to detailing how the recipe should be made step-by-step. It also means that there is a good chance that you’ll actually bake all the recipes in it, unlike much larger books.
The recipes are given by volume, weight – both in standard and metric units- and in baker’s percentages. This makes it very easy to start out with the book, since you can give the recipes a trial with the volume measurements if you don’t already have a scale. The instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of photos of the various stages of the recipes to help guide your progress. Even better is the DVD that comes with the book, which demonstrates even more clearly than the book’s photos how to take a bread from a pile of ingredients to a finished loaf.