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The Bread Bible Hardcover – October 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393057941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393057942
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.7 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible introduced readers to a newly illuminating baking-book approach--a precisely detailed yet accessible recipe format emphasizing baking science. The Bread Bible follows the same plan, offering 150 recipes, arranged by type, for a great variety of baked goods--from muffins, popovers, and English muffins to sandwich loaves, focaccia, rolls, hearth breads, rye bread, challah, and more, with a particularly vivid (and passionate) stop at sourdough loaves. Instruction is abetted by 32 pages of photos plus 300 step-by-step illustrations that depict, for example, bagel forming, in exact, imitable detail. In addition, an introductory section, "The Ten Essential Steps of Making Bread," includes a particularly lucid discussion on the way yeast works plus an invaluable comparison of kneading methods. Like the book's final look at ingredients, these "mini-texts" provide information uncommon to most home bread books, rendered in simple language that allays fears of putting one's hand in the dough.

All this is impressive indeed, and readers bitten by the bread-baking bug will welcome the ultra-thorough Beranbaum approach. The less committed may find her technical demands too painstaking (her baguette recipe requires two starters, for example; though simpler loaves are, of course, offered) or even impractical (ingredient quantities using grams are sometimes given in minute fractions, requiring a special scale). The frequent inclusion of alternate mixing methods and equipment options can also make the formulas unwieldy. On the other hand, features like Pointers for Success and Understanding often yield exciting discovery as well as rewarding results. In short, this Beranbaum bible answers virtually every bread-making question, as well as providing exemplary formulas. It's the real deal for those willing to bake along with Rose. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

As in her seminal The Cake Bible, which won an IACP prize, Beranbaum doesn't just offer recipes here; she dissects them, explains how they work, then puts them back together again with a number of variations. The front matter to what Beranbaum terms her "bread biography" contains perhaps the best explanation anywhere of how yeast works and a description of the sponge method used for almost every yeast-risen bread. Each recipe also includes a "Rose ratio," which shows at a glance the percentage of water, yeast, flour and fat in each bread. The author's discussion of the pros and cons of various kneading methods (bread machine, by hand, etc.) is invaluable. After all this information, bakers will be eager to get to the recipes, which are equally rewarding. Beranbaum covers everything from a Chocolate Bread made with cocoa nibs to a Traditional Challah. Recipes are arranged by type of bread, with groups including sandwich loaves and dinner rolls and brioche breads. A chapter on artisanal hearth breads includes Heart of Wheat Bread, with wheat germ for extra crunch, and New Zealand Almond and Fig Bread with an apricot glaze. Every time Beranbaum seems about to go overboard with too much information, she steps back from the brink, as in the excellent introduction to sourdough, where she thoroughly explains how sourdough works, then provides a simple box with eight rules for making a starter. Beranbaum could have a second career as a scientist, but luckily for home bakers she seems intent on creating a library of seminal cookbooks instead.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

More About the Author

Rose Levy Beranbaum is the award-winning author of 10 cookbooks, including the upcoming The Baking Bible (November 4, 2014) and The Cake Bible, now in its 50th printing and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year for 1988. The Cake Bible was also listed by the James Beard Foundation as one of the top 13 baking books on "the Essential Book List." Rose also won a James Beard Foundation Award in 1998 for Rose's Christmas Cookies, and her book, The Bread Bible, was an IACP and James Beard Foundation nominee and was listed as one of the Top Ten Books of 2003 by Publishers Weekly and Food & Wine. Her most recent book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes, won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year for 2010. She is a contributing editor to Food Arts magazine and writes regularly for the Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Reader's Digest, and Bride's. Her popular blog, realbakingwithrose.com, has created an international community of bakers where you can visit Rose Levy Beranbaum and join in the discussion on all things baking. While you are there, you can bring the author right into your kitchen as she demonstrates key techniques and shares trade secrets so that you can create perfectly divine cakes.

Customer Reviews

Great book with easy to follow step by step instructions.
Jennifer Cortez
Get this book, read the text, don't start a recipe until you've read it carefully and thoroughly, and do what she tells you.
Christopher I. Lehrich
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in making good bread.
Gayle Rowley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

260 of 266 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Re the rye bread, on page 326, step 2, delete the words 'rye flour.' (the rye flour is used only in the sponge on page 325.) Also, on the chart for the flour mixture, the 2 1/4 cups of bread flour weigh 12.3 ounces.
Hope you are enjoying the recipes. If you haven't used the instant yeast before, you're going to love the ease and reliability of adding it directly to the flour!
Best bread baking,
Rose Levy Beranbaum
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192 of 201 people found the following review helpful By L Goodman-Malamuth VINE VOICE on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cookbook author/humorist Ann Hodgman once wrote, of Rose Levy Berenbaum's masterpiece The Cake Bible, that perhaps The Gideons should leave this "bible" in hotel bedrooms instead of that other, better-known one. Hodgman has a point. I have baked extensively from both of Berenbaum's previous "bibles," on cake and on pastry, and have yet to come up with a dud.
Since we're talking about bibles here, clearly Berenbaum finds that God is in the details. She gives clear, concise explanations of the "whys" of baking without ever getting tedious. I have been baking regularly for nearly thirty years, and yet in my first read-through of The Bread Bible, I learned at least a dozen facts that I hadn't previously known, and yet made perfect sense. For example, the inclusion of Wondra bleached, granulated flour (not a typical staple among serious bakers) in her Butter Popovers eliminate the resting period that the batter typically must undergo before baking.
Her books also inspire: A round, Gruyere-spiked cheese bread baked in a souffle dish--which Berenbaum whimsically names, "The Stud Muffin"--will send me out today on a quick trip for a couple of necessary, missing ingredients.
Berenbaum's recipes run the gamut from simple "quick" breads to more time-consuming (but hardly more difficult) artisanal loaves. She also provides sources for ingredients and equipment. This tome, with its gorgeous photographs and numerous line drawings, might intimidate some fledgling bakers, but don't let it! If it does, I suggest The King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion. However, true breadheads are justified in wanting both.
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125 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence W. Prichard on November 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Bread Bible" is the "New Testament"!There are now many good bread books, but if I could have only one bread book, this would be the one.Ms. Beranbaum includes non-yeasted breads in this book.Oh, this book is so good. I have been baking bread for over 15 years, and I knew more than a little, but this book has opened a wider world. She has diminished some of my anxiety about sourdough bread, by talking about her sourdough anxiety, which she vanquished.Ms. Beranbaum encourages mechanical mixing, and does not consider it a "crime," like some other writers on bread. However, manual mixing is included. She has written lots of information on flours. Detailed, yet accessible.She encourages home bakers to think in more professional terms by giving weight measures (grams and ounces,) as well as volume measures (cups, spoons). She also gives proportion percentages.Ms Beranbaum's introductory comments are fascinating.The index is complete and easy to use.The photos and technical drawings are complete and well chosen.This book is definitely one of MY "desert island ten."
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95 of 102 people found the following review helpful By annielaurie on May 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so I did break down and buy this book after vowing not to, and would change my review to 4 stars if I could. I'm glad I purchased, but as I said before, it's not a book for the beginning baker (or the impatient!). It does contain a wealth of technical information and very specific start-to-finish instructions for each recipe, which to a more advanced bread baker might sound oxymoronic but actually is not. I believe Beranbaum wants us to achieve optimal results from our efforts, thus the great detail in her instructions. Just be sure to read your recipes through thoroughly before starting, as her directions, although detailed, do tend to be confusing, especially when it comes to adding ingredients. I have had great success and compliments from several of these recipes, among them being the raisin pecan bread, the Tyrolean ten-grain torpedo, and the olive bread. Even I have not had the patience to attempt the very involved sour recipes (yet!), but am looking forward to trying them.

Here is my old, 3-star review:

I rarely feel the need to review, but having tried two recipes in this book, and feeling misled at some point in both, I feel a warning is in order.

First, let me say that I am quite an avid bread baker, and that this book, while chock-full of technical information, is definitely not for the neophyte, unless he or she is just interested in the science of breadmaking. Next, let me be specific about my complaints. Although I read a recipe through before I attempt it, I don't tend to memorize it; I just get an idea of the steps involved, decide if it's worth the effort, and go from there. My problems in the recipes both involved ingredients being mentioned in a list, and then the author not being specific enough about when they were to be added.
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