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The Handmade Loaf: Contemporary Recipes for the Home Baker Paperback – February 15, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
About me as a baker:
I have three books with bread recipes and frequently use online bread recipes. I've been baking for about six years now and bake at least weekly, often daily. Up until I bought this book, along with Hamelman's _Bread_, I had only baked yeast breads and had never used 100% whole wheat or rye (though I had done partially whole wheat breads). I bake by hand and I have only a glass Pyrex bowl, cookie sheets, a spritzer, a whisk, and a wooden spoon at my disposal. My goal when I bought these books was to learn to cook sourdough and with a variety of different grains, as well as to increase my general skill at bread baking.
What I liked about the book:
1. His instructions on how to build a sourdough starter are invaluable and worked perfectly for me. The pictures were a wonderful tool and hard to find elsewhere. You can see what it's supposed to look like as you go. He is very descriptive and clear.
2. His choice of recipes (breads from all over Europe and parts of ex-Soviet Asia) is delightful, in my opinion. Most, but not all, of the breads are sourdoughs, which are what most hand bakers in Europe and Asia use. There are some yeast breads including the good old Quick White Loaf. Between the 100% Rye, the Mill Loaf, the Rye with Coriander loaf (that literally got my husband's eyes misted over with memories of his school days in the Soviet Union), Brown Butter Picklets, and so on, I have staple and special breads to try and enjoy for the rest of my life.
3.Read more ›
his method of minimal kneading is well explained, the photos are gorgeous, the book is a pleasure to read.
A must-have for any person really interested in bread baking.
****Please note, this is a RE-WRITE after owning this book for about 9 months.
I love this book. The author went to the trouble of tracking down all these old ways of bread making and transferring their method into "by weight" and has made it as easy as possible to replicate their methods at home.
I have had GREAT success with the author's method for creating starters.
I had particular fun making the 100% sour rye bread. The gelatinized rye flour really works well for getting it to rise. What a great flavor-sliced thin and toasted, with good Brie!
My first review was totally unfair to the author and to the book distributor in the UK. My impatience with receiving my book quickly does not reflect at all on the book itself, a wonderful collection of easily reproducible recipes. It is obvious a great deal of hard work and attention to detail was required to produce this work.
If nothing else I have made Dan's method of kneading for several seconds, then letting the dough rest / repeat / my method. I have gone from depending on my Kitchen-aide to actually just getting my hands messy and using good technique. Thanks for all the tips, Dan, that I have made into my own repertoire!
I asked the instructor what was the best book he would recommend and he said it was this book. It seems like every artisan baker has their own recipes, specific ingredients, and techniques that they swear by, (I guess that is why they call it "Artisan" Bread, (as there is no one way that fits all). But this author opened my eyes to methods that I truly did not know before and shows those methods with stunning photos and stories.
The variety of breads in the book is fantastic too, its one that you won't tire of easily, and you will find a style of bread to go with many different foods and occassions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had great hopes for "The Handmade Loaf", but was disappointed. While there is a useful, but short, section on making real bread, the bulk of the book is devoted to... Read morePublished 17 months ago by DCtechie
I have not explored every recipe, but a brief over-view has me eager to try them. I have enjoyed reading and learning new ideas about breads, having baked my first loaf at the age... Read morePublished on July 7, 2014 by Robert D. Whiteman
Very helpfull for beginers. Not many rcepies but lots of advices. I wish it had examples along with the points he cescribes.Published on November 22, 2013 by Octavio Colmenares
This book is just excellent. I find I go back to it again and again. Suitable for the home baker and the more advanced, it's full of information from flour and equipment through to... Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by vos01
Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic.
Throw away those old bread making machines. ThIs is so easy.
And thoroughly satisfying.
It is highly recommended.
This book is very helpful in baking loafs. All of the measurements are in metric, which is more accurate. Read morePublished on May 16, 2012 by G. Swarthout