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The Italian Baker

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  181 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
This landmark volume by an award-winning author re-creates the classic tastes of the Italian countryside--from bread, pizza, and focaccia to pastries, cheesecake, and other confections.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by William Morrow Cookbooks (first published October 30th 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 408)
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Dec 19, 2012 Drew rated it it was amazing
During the last few years of my father's life, he became highly whimsical - buying many things he did not need. He'd then gift many things to me, my brother and my sister. Among the better items he gave me was a signed copy of this baking book. Traditional pizzas and bread were emerging onto the food scene in the Bay Area, and Field's book is the best entry into making traditional bread at home with the aid of a baking stone. There are great things about making ANY kind of bread at home, but if ...more
Andree Sanborn
Apr 06, 2013 Andree Sanborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april, kindle, e-book, 2013
I wish I had bought the print edition, instead of the Kindle edition, of The Italian Baker because I need to constantly flip sections for more complete instructions when baking from it. This inconvenience will stop as I become more familiar with Field's methods. I enjoyed reading all of the histories and background information about bread, desserts and ingredients, but I am having problems recreating the doughs as described. My bread dough is never as wet as Field's, but the bread is amazing. Th ...more
Chuck Kollars
Jun 24, 2016 Chuck Kollars rated it really liked it
Surprisingly useful despite its age ...must have been _way_ ahead of its time when first published. Nice way to see how baking styles have changed (not always for the better:-) in the last few decades. Very pleasant to see a more relaxed -slower paced- style than is typical today; by no means "boring" or "watching paint dry", but invites you to curl up on the couch and really get into it rather than just flipping it open to the necessary information for a recipe then flipping it closed again.
Aug 22, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
The section on rustic breads is worth the price of the book. On each recipe, there are instructions for preparing by hand, by food processor and by mixer. Field travelled all over Italy, visiting bakers to learn recipes and then translated them into North American flour types.

I have used my copy of this so many times that the spine has broken. I'd replace it except then I'd have to transfer all my notes.

One of the best lessons I learned from reading "The Italian Baker" is to add a small amount o
False Millennium
May 10, 2014 False Millennium rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-drink
Another cookbook I checked out recently where I was intent on trying at least one recipe, and I could not find one recipe that interested me. I am sure this isn't true for everyone. I'm just reporting my experience.
Sep 17, 2008 Rand rated it it was amazing
this book kicked off my interest in baking bread and i haven't bought a loaf since. well, maybe the odd artisanal thing when visiting kids away from home, but not at home. when i went to italy in the 70s, i discovered a society where fresh bread was basic to life. this book helped me to appreciate what went into the making of that staple, not just the assembly of bread--and the techne is critical--but choice of ingredients, where they come from. also, raised my awareness about flours, especially ...more
Mar 28, 2014 Marilyn rated it liked it
I really like to see updated version of this book--the recipes from 1985 are a bit archaic in today's cooking world--who uses lard?
John Millard
Oct 03, 2015 John Millard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
For bread this is one of the best places to start.
Mar 19, 2015 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Shelves: npr, food, travel
As heard on Rick Steves Audio Europe.
Peter Zingg
Dec 09, 2011 Peter Zingg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Nice to see that this classic has been reissued. I'm working my way back through the recipes with my son after 20 years of non-baking, and Field's comments are always helpful. Her introduction to the history of bead in Italy is a gem; now I'm eager to read Pellegrino Artusi's 1890 cookbook on her recommendation.
Sep 15, 2015 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I am basing this on the one recipe I tried so far. I know one recipe over many months is not many, but I have been trying recipes from a range of sources. The one cake I have made, a spice cake was easy to make and tasted great.
Revisiting this good cookbook. 7/15 Still a 5 star!

I really loved this book! I checked it out from our library, but I plan on purchasing it and working my way through all of the recipes.
Leslie Hickman
May 25, 2008 Leslie Hickman rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I gave this as a gift. I ended up liking what he cooked out of it I bought one for myself!! My favorite is the marbled pund cake with chocolate & vanilla flavors!!
Jul 19, 2010 Mrs. rated it really liked it
Update on 7/19/2010 - Jessica's Biscuit ( has the book in stock. It was just reissued in a limited release.
Allison Severson
Feb 26, 2012 Allison Severson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cookbooks
Great book about baking bread, with lots of information about Italian bread history- when it started, etc. Beautiful photos too!
Apr 20, 2007 Tony rated it really liked it
This book was kind of like a bible when I was growing up. Her "new" breads are better than the traditional ones, however.
Arthur "AJ"
Jul 04, 2010 Arthur "AJ" rated it really liked it
Great book about bread making that is also filled with travel stories.
Sep 26, 2007 Charles rated it it was amazing
The source of my Italian Cheesecake Recipe....
Jan 25, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like to bake
Awesome breads! Core cookbook for me.
Sep 23, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good breads.
Jan 11, 2012 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
David Lebovitz recommends
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Justin So rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2016
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