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The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  381 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book is the classic bestselling cookbook devoted to baking light, healthful, delicious bread entirely from whole grains. This specially updated edition includes an entirely new chapter on making excellent whole-grain loaves in a bread machine. Now even the busiest among us can bake the delectable loaves for which Laurel’s Kitchen is famous.

New re
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1984)
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Apr 14, 2008 Inder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Inder by: Rebecca
Shelves: cooking
Sigh. The bread wasn't nearly as good as my usual (modified) Tassajara loaf. It was, in fact, much denser and more brick-like. Of course, with bread, there are so many variables, you can't necessarily blame the recipe.

Okay, I can. You know what I think the problem is? No sponge. (Only serious bread-baking nerds will have any idea what I'm talking about now.)

Mark my words: 100% whole wheat bread should be started with a sponge.

However, that was one loaf, and this is still a great book. I'll sti
Apr 10, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
Ah, Laurel's Kitchen. So much fun to read! I think the only item I made out of this cookbook was the English muffins and the recipe was quite sketchy. Kind of a go-into-the-kitchen-and-put-a-few-things-together-and-see-if-turns-out kind of recipe. I didn't care. I was having fun, getting into the mood.

A good cookbook if you like to read stories. Not the greatest cookbook for a beginning baker, but it does have some pretty good tips.

I don't own it, so I can't read the entire thing. Might be one t
Jun 12, 2008 Alice rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to make better bread
Recommended to Alice by: It was a gift from my sis.
I have only tried the first "for learners" bread recipe, but it turned out wonderfully. This book has so many helpful tips that I'm going to apply to my regular whole wheat bread recipe. I discovered that I've been under kneading and over flouring. No wonder my bread was always crumbly!

Mar 04, 2010 Amelia rated it it was amazing
I had this book out from the library for a month and a half before I bit the bullet and bought it. During that time, I've made bread about twice a week, maybe a little less. This book has gotten me comfortable with whole-grain bread baking, and the explanations in the "Loaf for Learning" section have helped me tweak quantities and rising times as needed, which is something I wouldn't have known how to do otherwise. I also tried a recipe from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads in the middle of a ...more
Oct 17, 2008 Cindi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-book, own-it
I read this book about eleven years ago, gave whole grain baking a go and then gave up after many tries. About three years ago, I decided it was time to try again. I found that it had been my flour that was the problem all those years ago. What a relief because this bread is wholesome and delicious. I love the methods that Laurel uses with her bread and use them when I can with any other bread recipes that I use. I've tried several of the recipes in the book and my family and I love them all. I ...more
Feb 15, 2011 Colleenish rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-fun
This was a random book that my mom had. It's apparently one of the very very first vegetarian cookbooks. But it was also a lot more. It was a long book so it talked about health, the role of food, vegetarianism, nutrition, and homemaking. I will not be giving up meat or eating soybeans any time soon, but this book did inspire a lot of thought about food and nurturing. I'll leave you with a final caution: reading about food, even diets, makes me so hungry that I raid the kitchen.
May 11, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely wonderful guide to baking bread with whole grain flour. After buying a grain mill for my kitchen so that I can grind my own fresh, whole grain flours, I found this book recommended by people in baking forums. They were right!

I couldn't be happier with the recipes and how my breads are turning out. Everything I've made from it has been delicious and it does a great job of talking through what to expect during the bread-making process.
S.N. Arly
Jun 03, 2009 S.N. Arly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
I've been playing with bread for a few years now, and this is a terrific book for beginners and those branching out into whole grains. For new bakers it includes the science behind bread. It demystifies the process and helps you identify when something is going wrong and how to fix it. For the more adventuresome or experienced bakers, it delves into some complicated recipes and offers knowledge and skills to develop your own breads.
Brenda Funk
Feb 04, 2014 Brenda Funk rated it really liked it
As Laurel's Kitchen, this one also has a lot of reading to do....I am busy researching the art of bread baking with whole grains that I am milling myself. Part of what I love about these books is that they have a lot about the philosophy of food and making your own food for those you love. Something we have lost to a large extent in the busy society in which we live.
Mar 24, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy, favorites
A boat load of information presented in a candid and encouraging way. So far, I'm surprised at the very nice results from the recipes that I have tried. The recipes make great sandwich bread and quick bread.

I wish she listed the final temperatures for cooked bread and I wish there were some photos instead of/in addition to the black and white drawn illustrations.
Dec 15, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
If you would like to learn to make wheat bread, or currently make wheat bread but aren't happy with how it turns out, then this book is an excellent resource. It provides clear instructions for beginners. I have tried three recipes from the book and they are all good. My breadmaking has definitely improved from the techniques Laurel outlines.
Sarah Haman
Sep 21, 2011 Sarah Haman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery
Changed my entire attitude toward bread making. Will use this for a long time!
Deborah Byfield Nyberg
Jun 26, 2015 Deborah Byfield Nyberg rated it it was amazing
My family bought me this book for Christmas in 2005. It is well used! I learned to make proper bread as a result of reading this book. I went all the way and bought my own grain mill (which I still have) which has also been well used. It's not just a bread book, it's a book about life's lessons too. There are certain things that you take slow, do with extra care and focus on the enjoyment of the process - bread baking is one of them and this book explains very nicely how to thoroughly enjoy and ...more
Feb 03, 2010 Tripleguess rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to start the beginner off in baking whole wheat bread.

It's important to read the first chapter or two, where the author gives definitions for terms that will be used throughout the book ("warm" = so many degrees F, "very warm" means about 90d Farenheit, etc). Otherwise you may flip to a recipe and say "What the heck? How do I know how warm the 'warm place' for letting the bread rise ought to be?"

My favorite recipe is the overnight started sponge bread. I mill wheat the night
Jan 01, 2012 Daisy rated it really liked it
Re-opening this book: I am on Day 5 of my first desem.

Not that you can ever be finished with this book, but I've read all the informational pieces once so far. It's so comprehensive that I'll use it as a reference book as well as a recipe book. I'm especially eager to attempt the desem. And I particularly like how there's a section urging people gently to make time for bread-baking in their lives: "... what seems to happen to a lot of people is that over time they draw more satisfaction from the
Oct 05, 2014 Pzikmanis rated it liked it
This is cook book but with a lot more background and description than a typical one. It is about making old fashioned breads and hearth breads at home, using whole wheat and whole grain flours.
Jennifer Miera
Yesterday, I baked my first two loaves from this book with my two year old son. They turned out beautifully, with the exception of a slightly tough crust, which was actually softer today after the loaf had rested. I love the detail in experiencing the dough and the whys and hows of bread making. I had never really paid too much attention to the kneading times, for instance, but I could actually see that the dough condition improved with a little extra kneading time (20 minutes for 2 loaves). I w ...more
Jun 04, 2011 Carole rated it liked it
The recipes were simple to understand and with good instructions. But I found the writing style grating. When I'm reading a recipe I like things to be compact and quick to reference, with this book, you have to skim past author comments that don't add anything to the recipe. I think what I had trouble with was that parts of the book comes across as preaching. I love baking and if I'm reading the book I don't need to be convinced of the wondrous nature of bread, just give me the recipe and move o ...more
Apr 07, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mom
Very good blueberry muffin recipe, the Poppy seed quick bread was ok. Bob liked both. Evan loved the muffins too. I tried the loaf for learning & have given up for now on yeast bread making by hand.

EXCELLENT bread machine recipe in the new edition!!! I add 1 -2 tbsp gluten to the flour & put about 1 Tbsp more honey in the 1 &1/2 pound loaf, and I like it best using olive oil for the fat & all water. I was using milk, and plain water is nicer.
Sep 10, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
If you ever wanted to to bake bread, this is the book to get. Unfortunately most of the recipes are out for me now as I'm baking for a lactose-intolerant man but I did do many from this book before and all with great success. (Ok, almost all because once my yeast was out of date and my pizza dough NEVER rose. That was a long nite. Made omelettes instead.) Delicious bread, lovely smell, and really, really easy.
Nov 07, 2007 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfecting the art of making homemade whole grain breads that rise well and aren't dense by learning to work with whole wheat flour and using whole wheat flour recipes instead of white bread recipes with whole wheat flour thrown in.

A great reference and recipe book. Some of their recipes and tips are hard to do without a fancy, gourmet, brick oven, etc. but the vast majority were doable at home.
Mar 14, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Wonderful... I learned so much about what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. I still refer to it for that sometimes. Plus, it's got some wonderful recipes for rye bread, muffins, and delicious bagels. Tells you what the ingredient do, too, so you can decide if you need them. (We leave out the non-didastic malt in the bagels and just add a little sugar.)
Jan 27, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Great ideas for snowy days...
Aug 29, 2008 Paula rated it liked it
great background reading on bread making, although most breads are probably more suited for the professional homemaker with a spiffy well-equipped kitchen and great time-management skills. the section on sponge doughs is more practical for your typical American, but it is just an aside.
Apr 21, 2009 Danny rated it it was amazing
If you have any interest in whole-grain bread baking, this book has it all. I can't compare it to other books on the subject because I haven't read any. This book teaches you how to make good bread but also teaches you why good bread is good.
Feb 06, 2011 Pam rated it it was amazing
I have read this cookbook (I love cookbook) and have several favorites. It's a great book for beginning bakers and for experienced bakers, like myself, who have not made a lot of completely whole-grain breads. Many more recipes to go!
Oct 06, 2008 Kim rated it liked it
Good book on whole grain flour bread making. Only has a small section on machine bread making, but the recipes are good. This book is actually a good read, doesn't read like a cookbook so much. I like how it is organized too.
Mar 03, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book is so inspiring! I even did a blogpost on it:

I am excited to start trying out the recipes. This is a cookbook you can really read.
Jun 30, 2009 Christina rated it it was amazing
I checked this out from the library, but I think I will buy it. So many whole grain recipes and great instruction. I would definitely recommend this book if you are interested in making your own bread.
Feb 27, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bread-books
I confess that I've only made one recipe from this book. But there are great tips for making light 100% whole wheat bread. And I love the troubleshooting page as well.
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favourite loaves 1 6 Feb 27, 2010 05:05AM  
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