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The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  533 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The Bread Bible is the one book on the subject no kitchen should be without -- and now it's available in paperback. A trusted authority on baking, Beth Hensperger has brought together hundreds of time-tested recipes, both classic and intriguingly original, from Gruyere Pullman Loaf and Farm-Style White Bread with Cardamom to fragrant Tuscan Peasant Bread and Classic Butter ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 14th 2004 by Chronicle Books (first published 1998)
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Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is truly a bible of bread recipes and techniques as it will make you BELIEVE, with the faith of a zealot, in the power of home baked bread. This is not to be confused with Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbook by the same name which is academic and sits on the shelf collecting dust. We were originally introduced to Hensperger's recipes in her equally useful book for bread machines and eventually graduated to this volume. Every recipe is superb, she provides clear step-by-step instructions, variati ...more
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking, nonfiction
I use this book pretty consistently now. All the other million bread books I have are referenced only occasionally and this stays with me when I need something I know is going to turn out well. In addition, I offered my breads 'once-a-week delivered' a part of the auction for a local farm where I volunteer, and all the breads came from this book. it was a huge success.

The breads range from savory to sweet, and some of the breads, e.g., Pain de Campagne, and Pain de Campagnard, are something to
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning bread bakers
Shelves: cooking
Bought this because I wanted a good basic bread baking book. I admit I was drawn in by the photo on the cover, but the recipes I have made from this book (Tuscan Peasant Bread, White Mountain Bread) have turned out well, even for this novice baker. I enjoy how the recipes have options built in to them, which is helpful for those of us that are so new to baking that we're unsure of what we can substitute for what. Will continue to use this, and hope to try out a challah loaf for Christmas dinner! ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've bookmarked a ton of recipes from this book and hope to try them next week. The instructions are clear and written as if someone you know wrote the recipe down for you, along with notes and options (like if you want to freeze it, or you might want to save a loaf for toast the next day since it tastes best then, etc). Looking forward to trying some recipes. In response to a previous review - the book clearly states how to make buttermilk, on page 55. Pour regular milk in a cup and add a squee ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the title of this book is perfect. The Bread Bible reads like a bible: huge book with fine print and no pictures. By golly its so hard to use!

I am happy with the recipes I've used, and I can tell the author is very knowledgeable about all kinds of bread making techniques. I've been baking bread for over 15 years and I learned a thing it two! Kinda fun to learn new things after baking so long.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a stand mixer, commercial yeast, and a desire to make decent bread
I must say that I would loved to have had this book all those years ago, when I was first starting to be serious about making all our bread. I really like how straight-forward the instructions are. I also like that Hensperger includes all methods, from hand-mixing to machine-mixing (whether with bread machine, stand mixer, or food processor). But the book appears to be geared towards people with electric mixers. Virtually all the recipe instructions begin with how to mix the dough in a stand mix ...more
Kristopher Aadahl
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has taught me to make bread that people think came from a professional bakery. The discussions and science throughout help me to understand why the recipes work. Everything I've made has been delicious!
Dee Roll
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great detail ! Bread making for dummies is what I needed
Eddie Paneto
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great recipes
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t wait to bake my way through this book! So much good information that I didn’t know!
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was beautifully written and very thorough. I look forward to making some breads from it soon.
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I've made a bunch of the recipes in this book. The banana bread, zucchini pancakes, white sesame bread, focaccio, pizza, eggplant pie, whole wheat sesame, buttermilk biscuits, many more. I started baking bread a few months ago. It's way easier than I ever thought and then you get to eat it, which, most of the time, is a good thing. Well, it's something I really wanted to do, so I went ahead and baked bread, and it wasn't so scary after all.

The fine art of slicing fresh bread has been lost to my
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Titling a reference book a "Bible" is a bold statement. While I've used a few of the recipes and ideas from Hensperger's book, it falls short of being an exhaustive compendium such as Joy of Cooking.

I didn't have buttermilk when I wanted to make the cornbread, for instance. - No mention of alternative recipes or substitutions. And why not include some delayed fermentation techniques in bread baking? While I am getting tired of Reinhart's arrogant-tainted writing, he does make a mean bread book.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Having been baking bread for as long as I have, I've been through a billion and one different recipes, although I often use my own impromptu concoctions based on my mood (or stomach). However, knowing I'm a bread fanatic, my husband picked this up for me, and I couldn't be happier about it.

This book has everything, and I really mean that. It's got the basics, the explanation, the why's and wherefores and, most importantly, the recipes. Oh, my, the recipes. Every kind you can imagine. Simple brea
Phule77 Erickson
Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bakers
This is one of the first books on baking that I picked up, after seeing it on the stacks repeatedly at Amazon.

It's a fairly simple book, for all that it contains a bunch of recipes, but I think that the large benefit to it is that it is simple, and is basically just a lot of good starting recipes. I've made many variations off of the white mountain bread, and the challah recipes in it are still may favorites, even compared to that of Rose Levy Berenbaum. It's not necessarily the best book for ad
Becky Cook
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As an avid baker this is my favorite bread book. The recipes are written for everyday people so they are easy to understand and everything that I have made has come out amazing. One of the first recipes is for French Bread. It is a crowd pleaser. Top it with your favorite bruschetta and you. It would also make an amazing bread bowl for your favorite soup. If you love to bake and want to give bread a whirl this is your book.
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-books
I checked this out from the library just to make sure that I liked it before buying it. I made one of the recipes so far. It was really good, but I had to make a few adjustments in the water to flour ratio, but other than that, it was super simple. I think that I will buy this one because I look forward to trying out many of the recipes.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Baking bread is the ultimate test of patience. And passion. And dedication. And the rewards are beyond anything I've felt while making art. It is truly beautiful, and this book helped me understand some very simple but terribly important skills that can't be taught. You have to really want your bread.
Ann Williams
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Sorry...if this is a recipe book, I am a firm believer that there should be pictures. Maybe not a picture for each of the 300 recipes, but gimme something! What I found was a reference to recipe names that I know nothing about (as a beginner) and the same lame illustrations used over and over and over again! FAIL.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
i am determined to learn bread-baking from this book. my first loaf of tuscan peasant bread turned out pretty well, so i think i picked the right book. other recipes tried: english muffins (yum! 9/2007).
Rachel Rogers
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Don't be intimidated by yeast!

Everything I've made out of this cookbook is divine. The honey buttermilk bread is easy and delectable: great in sandwiches, toasted, fresh from the oven, with butter or jelly and made into a cinnamon swirl bread.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Her recipes are easy to read for someone who has never made bread before and she gives incredible tips during the process. I have made perfect bread each time. She takes the fear out of the breadmaking challenge. The recipes are incredible!!
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery-books

Very solid, well-rounded collection of recipes. Very detailed recipes make complex breads seem less daunting. Employs a very nice variety of grains and flours. Zero photos inside, so you may need to supplement with a Google images search if you are a novice baker.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my go-to book for making bread. Basics on technique are wonderful resource for beginners and a great review for the experienced. Some basic breads and interesting and fun ones to try. Also some bread machine recipes.
Sara Clemenson
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
This is a fantastic book for learning about all sorts of bread baking - the science and the art of it all!
Excellent clear instructions and information for bread making
Oct 25, 2009 marked it as to-read
Can't wait to start on this was a gift...
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Learned to make bread with this one.
Micah Wallace
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very solid recipes. Encyclopedic selection. Also, doesn't get too complicated like some other bread authors I've read.
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The best bread making and variaties ... Baking book I have read. Every recipe I have tried turn out delicous. One star missing only because there are no pictures in it.
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Beth Hensperger is a passionate professional- and home- baker who is both extremely creative and extraordinarily prolific as an author and developer of quality recipes. Her training included a ten-year apprenticeship as a restaurant and hotel pastry chef as well as having her own custom wedding cake business and attending classes given by some of the top bakers in America. Though restaurant traine ...more

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