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Bread Baking for Beginners: The Essential Guide to Baking Kneaded Breads, No-Knead Breads, and Enriched Breads

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  649 ratings  ·  69 reviews
From beginning home baker to artisanal bread maker

Baking a perfect loaf of bread is part science and part magic. Created from four simple ingredients of flour, yeast, water, and salt, breadmaking is one of the most difficult (and delicious) baking endeavors. Bread Baking for Beginners is a rare bread cookbook for true beginners to keep their bread baking on the rise.

Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Rockridge Press
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Average rating 4.55  · 
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 ·  649 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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C Ringsted
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There’s no denying my love of bread and baked goods. Over the years I’ve acquired quite the collection of baking books and magazines. While I’ve dreamed of becoming even half the baker my grandmother was I can’t seem to get past the overwhelm I feel when I crack open my books and read through the multi-step recipes! I mean, who knew baking had a language of it’s own? And don’t even get me started on all the special tools some of these recipes call for!

Enter Bonnie Ohara’s Bread Baking for Begin
Kathleen Kelly
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been baking bread for many years and when offered this bread baking cookbook for beginners, I was excited for it to arrive. This cookbook is amazing, there was a lot of thought and research done in writing the book.

The book covers the process of baking bread, with detailed explanations of the forming of bread, techniques, proper equipment to use and recipes. The recipes themselves are very detailed with some recipes having pictures that show how to make the bread. The recipes cover so man
Ashton Bond
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently, and not due to COVID, I have found a love for everything sourdough and bread baking! This book is awesome and helping me, a novice, understand the tools I need for creating the best breads in my home! Can’t wait to start baking!
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is truly the best bread book if you're just starting out! Bonnie walks you through step by step from the very basics to more complex breads. The book is also laid out to be pretty idiot proof- she goes in order and makes it a sort of "journey" from easy to more difficult recipes. Really enjoyed reading this cover to cover and can't wait to start working my way through the recipes!

This also wasn't pretentious or complicated like a lot of bread books can be (don't get me wrong I love those- b
Colette Murphy
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven't made all the loaves yet, but I did read the whole book. As a newbie baker, I sincerely appreciate the way Bonnie O'Hara has constructed her recipes. It helps me understand WHY things are happening in addition to each of the steps. Plus, I like her little recommendations during the frequent downtime of bread making (like, make a cup of tea and relax while the yeast activates). A great book for anyone just getting started on a bread baking journey!
Alice Faerie
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-recipebooks
Fantastic book for the newbie bread baker. A staple for any baker.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for beginning bread makers. I have made most of the recipes and continue to go back to it time and time again!
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Step by step instructions and each chapter builds on skills learned in the previous chapter.
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've really enjoyed working through this book this year. While I'm not a fan of all of her recipes (although, honestly, what cookbook ever has ALL great recipes?), her method of teaching baking has been really helpful. I've struggled with getting yeast to work at different ambient temperatures, humidity levels, and altitudes, and this book really helped me sort through all of that.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I definitely have not made all the recipes in this book, I actually skipped to the end to the recipes that use a starter, but the information about the process and science in baking bread was so helpful and accessible for someone trying to figure this out on their own. I’m making sourdough like a boss now and everyone who has had it loves it!
Bridget Greci
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a beginning bread maker but I love reading about bread and wanted to check out this book as it’s gotten a lot of hype in Instagram.

Her methods and recipes are sound and comparable to other bread books. I particularly like the Temperature Calculation section, which is bound to lead to improved bakes. If you routinely make bread this is a good read to remember the basics.

In several places OHARA provides step to step photos and this is a great help to new bread makers. What’s lacking is a
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-2019
Bonnie Ohara started out making bread for her family because she was trying to cut back their food budget and was trying to make as much of their food herself as she could. That turned into a real passion for baking bread that is now a full-time business as owner and baker of Alchemy Bread Co. She created this book because she was self-taught, but found many of the books were either too simple or too complicated. She does a really good job of giving an overview of the process of baking bread, co ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great resource for new bread bakers! I'll admit that it wasn't a super great read to read it cover to cover, as much of the information is repetitive, but I am excited to begin using the book to bake up some great new breads! I like that the author comes from a novice background and really comes at the book with a beginner approach. The narrative is down-to-earth and easily understandable. I would recommend this to any new bread baker!
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been searching a long time for a book like this, and I've finally found it.

Reading Bonnie's book is like settling in for a cup of coffee with an old friend. Yes, it's part cookbook, but it's so much more than a cookbook - so many times baking books teach you the "hows" of perfecting the skills you seek, but not the "whys". Ohara takes the time to explain in detail why we must make certain choices with our dough when we want to bake bread. Why do we have to have our water at an exact tempe
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I can't say enough good things about this book! 1 - It is the most used and beat-up cookbook in my kitchen. 2- It got me FULLY into baking. 3- The recipes are delcious, and so well written. Bonnie gives you just the right amount of information with a great intro to the book and each recipe. She makes sure you aren't overwhelmed, while also making sure you know enough to know what's actually going on. 4 - There's a great online community that bakes the book together and that I love being a part o ...more
John Oyster
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I’ve read more cookbooks and more recipes than I care to admit. History? Pass. Fiction? Pass. Cookbooks? Heck yeah. This is truly a work of art.

The author’s humble beginnings into the bread baking world shows her true passion and desire of the art. It started out of necessity and ended with an actual business! Talk about a “glow up.”

The book uses a very scientific-ish and exact measurements and temperature approach. I 100% believe this is why each loaf tastes like an actual pie
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have never baked in my life. But, like many, had that changed during COVID-19. I decided to try and bake some bread, literally just to see if we could save on some budgeting and it turns out - I love it!

I searched many blogs for recommended reading and found this gem. It is Fantastic for beginners. For someone who knows nothing, it was incredibly helpful in introducing me to the terms, common themes, and ingredients used in baking bread. I cannot recommend it enough for a "first book" for brea
Anna LeBlanc
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with great info! Lots of great recipes, terminology explained, and it is perfect for beginners. I love that it captures a large range of breads too. My only complaint is that I wish there were MORE PICTURES! I would have loved to see an outside and inside of each type of bread once baked so I know if I’m messing up somewhere and then I could troubleshoot better! More dough pics etc would be good too. Also to see the difference between the different types and some kinds I was unfamilia ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

Growing up I used to stop at my cousin’s house after school because her grandma used to make bread in an outdoor oven. She had churned butter splattered over those hot babies, which I thought was gross at the time because she received it from the neighbor who raised cows, still didn’t stop me from eating it though😍😍😍. I was such a d#$* as a kid and couldn’t fully Appreciate the awesomeness of fresh whole food.
The recipes here brings back memories, I can almost smell the dough baking and
Genevieve Wheeler
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has inspired me to make 2020 the year of bread baking! Bonnie has written an unpretentious and clear guide to making bread that the most instructionally challenged (me) can follow.
I appreciated the many photos of certain steps that give a clear understanding of what I needed to do. I like that the book starts with a simple recipe, and is designed to increase your skills with each new recipe. What a great idea, and perfect for the home baker that doesn't have years of culinary educatio
Mary Ann Waddell
Great place to begin

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I like that the author is down to earth and takes the time to educate her readers on the basic terms used in bread baking. She’s very encouraging, breaking the process down step by step, and building upon the lessons learned as you progress through the chapters. I had great success early on in my attempts which helped me persevere through the learning curves. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn the art of bread maki
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Start from the beginning and work your way through the book. I now love making sourdough bread for my family once a week. The cinnamon rolls are amazing and the pizza crust is easy to make(and delicious). She gives helpful tips and a this great chart for what your water temperature should be so you don’t have to do the math. You will become addicted and your friends will think you are a professional after baking your way through it.
Avy Smith
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've tried to get into bread making several times with several different cookbooks, and this is by far the best! By the end, you really have learned how to bake bread, not just how to follow a bread recipe. For the first time in my bread baking journey, I feel confident in branching outside of the recipe and trying my own spins and recipes because I understand the fundamental pieces of making a great loaf of bread.
Allison Steingart
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was my slippery slope down to the world which is sourdough. I read this entire book and followed the recipes beginning to end, and once I was finished, I had all the essentials to begin my own journey. Without this book teaching me all the beginner's pointers, I would not be where I am now in my baking career. Because of this book, I found my passion, my therapy, and my little side business. Thank you, Bonnie Ohara, for sharing your wisdom with the world and leading me down my path.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This is such a helpful book - it lovingly walks you through making bread without talking over your head or condescending you. The recipes are easy to follow and the fact that it uses weight measurements instead of volume means you're much more likely to achieve the effect you're going for. I HIGHLY recommend the fougasse and the cinnamon rolls!
Brenna Sherrill
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Bought this for myself to celebrate 2 years of doing all my own bread baking. This is a pretty helpful book—Ohara has several useful tips on shaping, prepping, etc. that I appreciate. I’ve noticed that some recipes seem a bit either repetitive or vague, which may be an issue as I work through the book. I made my first loaf yesterday and it turned out well, so I’m excited to try more!
Brad Shinn
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just what I needed

I loved that she did exactly what she said- aim her book directly at the beginning baker without a hint of pretense. I ready the book cover to cover though I’ve been baking sour dough for several years ( where I started and I’m not going back!) I learned much from her method of explaining.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the recipes

Very helpful but I don’t know that it would be for complete beginners. Having to constantly back reference for each recipe’s directions was a bit annoying. That’s one think I definitely didn’t like but realize having the same thing written over & over would become tedious. Luckily, after awhile you start to become familiar with the steps.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Pursuit of Baking Bread!

I have been baking bread for the last 4 years and have just followed instructions but never really understand how the ingredients worked together and why the sourdough starter worked sometimes and didn’t other. This book gives you a great foundation to be in control of your bread making.
Linda Lee Gillilland
Easy to read, understand and implement recipes successfully. I found information on what I was looking for so I happily corrected my mistake. I don't make a lot of pre fermentation breads but had a craving for Ciabatta and since it takes a bit of time, I wanted to avoid mistakes. I got the Kindle version but will purchase real book to give as gift
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