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Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Bread Science is a practical guide to bread-making that explores both the steps of the process (mixing dough, using preferments and sourdough starter, shaping dough, baking, and more) and the science behind it. The science is presented in detail but in a language suitable for all bread makers. With over 250 photos and drawings, references, a bibliography, a glossary, and a ...more
Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published December 14th 2014 by Two Blue Books (first published January 2006)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  158 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Ben Labe
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bread Science" is distinguished by its outstanding second chapter, which occupies about a third of the book's main text. There, author Emily Buehler details the chemistry of bread making at every stage of the process. She begins by covering bread's major ingredients--flour, water, salt, and yeast, as well as a few popular additions like fat and sugar--in isolation, and then explains how those ingredients all interact and contribute to the total bread making process. The entire chapter is meticu ...more
Anand Mandapati
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good Bread, but not Perfect

This is not a cookbook, it’s a science book. But, if you’re willing to read through the science in chapter 2, you’ll be rewarded with a much better understanding of why you should or shouldn’t do the things mentioned in chapters 3-8. Emily Buehler does a great job delving into the science and translating it into real world example much more than the brief descriptions in Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking” and even a bit more detail than Shirley Corriher’s “CookWise”.
Julie Rose
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely science-heavy, but written clearly enough for a baking/science novice to still understand and benefit from most of the book. For those that want to know the science and "why"s behind the baking, there is no better book. For those that just want a recipe to follow - this is not your book. My only criticism - the book often would explain a potential obstacle or fact of baking, but omit the steps the baker should take to avoid/overcome the obstacle or make use of the fact. ...more
Guilherme Stoll
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
For those who are starting to bake, this book should bring a lot of new information. However, I don't think the book brought me as many answers as I expected. The flour section is undoubtedly the best part of the book, very scientifically dense. However, I expected the same level of detail for the other parts, especially the yeast part. ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who know how to bake bread already
If half stars were allowed, I would give this 2.5 stars. I rounded it up because of much of the detail in chapters 3-7. (At first I rounded it down because the recipes are lacking, with scant directions. Only seasoned bread bakers would be able to follow them - many beginners would quickly be lost and lose heart....)

The book is oddly laid out, with an invitation to pick and choose. Alas, it is terrible to read in e-form (epub version), or at least it is terrible on my kobo. The images are giant
M.A. Kropp
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I like baking. I like baking far better than I like cooking meals. One of the things I bake with relative frequency is bread. I make decent bread, but there are some things I still struggle with. Working with a more sticky, slack dough is one of those. I've read countless articles and online postings about baking bread, but there has still been something missing.

Cue my youngest daughter. My birthday was this month, and she gave me this book as a gift. I started reading it and immediately thought
Jenifer Perry
This book made me feel like I was in high school chemistry class, except that it was much more interesting. Buehler takes very cute pictures and has helpful drawings. I really want to go to her community bread night in Chapel Hill.
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in making bread, anyone interested in sourdough
Picked this one up after I heard the author on The Sourdough Podcast. Very decent read with a whole chapter dedicated to the science behind the bread. But it is a lot to take in at once when you really would like to understand the whole process. I feel like I need to read it again to understand more of it (and maybe even a couple of times more). It would have worked better for me if the science was incorporated in the other chapters.
Harry Rook
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really informative and helpful

A great book, the first third is pretty dense chemistry and science which I only partially understood but it gives a great background knowledge of how and why things happen when you make bread.

The rest of the book is really great though. Going into lots of easy to follow details about why you do each step when making bread and the recipes are really easy to follow.
Mark Zodda
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Good, but not exactly for a layman as it goes into more depth in the chemistry than I was expecting, but that makes it more of a resource than it would otherwise be. Focused really only on artisan breads with little consideration of other types of breads. The pictures in the kindle version don't scale up to where they add much to the text. ...more
Taylor Rollo
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful book for bakers: any but especially amateurs like me.
The scientific description of reactions in bread is very technical. I liked that but some might find it dull. The author even admits some might need to skip that chapter.
The explanation of each stage is very helpful and has showed me a number of things I need to correct in my baking.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very technical book about bread science. Used it as a reference for a work project.
Greg E
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Wonderful but complex explanation of bread making process Can be dry at times due to chemistry, very useful! Authors sense of humor comes out later in the book.
Michael D Knight
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Have read a number of books on breadmaking. I appreciated the complete, in-depth approach to explaining all aspects of this art.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an information-filled book that improves my bread-making knowledge and skills each time I pick it up. I highly recommend it for any bread bakers.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of a kind. Written by a chemist, it's not your ordinary bread book with recipes. It tries to explain everything that happens with the bread from that you start to mix it until you take it out of the oven - and then even a chapter on how to store bread.
To make the book easier to read for the average reader all the uber nerdy chemistry is collected in the second chapter. Knowing details about maillard reactions, all the different things yeast does, what the salt does in the dough,
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable and useful book if you're the kind of baker who likes to experiment, work with ingredient ratios instead of set recipes, and...understand the world at a molecular level. That is, if you're interested more in the craft of bread baking than the scientific reasons why we prepare and bake bread as we do, you'd be better served by the front half of Peter Reinhart's "Bread Bakers Apprentice".

"Bread Science" is a lot more readable than many of the food science textbooks offered by
Stephen Simpson
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A solid enough book, but there are better books out there (Reinhart's in particular). There is a lengthy discussion of chemistry and bread science/research that I suspect many people will just skim/flip past - you really don't need to know about the Krebs cycle or Van der Waals forces to make very good bread.

The book is also sparse on recipes, though the author emphasizes the point that once you understand the fundamental principles of breadmaking, you can go in almost infinite directions with
Jarkko Laine
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, food, bread
Bread Science is a great little book for anyone wanting to go a bit deeper into the science behind bread making. I loved the chapters on the science and the level of detail in them, and recommend the book because of that part.

The part on the craft of baking bread is good too, but not quite as good. There are places where I disagree with Buehler, but not too many. And I did learn new things from that part too. I really need to work on my bread shaping!

In short, this should not be your first int
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, science, food
I got this book as a gift, and really enjoyed it. Simple descriptions of why and how bread-making works, with tips and a few recipes. It was fun to learn about poolishes, and after trying it out, also delicious.
Slugs Youth
Highly recommended by Karen, our sourdough bread expert!
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bread-ucation. Lots of good info in here. A good edition to the bread bakers library but the gold standard is still Jeffrey Hammelman's book. ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any bread bread baker. Includes a wealth of information on the chemical processes that give bread specific characteristics.
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When asked what she'd be when she grew up, Emily always answered, an artist. An enthusiastic high school chemistry teacher, however, led Emily to study chemistry in college. After earning her PhD, Emily became a bread baker, which led to her f

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