This is a wonderful book, written in a lovely subtle tone. The recipes are tasty and pretty simple, and I have slowly been working through them starting with the sourdough ones. They have all turned out on first try exceptionally well. The book has both volume and metric measurements, concisely and conveniently listed. If you don't have a sourdough starter, there is a wonderful color photographic section showing you how to create one at home from day one to day six and then use it. The very beautiful photographs, taken by the author/baker on a tour of european locations to see and learn historic and traditional bread making skills are enough reason to own the book, imho, even if you're not a bread baker and just wanted to read and enjoy the tour. A rank beginner can use this book, and it is a great inspiration for even an experienced baker, I think. Mr. Lepard has a hugely active website, where besides all the other areas of interest and forums, there is a specific forum devoted to questions and discussion of the recipes in this book--Five years later he is still answering questions and giving helpful advice to people who have bought the book (nearly daily as far as I can tell from intermittently monitoring the site)--and he doesn't even sound bored or tired of getting those questions. In testimony of his methods, which don't require any machines at all, I threw out my King Arthur Flour starter and the wholewheat starter I have been using and followed his directions to make a new "local yeast" starter, and I have been using it in his recipes. I like the flavor and complexity of it far better than either starter I had before, and I expect it to just get better as it gets more life experience in my kitchen. Don't be thrown off because he has available in England and makes use of compressed yeast--he tells you in a sidebar how to make a substitute with dried yeast that has a similar texture--or just to convert to dried yeast. It's no big deal, but I found it fun to experiment with mixing up a sort of teensy dough of yeast to "mimic" compressed yeast. Other times I just used dried instant yeast and cut the amount to half of the dried non-instant version of yeast he recommends. He has answered all these questions of conversion of ingredients on his website, since the publication of his book in 2006--so you don't have to get stressed out because the book uses a slightly older version of this or that ingredient. I have lots of Bread books, and I use them all and often--each one has something I like, but this is one of my faves. (The other books I have are Maggie Glezer's Artisan Bread; Jim Lahey's My Bread, (probably my second most-used recipes), Rose Berenbaum's Bread Bible--which is like the old Joy of Cooking--any question you could ever have is answered and illustrated, somewhere, in it; Peter Rheinhart's Whole Grain Baking and Artisan Bread books; The KAF whole grain baking book; Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery; Beard on Bread, (both older but useful books to research ideas that strike me), Both of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day books, and Lisa Rayner's Wild Bread book.) I list all these books to make the point that if you love bread baking, failures, successes and inbetweens as well, each of these books has something wonderful to teach you. I wouldn't send back one, and I wouldn't offer any criticism of any of them. I have my favorites, as I have indicated, and some I love, and others I just use, but unless you can only buy one book, and it is critical that you be totally satisfied with just that one book, I don't see how you could go wrong with any book I have mentioned, except maybe Elizabeth David's book and Beard on bread--and only because they are quite "dated" and wouldn't tell you the newest and most successful--not to mention easiest-- ideas about bread baking.