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Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home Includes Baguettes, Focaccia, Brioches, Croissants, Challah, and More! Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; Pap/DVD edition (1 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534531
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.3 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, USA. Ciril has been recognised with numerous awards, and most recently was named a 2007 Top Ten Pastry Chef in America by Pastry Art & Design magazine. His work has been featured on the NBC Today Show as well as The Food Network, including The Best Bread in the World, a feature documentary.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DMA on 23 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In comparison with many other books on the subject, Ciril Hitz' books are concise and very clear. There aren't the usual long chapters on every kind of flour broken into continents, or several chapters on his personal journey. What you get is a clear, well presented training manual on how to make each recipe.

There's a DVD showing things like how to shape a baguette - to me that's worth so much more than ten pages of photographs showing bread shaping as some sort of photographic slideshow.

I've seen comments elsewhere about typos and there being no addendum - I found the updates on Ciril Hitz' website, and my own copy needed only a single alteration as they've obviously been vigilant in updating reprints.

Note that, as others have pointed out, there's nothing on naturally leavened bread (no sourdough). Don't let that put you off however, I've been really delighted with the results. I wish I'd found this book earlier as it would have been a bit more encouraging to get such good results sooner.

Also, I've just uploaded a few user photos of bread I've made from this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Angove on 6 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought two of Ciril Hitz's books - - - of his other - I wrote:
Sublime recipes, the book is thoughtfully laid out, precise yet straightforward, wonderfully illustrated and superbly logical to follow.

I'm not surprised it's had rave reviews - for anyone that wishes to bake seriously good bread, without having to change their current career path - this has to be the book for you.

Baking Artisan Bread - is an equally brilliant manual!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I brought this book for my mother. Both she and I enjoy making our own bread and bread-derived recipes, and this book offered a new and refreshing perspective on baking bread at home. The author had been fascinated by the variety of breads offered in a small Bavarian bakery, and on introducing himself to the baker and discussing the bakery’s offerings, the baker showed him how the bakery was able to offer such a variety of goods by having a number of “core” recipes and making variations on those. Taking this approach, the author, an authoritative and recognised pastry and baking chef has developed 10 “formulas” and offered the way to make those, as well as variations on those formulas, so that the home baker can readily make just about any bread you care to mention. The recipe formulas are for:
Whole wheat
Pane francese
Pizza dough
Bagel dough
Pain de mie
Challah dough
Brioche dough
And from these, there are a number of variations on each of these – so the Pane Francese recipe offers fougasse and roll variants.

There is also a dvd with the book, which shows in very clear detail the processes used. The book has many and very well-placed photos showing steps and processes, and the author has approached the whole baking bread process, not as some arcane ritual (which some bakers seem to) but as something that everyone can aspire to achieve successfully. It’s a great bread book, and I heartily recommend it.
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A very good step by step explanation in detail. I didn't try all of his recipes yet, but if you follow the steps the succes is guaranteed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 45 reviews
106 of 119 people found the following review helpful
A Higher Standard 30 Mar 2009
By GBSmith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I get the feeling the folks that rated it 5 stars have never used the book for baking. Mr. Hitz is a world class baker. I have met him and think highly of his talents. He is an innovator and competent artisan, and a teacher at a prominent culinary institute.

Unfortunately, this cookbook is flawed where it counts. I have made two projects from the book and both recipes had errors. The first, Challah bread, the knotted rolls, tells the baker to divide the dough into 100g units, unfortunately it should be 70g, a minor error but one that affects the baking time. The next was Pain de Mie, the metric measurements do not match the US measurements both in the sugar amount nor the salt content - which one is incorrect, I haven't a clue. There are more errors, including using millimeters instead of centimeters (p141), and page referrals to other recipes in the book that are not correct.
I am not a seasoned veteran in the field of baking, I rely entirely on the recipes. If I can't trust the book and the instructions, what good is it?

I wrote to Mr. Hitz, and got the reply that he is aware of the errors and will fix it in the next edition. Great, no erratum sheet, no way to know if there is a problem until after the fact.

My suggestion is wait until the next edition is out, but until then, look at the King Arthur Baker's Companion baking cookbook, it has most of the same recipes, and after making several dozen projects, I have not had a problem with any of the directions. Until then, Baking Artisan Bread is just a 5 star coffee table book.

Full disclosure - I do not work for, nor did I get a discount when I bought my King Arthur cookbook.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Ciril is the Best 3 Nov 2008
By bj - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ciril gives you formulas and instructions that work and taste great. He does not comprise on technique just to make it easy. If you can master Ciril's instructions, you will turn out better bread than your local bakery. If you are serious, go to one of his 3 day courses and you will learn the formulas for what I think are his two best breads--Pain Rustique and Miche.

If you are new to pre-ferments, try starting with the focaccia. It makes use of a poolish, but is forgiving. Also, you don't have to use steam. Cover with herb oil and after 20 minutes with grated Parmesan. You will be amazed with the results.

This book is not for people who want to make bread in 2 hours. If you want that kind of bread, don't waste the 2 hours, just buy a loaf at the store. This book is for people who are willing to do the little bit of extra planning and work to get exceptional results. Most of the recipes will require that you mix a pre-ferment the day before you bake. This extra 5 minutes and 12-18 hours overnight is the step that makes all the difference.

In response to Mr. "folks that rated it fives stars"...
Do you think that people who are serious about baking are interested in making plain old sandwich bread? Pain de Mie? That would be about the last formula I would try in a baking book. Seriously, try something a little more interesting--you might like it. Don't rate a book 1 star because you try 2 formulas.

You will find that in most baking books, you will need to tweak stuff to your own baking environment. The size of dividing units is not an issue. If you don't like the size, adjust accordingly. I make pita based on Glezer's formulas, she calls for 170g pitas, but I find that 85g is more to my liking. That doesn't mean she is off by 100%.

Also, I made the Challah last week and it was perfect. Don't divide into 70g as Mr. grumpy stripes suggests, 100g is correct as Ciril states. 110g if doing a 5 braid.

Baking times are never correct. Each brand/type of flour bakes different, each oven bakes differently, and baking stones bake differently too. Also you have the ambient temperature factor. Things are ready when they look ready. When it looks like the picture in the book, take it out. I set my timer about 5-10 minutes less and then just keep a careful eye.

Here are the good formulas in the book
Foccacia, Ciabatta, Baguette, Bagel, Brioche, Croissant, and Challah

Recipes I won't waste time with or have had bad experiences with..
Pan Francese, Pain de Mie, Whole Wheat, Pizza (I don't like pizza dough made with oil)

Even the best bakeries in the world have items that don't taste good. It is the same with cookbooks, you need to dig around to find the gems. Ignore the filler formulas. Try Ciril's Foccacia or Ciabatta, it will put a couple stars back on your opinion. Even that one formula is worth $16.50, just make 4 loaves. I have made the f/c formula about 15 times. Some people have said it was the best bread they have ever tasted.

Now remember, even if you make the f/c formula and it doesn't turn out right or taste like a million bucks, you have to realize that it would be impossible for you to replicate my environment. I live at 4600 ft, use 14% bread flour from a local producer, use SAF Instant, measure in grams, use a drug scale, and have a temperature controlling proofer/retarder.

Baking is just a big science experiment. You have to get all the variables and factors perfect. It take a lot of practice. A book just gives you a framework.

And yes Ciril did post minor corrections available on his website--which is not common for a food book author.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
The author owes consumers the corrections 28 April 2009
By Aspasia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Baking Artisan Bread" is an adequate book for those new to bread baking, but it is lacking in some simple, yet important, techniques, such as the autolyse. I'm astounded this basic method of initially hydrating the flour was omitted. More importantly, Mr. Hitz apparently has chosen to ignore the errors in his recipes. Rather than publish a list of corrections at his website, which could be easily done, he has decided to make the corrections in the next printing (if there is one) and the current owners of the book be damned.

Errors in publications happen. However, when one is dealing with a cookbook or baking book, not only has the consumer made an investment in the book, but in the ingredients as well, not to mention his/her time. Responsible and ethical bakers make every effort to publish corrections and make them easily accessible to the people who paid money for their product and presumed expertise.

Caveat emptor.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Baking Artisan Bread 10 Nov 2008
By bakerboy - Published on
Format: Paperback
Baking Artisan Bread by Ciril Hitz is subtitled 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home. It's true that the recipes presented are sized for the home baker, however, serious devotees and professionals can learn from the hints, scientific explanations, production tips, and troubleshooting that are offered. Bakers of all levels of abilities and understanding can learn something from this book. Each formula is presented in weight as well as volume measurements and includes at least one variation. The formulas and procedures are presented in an easy to understand format. The abundance of photos ensures an understanding of the baked products and process shots reinforce the "how to." It scores high on information, presentation, and photography. This is a great book for any bread lover's library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best Bread Book Out There 7 Nov 2009
By Carm - Published on
Format: Paperback
Baking Artisan Bread is the best bread book I have ever purchased. And where one reviewer said people who gave it 5 stars probably have never even tried the recipes, well I find that ridiculous. I have baked quite a few of the recipes in this cookbook and they are outstanding. In fact the brioche recipe is the best recipe on brioche I have ever tried. The directions were easy to follow and the results were unbelievable. If you want to master the art of bread baking, then this is the book for you. As an added plus, I checked out Ciril Hitz's website and should you have any questions in regard to bread baking, he responds quickly and graciously. He truly is a class act.
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