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The Handmade Loaf: Contemporary Recipes for the Home Baker [Paperback]

Dan Lepard
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Book Description

15 Feb 2008
The Handmade Loaf is a collection of recipes, personal stories and photographs that capture the breads and home bakers of Europe. Over 80 recipes, many of which are inspired by the bakers profiled, look afresh at traditional methods and ingredients. Their blend of history and innovation will appeal to the experienced baker, but also to a generation ready to discover the simple pleasure of baking their first crisp loaf at home. Shot in real time, with bakers caught on film as the dough is mixed and the bread taken freshly from the oven, the photographs place the reader right beside the baker, showing the detail to help us understand perfectly how breads are created.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (15 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845333896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333898
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 24.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dan Lepard is an award-winning baker, food writer and photographer. His first book was Baking With Passion (1999), followed by The Handmade Loaf (2004, author and photographer), and Short & Sweet (2011, author and photographer); and as a contributor, The Cook's Book (2005) and the Dictionnaire Universel du Pain (2010). His photography credits include Made in Italy (2006), Hawksmoor at Home (2011), Comptoir Libanais (2013), and Comptoir Express (2014). Dan also writes for the BBC, Sainsbury's Magazine, Waitrose Kitchen Magazine, Delicious and for 8 years had weekly column in the Guardian. He now writes a monthly column for The Sydney Morning Herald, and Melbourne's Age newspapers.

Product Description


"As fresh and as mouth-watering as a loaf straight from the oven...

the author's own step-by-step photographs are genuinely


Jenni Muir, The Independent Review

"(Lepard's) supreme skill is his empathy with people who bake,

from grandmothers using ancient ovens to cutting-edge chefs."

Sheila Keating,The Times Magazine

"It oozes knowledge, curiosity and love for its subject... I doubt a better

book will be written on the subject for a few years to come."

Tom Jaine, The Guardian

Book Description

Dan Lepard is the most watched and talked about baker in Britain More than 90 recipes Includes authentic stories about some of the most innovative domestic bakers in Europe, with photographs taken at their homes in their native countries Perfect for both experienced bakers and home cooks who want to know more Will be the authoritative and inspirational book on baking that any baker will want on their shelf

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring book for bakers 20 Sep 2006
This is really one for serious amateur bakers (in the literal sense of one who loves baking). The essence of the book is sourdough baking - making bread with a wild yeast leaven instead of commercial yeast. Baking this way takes time and a little dedication (though not nearly so difficult as some food-writers would have you believe), but it repays the effort.

As well as the recipes, the book contains accounts of bakers and baking traditions across Europe, as well as photos of actual bread (it looks like it was made by a human being)and real bakers instead of the usual cosmetically perfect food photography. For Dan Lepard making and eating bread is evidently a very personal and human thing. What I'm trying to say is the book has personality.

Above all, the recipes and procedures work, and Dan Lepard makes it simple, like all the best teachers. It transformed my baking.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Risen above the rest 21 Dec 2004
Put all our other bread books aside. If you want to make and eat fantastic bread The Handmade Loaf from Dan Lepard is an eye opener. Sanity, at last, in the bakery. Almost immediately Lepard asks you to abandon all other and stick to metric weights and measures. No cups, no ounces, no nonsense. Lepard has really thought about the bread making process and it works. He takes you through each recipe step by step. And, if that's not enough, there are brilliant photographs from the baker himself to show you how the dough and finished product should look. All you need is time and the desire to make what most of us have rarely eaten at home, really delicious bread.
If you've got an aspiring breadmaker on your gift list, buy this book, an inexpensive set of digital scales and a few bags of flour and sit back and await the results.
Don't believe me, find out for yourselves.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caring, insightful and rewarding 1 Dec 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've had this book a year, and it is undoubtedly a five-star book. The author writes so insightfully about the whys and wherefores, and when you follow the non-too-difficult recipes within you realize just how much talent, consideration and experience this excellently presented book offers. You'll find instructions for kneading and shaping, how to make and store your own leaven plus recipes from around Europe adapted for the home baker working by hand. The author has gone to the trouble of actually going to these places to talk with other bakers, and the corresponding photos of location, people and their wares give what I would describe as a sense of community. The recipes use all manner of flours and grains, and raising agents from fresh yeast to leaven and soda. Someone below had complained of a limited variety of recipes, but I don't find that justified since there are plenty of recipes and there's no need for 23 variations on the same theme - in particular I find this book imparts a real feel for what's going on so that you can use your own initiative to experiment, though you'll find it hard to improve on the recipes provided here by Dan Lepard. Another complaint below is about the time it all takes, and there is some justification here if you're looking for a 40-minute loaf. Performing multiple tasks in a restaurant, the author found that dough sorts itself out nicely and the flour is best and properly saturated if left alone rather than pummelled to death. So it's often about 10-second kneads once in a while with lower proving temperatures of, say, 21 C. The `worst' it gets with a white leaven bread is around 3 kneads at 10 minute intervals, then a half hour, then an hour, in the tin and another hour, wait a few hours more (even 5). Read more ›
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that helped me bake great bread 28 Nov 2006
I'd only baked bread a few times, and nothing really tasted that good. A poster on a website said to get The Handmade Loaf and now I can say, after working my way through some challenging recipes, that my bread is really very good. I work, have two small boys, and time isn't something I have much of at all, but now I've got the baking slotted in I just leave the dough in the refrigerator and bake when I get home. I make bread just using my jar of leaven, it rises slowly and ends up with a crisp thick crust and a gentle sourness to the crumb. The book has transformed my baking but it's not quick and easy. It's only about baking really good bread, and that's all I do now, every time I bake. An extraordinary book, beautiful and thoughtful.
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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raising the bar 27 Dec 2004
By N. Wood
First off, the presentation is excellent. The book's author is a keen (ex-professional) photographer and his work definately does justice to his baking.
Little chapters from artisan bakers from around the world can be found inbetween the recipes, making this a good read, as well as an informtive resource.
The book has some fine, wholesome recipes with a strong leaning toward hearty rustic breads. Each recipe is presented in detail with the author often offering explanation far beyond the basics.
I would hesitate in purchacing this book if looking for a quick bread machine fix however. The recipies are very versatile and every attempt is made to show the reader how each can be adapted but if you're looking for a simple list of ingredients and a recipe that reads "put everything into your bread machine and wait" then there are more straightforward (though not more appetizing) bread-books available.
I would suggest that to any keen home baker wanting to push their skills up a notch or anyone who wants to know the difference between Canadian and British wheat this is an invaluable resource. It's also a great coffee table book and a fantastic culinary roadtrip.
In short, buy it... Just wait for a couple of seconds before committing to a purachace if you're looking for convenience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
more for the knowledgeable rather technical.
Published 14 days ago by Mr. P. G. White
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book .
A brilliant book full of tried and tested recipes, however this online version is ruined by the absence of a table of contents. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Golfwizard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Derek Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Book including dust cover in excellent order. Thank you.
Published 3 months ago by ginger grandma
5.0 out of 5 stars delicious bread
I am loving this book. I've made two loaves so far more than once they were so delicious. Recipes are very to follow and produce stunning results.
Published 6 months ago by K22
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Although I'm not a novice in the yeast and flour baking department there is plenty here to enjoy in what is becoming one of my last pleasures in life (apart from that). Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Foster " fossie "
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep going back to this book for ideas
Purchased a few years ago and after getting this book gave away my bread making machine as these breads are so much better. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nigel Pigdon
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpfull book
Really helpful book, good to have at hand. I will recommend to anybody who like baking at home. Very helpfull.
Published 7 months ago by Fredy Rivera Jimenez
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive guide to breadmaking.
This is extremely well written and beautifully illustrated. I have made my own sour dough started and my first loaves without a hitch. Step by step instructions are really helpful. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite for me
This is a good read. Dan obviously loves his bread. However the recipes didn't really suit me. The timescales didn't fit in with my daily routine, especially the short frequent... Read more
Published 7 months ago by F. E. Lovell
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