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4.2 out of 5 stars11
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2009
I ordered Rose Beranbaum's Bread Bible a few years ago, a few weeks after beginning my home bread baking journey. To a novice, it was daunting and I put it away with great trepidation where it gathered dust on my bookshelf for many months. At the time, I knew nothing about poolish, biga, sponge, sourdough, levain, and found all these concepts bewildering. The meticulous attention to measuring out ingredients and checking temperatures, as well as the author's almost mathematical insistence on calculating percentages to calculate the amount of yeast or flour required in your poolish if you chose to use it in your bread, all aroused bread making fear in me. If all this incomprehensible baking jargon and formulas for calculating the amount of sourdough you'll need appeared already in the introduction, how bad are the rest of the 650 pages going to be?

A couple of months ago, a few years after my first uneasy meeting with the Bread Bible and with a lot of home bread baking experience behind me, I happened to pick up the book again and was utterly engrossed in the discussion of sourdoughs and sponges; in fact, I could not get over how wonderful this book was. I spent all day reading it and thinking about how much poolish I should prepare for tomorrow's bread. In the years between first reading the Bread Bible and now re-reading it with a new interest, I have made many breads with various starters. I have also successfully cultivated my own sourdough and baked some wonderful rye breads with it (my bread bibles at this stage were Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart and Local Breads by Dan Leader). For some reason, they appeared more novice-friendly to me and I did not find them daunting at all.

I would therefore not recommend the Bread Bible to people who have never baked their own bread before. Try Dan Leader - his book was the one that encouraged me to make sourdough and try various types of bread with starters and sponges. And when you've had some experience do get Bread Bible, because it is really a magnificent book and will take you to a new level on your bread baking journey. There are wonderful recipes in there for all types of bread (white breads, wholewheat, rye) but it is the wealth of scientific information that I find so valuable here. You're not only told how to produce sourdough - you're also told about different types, how to convert one to another, and how to include it in a recipe that requires ordinary yeast. There's a discussion of the deifferenes between poolish and biga and how to convert some of the flour from your recipe into your bread...just a small addition of a starter can really elevate the taste of your bread unbelievably. And so,despite being very weary of this book at first, I am grateful to Rose Beranbaum for her scientific details and yeast percentages, which have allowed me to bake even better bread.
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on 28 July 2005
I love this book. There is a great variety of recipes and most of the ones I have tried worked really well. She is very obsessional about detail. I find that you can cheat a bit on some of the deatils and still get really good results.
Highlight recipes have been the blueberry muffins, sticky buns, ciabata, and the half wholemeal half white flour bread. Ones that havent worked for me are the sourdough (the starter was a disaster) and the pizza dough which seemed to have too much oil.
If you love baking bread then this is a great book. The recipes are not that quick but the quality of the bread makes it worth it.
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on 17 August 2011
It's indeed a nice book, with a lot of tips. I do not raccomend this for beginner.
If you've never baked before this book may be a tad confusing because is very precise and uses lots of specifications and formulas. Buy it if you're an avarage experienced baker and want to know and aknowledge more.
The only cons about this book is that certain recipes are a bit weird. Me being italian I know a lot about baking, especially bread, focaccia, ecc...and some recipes are not 100% faithful to the traditions. Plus, when i purchased this book I tought it was only a "bread" bible, it's not, in fact there are a lot of sweets and even muffins o.o that's a bit weird for me since, here, when we mention bread we intend only bread, not focaccia, pizza, pretzels or bagels. bread here i bread, with thousand of shapes, methods of preparations, ecc...so this is in my opinion more of a "baker bible" that a "bread bible". Anyway it's a very good book, purchase it but keep in mind what i said.
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on 3 July 2012
This is a lovely bread book - much more reliable recipes than the venerated Peter Reinhart. Sometimes the instructions are so detailed you have to wade through them. That said, Rose Levy-Barenbaum's sourdough instructions are the best I've come across, and her stiff sourdough style of making and keeping sourdough works a treat.
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on 29 February 2004
This book will see you through from making the simplest of breads to creating your own perfect bread, the food of life!!
I have many books on bread but this one is the best for explaining all, it gives alot of secrets away. A must for any baker wannabe.
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on 7 April 2013
the name seed all:is a really complete book,not is easy,but if you don't give up after the first 20 pages...can be a full immersion in an amazing world of baking.
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on 8 October 2013
I will buy this publication as a book as i think it will be great. However this publication dosnt work on a kindle. The recipie weight are shown in tables which you only see part of. The measurement in grams are not displayed at all or only partially.
I know this is not the fault of the printed pubication, more the fault of the convertion to kindle.
Very dissappointing Amazon
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on 28 December 2013
Excellent book good choice wonderful recipes will give hours of pleasure and hopefully first class bread. Would certainly recommend to a friend
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on 15 October 2010
This is ultimately a book writen by someone who knows waaaaay too much about breads and its science but when it comes to make a focaccia ... it did work yep but the result is not comparable to the traditional recipe with less science behind, i'm still trying to get the knack of this book and it is hard work, i just hope it will be worth it at some point... ah! it's all american measures and the lay out is not the easiest, up to you! cannot give more than 3 starts coz it's not making it easier
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on 5 November 2015
I've got so many bread books, but this is one where I feel I could produce any of the loaves illustrated.
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