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on 21 August 2017
Different from other bread recipe books, James has a scientific background but explains in laymans terms the science behind the bread. Book starts off teaching the basics and as it goes on, becomes more advanced. The methods simplify bread-making with minimal kneading and show that special equipment is not needed. Nor is breadmaking an exact science and the author leaves scope for you to make some decisions and experiment with different methods, without compromising on results. We've eaten home baked bread pretty much every day for 6+ weeks since buying this book. As a relative novice, I was pleased that most of the recipes were a success. James guided me through my first sourdough starter, a 'living' ingredient that you feed every day with a little flour and water and can use instead of yeast. My first go with sourdough has been rewarding and the book shows how even advanced breakmaking is straightforward and takes very little time with a bit of good planning.
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on 21 February 2017
A brilliant brilliant book. I had almost given up on bread making and tried many times before. James introduction is what gave me the break through that I was desperately seeking. He has an amazing ability to reach and make easy to comprehend things with a simplicity that is very rare.

One of the best books on bread that I have; and I have a few!
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on 18 January 2018
This book deserves at least a 10 star rating, it has completely made me fall in love with baking.
I hadn’t baked before I bought this, I’ve now baked my way through the whole book. His explanations are so easy to understand that it clears away any fears you may have about trying baking.
The first few breads in the book don’t involve kneading, so he takes that pressure away from you and helps you nail a few great tasting breads. The breads with bits section is great for learning how to introduce different ingredients and flavours to breads. And then there’s the sourdough section, which will change your life forever! I even made croissants and panettone for my family this Christmas, which I never thought I’d be able to do.
So if you’re thinking of starting to bake and don’t know where to start, I’d highly recommend this book.
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on 14 July 2015
I happened to have a whole bookshelf of bread making books, probably most of the well established titles on the subject, but I have not expected this one to beat the rest of them, by a wide margin. While many other titles cover the subject in depth and well, there is something magical about the way this one is put together. Advice is there where it should be, trouble shooting is everywhere and to the point, concise yet in depth, Mr. Morton obviously loves bread making (and baking for that matter, check out his other books) and is capable of passing that on to the reader. I dare to say that, if after going through this book you still have reservations about bread making, then perhaps there is another hobby for you to explore. It simply could not be better, I don't think.

Brilliant is in the title, arguably one of a few accurate titles of any publication.
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on 11 February 2017
One of the best bread books. Easy to follow & great results. Trust him - he's a doctor
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on 1 February 2018
Very interesting read, James takes you through his routine where he prepared his dough and at the same time got on to other activities in the day making the whole daunting task of home made sourdough seem doable. As a medical student, he was knowledgeable and approached the process in an easy to understand scientific perspective. I even brought the book along in my holiday as I couldn’t not finish reading.
But I still failed making a nice sourdough, there are so many factors- i would not fault his book.
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on 12 September 2014
I liked James on the Bake Off and thought he was a really good baker so was pleased to buy this book for my son. I'm using it more than he is and I think James has some really good ideas and recipes in here. There is a lot of helpful and clear info for those who haven't baked bread before and some especially useful step-by-step pictures. Even if you are a more experienced baker there are some good and useful tips. You don't have to agree with everything he says and it doesn't feel like he's lecturing you. I found this book gave me confidence to try something different and add, for example, some surplus sourdough starter to yeasted breads. I think it is an addition to a baking library and I'm glad I have others by Bertinet and Whitley to supplement it and I would urge others to have several books at their disposal not just one.
The Marmite bread is great by the way, do try it even if you're a Marmite hater. Shame there wasn't a knitting pattern for the jumper included too!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 February 2014
I brought this because I’m always on the lookout for good bread books. Being in NZ I have not seen the Bake-Off series that James was on, but reading excerpts from his book it seemed like a really good book to get hold of. Now that I’ve got it, I’m really thrilled with my purchase. Being a relatively experienced bread maker, I’ve dived into making a sourdough starter and have now made a loaf of white bread from the starter, as well as ciabatta and English muffins. Very successful and tasty.

James has written his book in such a way that it is an enjoyable read, as well as being a very useful recipe book. His love for bread making in all shapes and forms is evident, and comes across well in his chatty yet extremely informative style of writing. I’ve got my sourdough starter burping away happily in a corner of the kitchen, and am very excited about making some more wonderful bread recipes from this book. Definitely recommended, and I’ve now brought another copy for my mother, who is a highly experienced bread home baker and also thought this book was definitely worth having. This book offers more than just a recipe for making a loaf of white bread – there’s all sorts of yummy things to make in here, and I’m looking forward to trying them all.

If you have some experience with bread making you can dive into the book from any starting point. If you are a beginner, I would recommend starting at the beginning of the book, reading it carefully and digesting (!) the information offered, then moving through the straightforward breads before moving on to the more advanced recipes. But most importantly, have fun. Bread making is very theurapetic, creative and highly satisfying. If it doesn’t turn out quite how you anticipated the first time, there’s a 99 percent chance it will still be extremely delicious. And just try again! It’s all good.
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on 8 March 2015
Superb. Clearly written. Clearly explained. And, most significantly, specifically written for the home baker with advice and tips from a home (student) kitchen rather than a bakery.

Every loaf I have done since buying this book has tasted wonderful. Simply follow the advice and you will make brilliant bread.

There is advice about equipment, and how to do without the special bits and bobs.
There is sound advice about kneading (and also how to bake without kneading)
There is explanation about how mixing, proving etc. work and why that make bread happen.

In all this is a top notch tutorial in making bread AT HOME. If that is what you want to learn you need to have this book, no other will be required.

EDIT ... After months of bread making I can only repeat my recommendation of this book. You can get recipes anywhere, and make up your own. This book helped develop a feel and understanding of what you are doing. In practice I've spend most of my time baking the 100% wholemeal and the white bloomer... both of which taste wonderful. And the overnight prove in the fridge does exactly as promised .. it works, its easy, and it definitely improves the taste.

Probably the most useful 'cooking' book I've ever had
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on 29 October 2014
I'm a sucker for Bread books and making bread. I find this one very good, and since getting it I have persevered after trying several times in years gone to master sourdough bread. Perhaps it was the weather over the summer but I now have a sourdough starter living happily! James's recipe for Hazelnut and Sultana sourdough bread is in my terms excellent, I love it, and l plan to use the same recipe adding stem ginger, dates etc. I have made several recipes from the book and all have been successful. I have to say that I am now almost a convert to sourdough method and haven't used any yeast for two months now.

James, I am glad you took time to write this book despite being a medical student. thank you
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