Best Bread Making Books

 

With so much choice of bread baking books out there, it’s hard to find the one book that’s right for you. I’ve bought my fair share of bread books and they are all wonderfully decorative for my kitchen shelf. However, there is only a handful of books I feel really close to and use on a regular basis.

Best bread baking books

I wanted to share my favourite breadbaking books, so here they are.

I. Bread Matters: Why and How to Bake Your Own (Andrew Whitley)

For people passionate about real bread, organic ingredients and sourdough baking. Bread Matters thoroughly explains every aspect of bread making, which ingredients are necessary and which aren’t, provides troubleshooting advice and features a superb selection of recipes. My favourite recipe is Borodinsky Bread, a Russian-style rye bread with coriander seeds, molasses and malt extract.

Bread Matters

II. Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread (Ken Forkish)

For beginners and more advanced bakers alike, it’s for everyone who wants to bake a top notch loaf at home. The book contains the best introduction to artisan bread baking I’ve come across so far and puts a lot of emphasis on two crucial factors which tend to be frequently brushed over: the importance of time and temperature during the proving process. Recipes range from basic yeasted breads right through to complex levain-based breads and pizzas. My favourite bread is the Overnight Country Blonde, a pure natural sourdough loaf.

Flour Salt Yeast Salt

III. Rustikale Brote aus Deutschen Landen (Gerhard Kellner)

For German speakers only I’m afraid. The book contains about 40 recipes for traditional German breads, mainly using wheat, spelt and rye flours. It’s a great book with clear instructions and easy-to-follow recipes. My favourite bread is ‘Vollkornbrot mit Sonnenblumenkernen’ a deliciously moist loaf with roasted sunflower seeds.

Rustikale Brote in deutschen Landen

What are your favourite bread books? Let me know!

Recipe for Sugar Doughnut Balls

 

Here’s a great recipe for making scrumptious sugar doughnut balls at home. I love the vanilla, lemon and rum flavours. Serve dusted with icing sugar and apricot jam on the side.

Plain sugar doughnut balls

Ingredients

  • 130g butter, soft
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 200g milk
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Apricot jam with a little rum
  • Icing sugar

Plain doughnut ball halves

How to bake them

  1. Whisk the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy
  2. Add the egg and the egg yolks bit by bit – whisk well
  3. Sieve in the flour
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (vanilla sugar, lemon zest, yeast, rum, vinegar and milk)
  5. Combine well and knead for 5 minutes
  6. Place the dough back in the bowl
  7. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to roughly double in size (it took 2 hours for me but the time depends on the room temperature)
  8. Roll the dough into a thick sausage shape and divide into 18 pieces on a floured work surface
  9. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, rolling it between your hands
  10. Place the dough balls on a floured work surface
  11. Cover with a tea towel and cling film or a plastic bag to prevent them from drying out too much
  12. Uncover for 30 mins at the end of the second rise so a thin skin can be formed
  13. Heat the oil to 160°C – 170°C
  14. Carefully slide the doughnuts into the oil (top side down) then cover the pot to allow the steam support the rise
  15. Fry covered for 1.5 minutes, check and if they have turned golden brown, carefully turn them and fry for another 1.5 mins (without the cover)
  16. Turn again and fry the top side for another 30 seconds
  17. Place on some kitchen roll and leave to cool for 30 minutes
  18. Serve with icing sugar and apricot jam

Homemade doughnut balls

Why not try…