The Book


Bread baking is both an art and a science. In this fully illustrated handbook, America’s Test Kitchen strips away the mystery and provides a road map for making more than 100 foolproof recipes—simple and complex, modern and classic, savory and sweet—with hundreds of step-by-step photos. Grow your skills as you progress from everyday breads such as Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls and Monkey Bread to a world of amazing loaves, such as Panettone, Fig and Fennel Bread, and Rustic Wheat Berry Bread.

A trip to the bakery can be inspiring, but re-creating classic and artisan-style loaves, rolls, and sweet breads at home can seem like a daunting process. Many home cooks are intimidated by the thought of working with yeast, sponges, and starters. America’s Test Kitchen wants to put bread back into home ovens.

In Bread Illustrated—our first book devoted to bread—we show that baking a perfect loaf is no mystery: It’s just a matter of breaking recipes down into essential steps that demystify the art and science of this age-old process. After rigorous testing, we have created a roadmap to baking more than 100 foolproof breads, each accompanied by step-by-step photo tutorials.

To make the book as accessible as possible, we applied an innovative organization that builds in complexity chapter by chapter. Novice and experienced bakers alike can benefit from the basic methods and clever techniques laid out in the initial recipes. As the book progresses and confidence grows, the test kitchen guides readers through more advanced techniques like shaping knotted Kaiser rolls and even grinding wheat berries for a bread with superlative whole-wheat flavor. Along the way, we use our test kitchen knowledge to present helpful tips and tricks in recipe-specific troubleshooting sidebars. And everyone will benefit from an introduction that delves into the hows and whys: from the proper way to knead in a stand mixer to slashing bread with a lame to the science of baking bread—plus essential tips on equipment and ingredients.

Whether you’ve been baking yeast breads for years or are gearing up to tackle your first loaf, our experts will give you the confidence to bake your daily bread and the skills to achieve bakery-quality results with every loaf.