The Fresh Loaf

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Rose Beranbaum's Bread Bible

stephen198's picture

Rose Beranbaum's Bread Bible

Has anyone looked at or used Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible? I received it as a gift (most likely because of my great respect for her other books).

Yet I find I am turning to other books for ideas or formulas instead... I was just wondering what others thought and if any one had made many things out of it.

Marty's picture

At this time this is my favorite bread book. I make the ciabatta weekly with minor changes. I also enjoy the pugliese. Still working my way through the book. My main reason for saying it's my favorite is that the recipes seem to come out the same way each time. In the past I had trouble with getting the same results each time I used a recipe. The ciabatta is consistently the same. The results of her recipes almost always are what I hope for. I think there is a lot of research behind this book.
I don't think I would worry much about the specific flour she calls for. Just stay in the ballpark. Don't use bread flour when general purpose is called for.
Prosciutto ring is up next. Good luck and give it more time.

dough-re-mi's picture

I have tried a few pizza dough recipes, including Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice neopolitan pizza, and RLB's is so easy it's hard *not* to have pizza; stir the all-purpose flour dough with a spoon for 20 seconds, leave out 30 minutes, refrigerate overnight, and make the pizza. I made some dough tonight for pizza tomorrow, just as I did yesterday.

Her book is on order for me from Amazon; I copied the pizza recipe while sitting at Borders.

neaton's picture

Just read the reviews for Rose Beranbaum's Bread Bible book and they range from 1 star to 5 stars.

The 1 star comments are all the same: recipe ammounts are wrong and there are a lot of errors in the recipes. Anyone had similar problems?

Also, if you had to buy one bread book which of these would you choose?
Peter Reinhart: "The Bread baker's Apprentice"
Rose Levy Beranbaum: "The Bread Bible"
Peter Reinhart: "Crust and Crumb"
Joe Ortiz: "The Village Baker"

sphealey's picture

Beranbaum is one of those authors whose books will only be loved or hated; nothing in between. Hard to explain, but I think it has to do with both her approach and her writing style.

Personally, I like The Bread Bible and I would recommend starting with it. That said, my next book buy will probably be Apprentice as I am ready for a different approach.

As for mistakes, if you follow her recipes by weight rather than volume, and follow them exactly, you will get exactly the predicted result 90-95% of the time (same with her cake and cookie cookbooks). Of course, I only know a few people who can follow her recipes exactly (one being me, an ex-testing engineer, and my neighbor the chem lab consultant). But I am now using Rose's recipes as the basis for experimentation, I seem to get good results 60-70% of the time which I consider a success.

Her pumpernickel is too sweet though - still trying to figure out how to make it less so.


sugarcreations's picture

 I for one like Roses writing style. I do not have the Bread Bible but I have her other 2 books "The Cake Bible" and the "Pie and Pastry Bible" kudos to you Rose those are both excellent books and have been a great asset to my ever expanding library of cookbooks.


Paddyscake's picture

Rosemary Fococcia-two ways in the "In the news" section on the home page. It is a blog site by Breadbasketcase. She has baked all but one type of the Bread Bible recipes in the book. Great witty and interesting blog, pictures and comments :  )

Floydm's picture

Link here.

Oldcampcook's picture

I just happened to put my shaped and panned sourdough in the frig because I ran out of time to bake.  I put it in Sunday evening and took it out to warm up on Monday evening after work.

I baked it according to the recipe and it turned out to be the best tasting sourdough I have ever made.  I may not have let it warm up long enough because it didnt rise as much as usual, but I got pretty good oven spring.

I brought the 3 loaves to work today and everyone who ate it said that it was the best so far (and they gobble my breads down!)

Now you all are gonna force me to buy Rose's book!  Dang! Dang! Dang!  LOL

saraugie's picture

This is my third bread from the BB.  It is said that the third time's the charm, well it true for this book and marriage too :>0 LOL

I made the foccacia and while technically correct, to me, it was bland, the again I am a newbie. Last week Banana Feather bread, it was good but forgettable.

Last night I finished the Authentic Pumpernickel w Raisins and it is a home run. Deep, earthy, offset with the raisins and sesame seeds.

Sylviambt's picture

It's because of the theory at the front of the book that I gifted it to a young friend. I think the recipes are approachable, that Rose is a good guide through process.

Jezella's picture

This is an old thread I know but I'm here as I'm very interested in this book. Having said this, I really do like to be able to see inside the books on Amazon and I remain disappointed that I can't do this in this instance. I've been over to her blog in the hope of finding example pages there, but with no luck. Does anyone have a link where I may be able to preview.  It's more the writing style that I want a feel for.