The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Books on bread and baking science

ichadwick's picture

Books on bread and baking science

I’m looking for recommendation for books with the science of food, with a particular interest in baking, bread, and fermentation, as well as the effects of ingredients and heat. I have a fairly good understanding of chemistry, physics, and microbiology so I appreciate something with a bit of depth.

I already have:

Bread Science by Emily Buehler. Excellent book, and fun to read. She has a good food science blog, too.

Baking Science by Dikla Levy Frances. Good book for cakes, pastries, and tarts, but little about bread, and nothing on sourdough.

Sourdough by Science, by Karyn Lynn Newman. Meh. Okay book for technique, but little actual science.

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee. Superb book about food, and food science, with good sections on bread, flour, and fermentation. I have the original edition (1984) but have a later edition on order.

Plus I have many other books with some science in them (like Hamelin’s book). But I am interested in more depth and detail about the science behind all aspects of bread. Any suggestions will be welcome.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Bread is science-based.  I haven't read it, but it may be more recently published than those you list.  It also more assertively balances theory with empirical practice.


ichadwick's picture

Thanks, but at $650 or more for the set, it’s considerably outside my price range. 

Yippee's picture

Baking Science & Technology: 1

Baking Science & Technology: Formulation and Production: 2


pmccool's picture

CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking

BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking

I have CookWise, which contains some baking topics as well as cooking topics.  I would highly recommend it.  If BakeWise is anything of the same caliber, you will probably want that, too.


SueVT's picture

I have BakeWise, and it is a very interesting book!

fitzgen's picture

The Taste of Bread by Professor Raymond Calvel seems like a pretty good match for what you’re looking for. You might have to search a bit for a copy because I believe the English translation is out of print, but it has a fairly similar vibe to On Food and Cooking. Try checking if your local library has it, perhaps.

jl's picture

Baking, the Art and Science.

I think it's originally a text book for trade schools in Germany. What makes it stand out is that there's a substantial section on rye breads, which has info on all widely used Detmold processes.