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While it may seem intimidating, baking bread at home is easier than you might think. The benefits are multiple: The smell. The warmth. The chewiness. The not-stale-iness. A major downside, however, is once you get kneading, the process quickly becomes addictive. 

Whether you’re a total novice in the kitchen or an experienced home cook who’s always wanted to branch out into the world of bread, here’s a smattering of cookbooks from professional chefs and culinary experts that will help you rise to the occasion.

Related Reading: 10 Cookbooks to Get You Through the Quarantine

“Tartine Bread” by Chad Robertson (Kindle version), $14.04 on Amazon


Tartine, the nearly two-decades-old San Francisco-based bakery, has an enormous and well-deserved cult following. This collection of co-founder Chad Robertson’s crusty creations is packed with hundreds of exquisite step-by-step photos that will have you not only salivating, but inspired to get baking.Buy Now

“Poilâne: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery” by Apollonia Poilâne, $20.40 on Amazon


Poilâne Bakery is a must-visit when in Paris for its world renowned pain Poilâne (if Alice Waters, who wrote the foreword to this book, and Ina Garten endorse it, ya know it’s good). Beyond revealing the secrets to the famed sourdough loaf, among other signature recipes, Apollonia Poilâne, the third generation of the family-owned business, provides helpful tips on how to make the most of other commonplace grains beyond wheat, including rice, oats, and corn.Buy Now

“Bread Baking for Beginners” by Bonnie Ohara, $34.51 on Amazon


Self-taught baker Bonnie Ohara knows a thing or two about starting from scratch and in this aptly titled book, she delivers practical, simple instructions on the art of breadmaking. If you’ve never tried your hand at the craft, let Ohara be your sherpa.Buy Now

“My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method” by Jim Lahey (Kindle version), $29.95 on Amazon


With Jim Lahey’s big book of bread recipes, there’s no need to knead if you’ve got water, flour, yeast, salt, and a Dutch oven. From rye to ciabatta, he’s got you covered along with tips on how to store your loaves to keep them at peak freshness and ideas on how they can be the foundation of a nutritional and tasty meal.Buy Now

“The Bread Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum (Kindle version), $20.49 on Amazon


For the more experienced breadmaker, this is an essential resource that will expand your horizons even further. Beyond its value as a full-spectrum A to Z baking guide, Rose Levy Beranbaum goes a step further and fully explains the science behind what makes each recipe work.Buy Now

“Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg M.D. & Zoë François, $22.49 on Amazon

Macmillan Publishers

This follow-up to the sensational The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day offers more quick and easy-to-master bread making tips, this time for the gluten-free sect. While it may take a few attempts to live up to the “five minutes a day” claim, once you’ve mastered Hertzberg and François’ unique technique, you’ll never look back.Buy Now

“Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone” by Marc Vetri & David Joachim, $24.22 on Amazon


Whether you are content with a simple margherita or like to jazz up your ‘za with a cornucopia of fancy ingredients, you’d better know how to make that dough, and this book from celebrated chef Marc Vetri will give you the 411 on that front. Beyond perfecting the pie, you can also experiment with other Italian favorites like focaccia and calzone. Mangia!Buy Now

“Modern Jewish Baker: Challah, Babka, Bagels & More” by Shannon Sarna (Kindle version), $14.16 on Amazon

Countryman Press

Even if you’re not a member of the tribe you’ll get plenty of use out of this comprehensive assortment of Jewish bread classics. Craft a stunning challah to slice up during Seder or boil up some homemade bagels to serve at your next non-denominational breakfast gathering. With a mixture of centuries-old techniques and modern twists on familiar favorites, the results from this book will be manna from heaven.Buy Now

“Keto Bread: From Bagels and Buns to Crusts and Muffins, 100 Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Breads for Every Meal” by Faith Gorsky & Lara Clevenger, $19.99 on Amazon


Breaking bread isn’t necessarily a keto no-no. If you have a craving for loaves and buns but want to avoid the carbs, these recipes will satisfy your hunger while keeping your ketosis in stasis.Buy Now

Related Video: Try This No-Knead Bread for Beginners Too

Header image courtesy of Amazon

David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CBS Local, Mashable, and Gawker.
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