At Bonne Bakery we spend majority of our time in product development trying to find new ways to better the recipes we have with us. No information is bad information; we have found insightful information is the most unassuming of places. While not everyone might want to become a master baker, most of us food enthusiasts are always keen to learn a few new kitchen tricks. Here is our list of favourite books that have helped us salvage many bad recipes and create wonderful new ones.
The Larousse Book of Bread by Eric Kayser
For those exploring bread baking for the first time, I would strongly recommend starting with this book. The recipes are extremely simple and easy to recreate in any home kitchen. Of all the starter recipes I have worked with I find the one in this book most flavoursome and easy to incorporate into just about any bread recipe. The ingredients mentioned are easy to find and universally appealing.
Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry by Christophe Felder
My personal favourite, I came across this book while studying in France. It is an excellent introduction into the art of french pastry making, full of very useful tips and techniques. Their section on chocolate is particularly good, with their ganache recipes being the best I have found so far. It is a great buy for those really interested in understanding the nuances of french pastries and wanting to explore the french way of cooking.
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart
This book is a wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of bread baking. Following a slightly different method from the French, Peter Reinhart explores various wet and dry sponges, teaching you how to make your own sourdough and even perfects the recipe of whole wheat loaves. Personally I loved the detail with which he has described every type of bread and the various preparation methods as it allowed me to understand where I could tweak things around and adapt the recipe to my environment.
Larousse Gastronomique by Hamlyn
Anybody who loves food must have a copy of Larousse. Think of it as a dictionary / encyclopaedia on food and flavours. There are over 350 recipes in the book ranging from simple ones like that of apple pie to some rather complicated roasts and sauces. It’s a great coffee table book to flip through on a free evening when looking for some inspiration. For me it worked wonderfully as a reference book when trying to understand my ingredients better.
Pierre Herme Pastries
Slightly on the expensive side, I would recommend this book for individuals who are already well versed with pastry and confectionary art. The techniques and methods described here are not for the faint hearted and require a lot of patience. Having said that the results are nothing short of excellence. I have tried almost every recipe in this book and have been blow away with the end product, especially those with very usually flavour pairing.