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Bread Illustrated: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Bakery-Quality Results At Home

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Bread Illustrated

A fully illustrated handbook with more than 100 meticulously tested recipes that will enable you to bake artisan bakery–quality bread at home.

The Secrets of Baking Bread Revealed

**International Association of Culinary Professionals Best Baking Book of 2017**

The way the most basic of ingredients—flour, water, yeast, and salt—can magically turn from a pale lump of dough into a beautifully browned loaf can seem like a total mystery. We’ll show you that baking the perfect loaf is no mystery. Our kitchen testing has resulted in guaranteed-to-work recipes that we pair with helpful tips and tricks and recipe-specific sidebars that bakers of all skill levels can benefit from.

  • Essential equipment you may need and specialty products you may want
  • Mixing; kneading; rising; dividing and shaping; baking; and cooling and storing covered in depth
  • Honors Class with more-advanced techniques for giving already great bread even more flavor and flair
  • Beautifying Your Bread helps you craft bread masterpieces

Inside Bread Illustrated

We start with 40 information-packed pages that explain the hows and whys of baking—and cover more-advanced topics for experienced bakers—as only the test kitchen can.

Here are just a few of our favorites, along with the innovative techniques that guarantee your success:

Butter Fan Rolls

Fancy enough for dinner parties, these rolls are also great pulled apart and slathered with sweet jam for breakfast. Their success lies in their layers. We kept the construction process easy with a roll, cut, butter, and stack technique. Once we’d built the stacks, we placed them cut side up in a muffin tin. Voilà—your new anytime, go-to rolls.

No-Knead Brioche

Achieving a tender crumb and a buttery flavor that’s richer than that of any other sandwich bread can cause a butter-induced headache, what with the multiple additions of butter interspersed with laborious kneading. We simply melted the butter, combined all the ingredients, and let the dough rest in the fridge—and the loaf stitched itself together in 16 hands-off hours.

Sourdough Bread

Our sourdough culture is dead simple to make, and we ensure a prolonged steamy oven environment that encourages crisp, charred crusts on this and other rustic breads in the book by pouring boiling water over disposable pans full of preheated lava rocks (yes, the ones used for gas grills), which absorb and retain heat.


Our remarkably light, fluffy version sticks with traditional flavorings (golden raisins, candied orange peel, and vanilla and almond extracts) and relies on long fermentation and proofing times to maximize the gas development from the yeast in the dough.

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