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Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking - Make Awesome Bread - Share the Loaves (Cookbook for Bakers, Easy Book about Bread-Making)

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This is the first true entry-level bread-baking cookbook, from Josey Baker (that's his real name!), a former science teacher turned San Francisco baking sensation. Josey Baker Bread combines step-by-step lessons with more than 100 photographs, offering easy-to-follow guidance for aspiring bakers. Recipes start with the basic formula for making bread— requiring little more This is the first true entry-level bread-baking cookbook, from Josey Baker (that's his real name!), a former science teacher turned San Francisco baking sensation. Josey Baker Bread combines step-by-step lessons with more than 100 photographs, offering easy-to-follow guidance for aspiring bakers. Recipes start with the basic formula for making bread— requiring little more than flour, water, time, and a pan—and build in depth and detail as the user progresses to more complex loaves, including Josey's cult favorite Dark Mountain Rye. With chapters dedicated to pizza, pocketbreads, and treats, Josey's playful, encouraging tone makes for a fun read full of great advice for bakers of all levels.


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This is the first true entry-level bread-baking cookbook, from Josey Baker (that's his real name!), a former science teacher turned San Francisco baking sensation. Josey Baker Bread combines step-by-step lessons with more than 100 photographs, offering easy-to-follow guidance for aspiring bakers. Recipes start with the basic formula for making bread— requiring little more This is the first true entry-level bread-baking cookbook, from Josey Baker (that's his real name!), a former science teacher turned San Francisco baking sensation. Josey Baker Bread combines step-by-step lessons with more than 100 photographs, offering easy-to-follow guidance for aspiring bakers. Recipes start with the basic formula for making bread— requiring little more than flour, water, time, and a pan—and build in depth and detail as the user progresses to more complex loaves, including Josey's cult favorite Dark Mountain Rye. With chapters dedicated to pizza, pocketbreads, and treats, Josey's playful, encouraging tone makes for a fun read full of great advice for bakers of all levels.

30 review for Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking - Make Awesome Bread - Share the Loaves (Cookbook for Bakers, Easy Book about Bread-Making)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    I am usually not in the habit of leaving 5-star reviews before I'm totally done with a book, but seeing how things have turned out, I am left with no choice... Josey transmits so much enthusiasm about the art of baking bread that it is no coincidence he has won accolades all over; he deserves every superlative thrown his way. He is funny, easy to follow, and the book is clearly organized with plenty of pictures to knead along. I began with an easy recipe for a simple loaf using commercial yeast I am usually not in the habit of leaving 5-star reviews before I'm totally done with a book, but seeing how things have turned out, I am left with no choice... Josey transmits so much enthusiasm about the art of baking bread that it is no coincidence he has won accolades all over; he deserves every superlative thrown his way. He is funny, easy to follow, and the book is clearly organized with plenty of pictures to knead along. I began with an easy recipe for a simple loaf using commercial yeast and a short turnaround time. The results were good but not impressive; edible, but not something I'd be proud to share with close ones. On this Josey is clear, as his goal is to get you comfortable with the ingredients and the process before jumping into more advanced methods. From here you're introduced to the multi-step process where you prepare a pre-ferment the night before baking to allow the dough to develop flavor. As with your skills, the results start looking and tasting better. But the real reason I got the book in the first place, was to learn how to make the much sought-after sourdough bread. Like all good things, it takes time and patience, as you must first get your "sourdough starter" going which took almost two weeks of daily feeding until I was satisfied with the result. Once your starter is all bubbly and smelling of vinegar and beer, you may begin prepping your dough which begins the night before and continues in spurts of folding and kneading until you've built enough gluten to let the dough relax and proof (every hour for 4 hours). Finally, it's off to the oven after many hours of intermittent care and attention. Honest, the results are worth it not just in the flavor department, but in the knowledge that you've tamed the beast and learned a mystical skill that has largely remained unchanged for millennia. You'll also gain a brand new appreciation for bread and the people baking it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daisy

    The subtitle on my edition has changed to "Get Baking - Make Great Bread - Be Happy!" for which I am grateful because I just hate the word "awesome." Part of the way through. Very informally written, very 21st century. Sentences like: Who doesn't like cinnamon raisin toast? Jerks, that's who. I'm kidding, but really... I like this very, very much. It's well-organized and should put any novice at ease by doing away with all bread-baking intimidation. And it's challenging for the intermediates as we The subtitle on my edition has changed to "Get Baking - Make Great Bread - Be Happy!" for which I am grateful because I just hate the word "awesome." Part of the way through. Very informally written, very 21st century. Sentences like: Who doesn't like cinnamon raisin toast? Jerks, that's who. I'm kidding, but really... I like this very, very much. It's well-organized and should put any novice at ease by doing away with all bread-baking intimidation. And it's challenging for the intermediates as well. Don't worry about any of this stuff for now. Just follow my directions and come back to this in a couple of weeks, and marvel at how much simpler it seems. See what I mean?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Ramirez

    This book has helped me tremendously in my sourdough adventure. I've recommended it to many people and it's now the only book I use when making sourdough bread. There is flour throughout my pages!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I am constantly reading bread books and need to start putting more of them in my good reads. This bread book, which I found at Cost Plus World Market but bought on Amazon (who can pay $27.50 for any book?!), has quickly become one of my favorite bread books. I love the format of the book. It is written in a really down to earth, conversational style and full of helpful Q & A's throughout. It is accessible and easy to understand without being dumbed down and I can attest that the recipes are legi I am constantly reading bread books and need to start putting more of them in my good reads. This bread book, which I found at Cost Plus World Market but bought on Amazon (who can pay $27.50 for any book?!), has quickly become one of my favorite bread books. I love the format of the book. It is written in a really down to earth, conversational style and full of helpful Q & A's throughout. It is accessible and easy to understand without being dumbed down and I can attest that the recipes are legit as I have already baked from it. I also loved reading this guy's story of how his love for baking bread and hard work therein brought him to where he is today, an owner of a successful bakery in San Francisco. I have a pretty good sized bread book library and even though I love bread books, having so many can make it hard to find any new info or different recipes. This book has a great and simple baking method as well as a number of unique recipes. A must have book for any avid bread baker.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark Doton

    In addition to offering easy to follow technique in a cheeky style, this book tells the story of how Josey Baker started baking bread and his path to a successful bakery in San Francisco. It's a truly motivational story about following your heart and doing what you love. While developing and nurturing a sourdough starter at home is more than I want to tackle, I'm sure I would find Baker's book easy to follow if I chose to. I've used his approach with my regular yeast leavened breads and have def In addition to offering easy to follow technique in a cheeky style, this book tells the story of how Josey Baker started baking bread and his path to a successful bakery in San Francisco. It's a truly motivational story about following your heart and doing what you love. While developing and nurturing a sourdough starter at home is more than I want to tackle, I'm sure I would find Baker's book easy to follow if I chose to. I've used his approach with my regular yeast leavened breads and have definitely seen improvement in my loaves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Weber

    Rather than just being a collection of bread recipes, this book presents a series of lessons in making bread, starting with a very simple recipe and proceeding gradually to more complex methods. All of the recipes (I think) use a wet dough with long rise times instead of kneading. It is fun to read the book, fun to look at the pictures, fun to make the bread -- and most of all, fun to eat the bread! My first two loaves were a little flat. What was wrong? I didn't let the dough rise long enough? M Rather than just being a collection of bread recipes, this book presents a series of lessons in making bread, starting with a very simple recipe and proceeding gradually to more complex methods. All of the recipes (I think) use a wet dough with long rise times instead of kneading. It is fun to read the book, fun to look at the pictures, fun to make the bread -- and most of all, fun to eat the bread! My first two loaves were a little flat. What was wrong? I didn't let the dough rise long enough? My wife was punching it down? I figured out that I needed to adjust the quantity of ingredients: the recipes were for an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan, but mine was 9 x 5, which is 41% larger. So the third loaf came out big, as desired. I have to interrupt my reading and bread making after lesson 2, but I hope to come back to this some day.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Clong

    Why is there not a picture for every loaf of bread? I do not understand that. And much less so during a pandemic. I know it’s unfair of me to hold this book to a higher standard because of the global atmosphere but listen, I’m going to. Some loaves have dozens of pictures and others, not a single one. However I am intrigued by the loaves that are absolutely covered in sesame seeds. Will definitely be trying that technique with my bread recipes. Good try. More pictures next time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dervala

    Joyful, well-structured, inspiring. Two months into lockdown, I'm sick of baking daily bread and scrounging flour. The lessons in this book give me the fuel to keep feeding my people, and to try more ambitious loaves tomorrow. Loved the stories of how Josey's generosity with his passionate hobby baking grew a community that put him in business.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ambur Taft

    Lovely bread book....best to make the sourdough starter to begin with (unless you can get some from a friend) and best to have quite a bit of time and patience for some serious delicious bread making.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Get baking A good starter baking book. I like the question and answer aspect of the recipes. The mix of recipes is heavy on the loaves. Many gluten free options

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Good resource very very new sourdough / bread bakers, especially if you are interested in making breads on the sweeter side.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Original. Trad. Sourdough. Yep. Best damn little ol' bread book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I love so much about this book! The author's enthusiasm and passion are truly compelling! I'm trying to work my way through all the recipes in order.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Great, clear cut instructions with a sense of humor!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Very helpful for learning how to bake good loaves of bread

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I made bread and it tasted good! Thank you Josey Baker for this book. My husband thanks you too. It’s fun and easy to follow. Anyone who’s wants to make bread but is afraid to try needs this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gmcbride

    Really like how he starts with easy and builds up to more difficult. Sure a fun read too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather Liu

    The following review is solely based on the technical stuff in the book. Bye, the writing and photos are fabulous! If he could specify the room temperature he bulk ferments or proofs the sourdough, I would give it 5 stars. In addition, the inoculation from leaven to the final dough is so high, which tricked me in the first place to perform the regular BF, which ended with a over fermented wet and sticky dough. So read the recipes carefully!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I read Josey Baker Bread by Josey Baker (talk about embracing your fate!). The author, who is most well known for being the man behind SF's $4 toast phenomenon, comes from a science education background, not a baking one, and is entirely self taught. I think this is a huge advantage when it comes to writing an introductory cookbook like this, as he can anticipate questions that new bakers will have and address them right there in the recipe, as he's been in the same position himself. There are a I read Josey Baker Bread by Josey Baker (talk about embracing your fate!). The author, who is most well known for being the man behind SF's $4 toast phenomenon, comes from a science education background, not a baking one, and is entirely self taught. I think this is a huge advantage when it comes to writing an introductory cookbook like this, as he can anticipate questions that new bakers will have and address them right there in the recipe, as he's been in the same position himself. There are also a lot of funny anecdotes sprinkled between the recipes - they are part of the reason why I actually read this book from cover to cover, and there was one I read aloud to Karl right after I read it to myself - which adds to the general feel of liveliness and passion in the book. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet (though SF based people, let me know if you want to volunteer to eat bread wink emoticon ), as all of them take a long rise approach to bread-making. However, I did find a lot of the recipes interesting enough that I do plan on making at several of them before I return this book back to the library (particularly his recipe for pocket breads and sourdough-with-seeds). The majority of his recipes have a sourdough starter base, but he also includes a recipe for how to start your own from scratch. This book is a little pretentious (I mean, $4 toast? Telling me to get freshly-milled whole wheat flour? K thnx), but there is clearly a lot of love and enthusiasm in these recipes. If you are a new-to-bread baker, this is a good book to start with. If you are a more experienced baker, the recipes are interesting and the anecdotes are amusing enough that it's a good addition to your cookbook repertoire.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I google about bread book and discover a video about Josey Google event, he's tutoring in Google campus how to bake bread, with some of the audience. Later then I find his story of baking is very inspiring so I google him more, then i found another video, also at Google but about this book and his story in a cool awesome way of video introduction, I admit I already in-love into what he's doing about baking so I go ahead and read his book. His book is excellent for novice Sourdough baker, or anyon I google about bread book and discover a video about Josey Google event, he's tutoring in Google campus how to bake bread, with some of the audience. Later then I find his story of baking is very inspiring so I google him more, then i found another video, also at Google but about this book and his story in a cool awesome way of video introduction, I admit I already in-love into what he's doing about baking so I go ahead and read his book. His book is excellent for novice Sourdough baker, or anyone who want to get into baking bread. His writing is funny, hilarious and very detailed, oh and yes, very flexible too. You could have 2 chances to retard the dough in the fridge in his book, bulk fermentation & proofing. So your baking is very flexible. I read his whole book whole night long from page 1 to finish in about 5 hours. Very inspiring, especially love to heard his story about baking bread and how he work as a professional baker from a avid home baker. If you're new into baking bread, get this book, I highly recommended. p.s: Google Josey Baker Bread on Google, go watch 2 of his video to know more about this energic San Fran guy, you'll enjoy it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    D Peterson

    For everyone who didn't learn the art from their grandma... Now trying to learn from books, and finding that books teach great science, but are lacking in the art education. Bread baking is both art and science. If you learned from your grandma, you probably only learned the "art" side. But, you can turn out great loaves, because you are totally managing the chemistry by touch and sight and smell. If you're learning from books, you're probably getting well-versed in the "science" side. But, the on For everyone who didn't learn the art from their grandma... Now trying to learn from books, and finding that books teach great science, but are lacking in the art education. Bread baking is both art and science. If you learned from your grandma, you probably only learned the "art" side. But, you can turn out great loaves, because you are totally managing the chemistry by touch and sight and smell. If you're learning from books, you're probably getting well-versed in the "science" side. But, the only way to learn the "art" is by someone saying things like, "Here... like this... it should look just like this at this stage," and "No... you can see that you need to knead for just a few more minutes because it doesn't feel..." I've been reading books and practicing for the past year. I've learned a lot, but I'm still not turning out the quality I could. I know I'm missing visual and touch cues for timing. Josey gave me some little artistic hints that made me say, "Ohhhh, now I get it." I'm working through his recipes from the beginning, and feeling much more proficient.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Excellent way to get into baking your own bread. Good humor, and easy to understand.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Myers

    This book is a great introduction to artisan bread baking at home. It is simple in its language, with each recipe building on the one preceding it and the occasional new fact thrown in as it's relevant to the lesson. I've baked a few loaves from this book and had exceptionally good results... that being said, after about lesson 6, the text is about 80% copied in every chapter - just the procedures, plus the addition of extra ingredients. I will be trying his pizza dough recipe for sure though - This book is a great introduction to artisan bread baking at home. It is simple in its language, with each recipe building on the one preceding it and the occasional new fact thrown in as it's relevant to the lesson. I've baked a few loaves from this book and had exceptionally good results... that being said, after about lesson 6, the text is about 80% copied in every chapter - just the procedures, plus the addition of extra ingredients. I will be trying his pizza dough recipe for sure though - it looks great. This guy's full of enthusiasm; if you are looking to begin baking your own great bread, look no further.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christy Wilhelmi

    I like that Josey guides bread bakers along a path to understanding how each step in the process effects the outcome. His conversational approach is light and humorous, completely different from Tartine Bread's poetic eloquence. I'll be testing out his recipes for editing discrepancies soon.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I made the first recipe for white bread which turned out well. Josey is very chatty with helpful hints. However, I'm returning this book to the library without trying anymore recipes as I am not a big fan of sourdough bread. The majority of the recipes rely on sourdough starter. Also, they require way too much planning/lead time to prepare. 4 hours between placing dough in a loaf pan and baking? Yeah maybe if I didn't plan on sleeping! Photography is beautiful and reminds me of My Paris Kitchen.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kirstin

    Disclosure: I have yet to actually make any of the recipes, so this review is based solely on reading the cookbook for information and to get a feel for the recipes. Baker is a little too chatty, a little too cutesy-font-speech-bubbles-squiggly-arrows for my taste, but the basic recipes look interesting and doable (though babysitting a sourdough sounds a bit overwhelming).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jene

    I'm not a big fan of cookbooks - I prefer to save individual recipes in binders. But every now and then I will find cookbook I need to own, and this is one of them. The recipes sound great and the instructions are well thought out. And the photos are lovely. Can't wait to start making some of these breads.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Really approachable, easy method for making bread a la Jim Lahey, but not exactly the same. Made a hearth loaf that had a nice crumb and a crunchy crust. Making a sourdough starter now--when I sat down and looked at the recipes side-by-side, it's not SO different than Tartine's, but the voice behind the instructions makes everything seem approachable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I've only read the book, and have not baked anything, so this is not a rating on the recipes. But the instructions make sense and employ some creative techniques that seem to make a lot of sense and should be successful. I like the funny, vernacular style and the step by step explanations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Beautiful images and good advice, it would be valuable to most beginning bakers. I was looking for something more traditional, simple and with a southern influence. I will keep looking. Any suggestions from the Goodreads readers?

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