Baking with Bread Flour...Bread Cookbooks

Bread cookbooks…I have probably looked at or purchased many of the bread cookbooks out there…and I’ve now whittled my collection down to the ones I really use.  Luckily, most of them are just paperback booklets, and the rest are small, so I can justify room to store them too!
My first bread cookbook was the Farm Journal Homemade Bread 1969 book…I have replaced my old totally worn out one with a 50 cent copy from our last local book sale; in much better condition.  This is a basic book with about half yeast breads, rolls, coffeecakes, etc., and the last half quick breads of all kinds.  They have a chapter of what were newer ways to bake yeast breads, like mixer breads and “coolrise” breads, both touted by yeast and bread companies to keep busy women baking.  Some of my best bread recipes come from this book.
The Red Star Centennial Bread Sampler 1981 hard cover spiral cookbook is a good one; published in the “twigs and nuts” era, it has many whole grain recipes that I still like.  
Over the Back Fence to You Red Star Prize Yeast Recipes, (no date but probably 1960’s) is my personal favorite because it uses the Mixer method and Instant Blend yeast recipes that are my preferred method for making bread regularly.  It includes recipes for yeast dessert cake and even yeast-leavened cookies!
The Fleishmann’s books are all glossy paperbacks; the Treasury of Yeast Baking 1962 is both Myrna’s and my favorite of the group as it has good batter bread recipes.  
The others include:  Fleischmann’s Bake It Easy Yeast Book 1984, Fleischmann’s The Bread Basket 1942,  and Fleischman’s Best Ever Breads 1996, and are all good with lots of breads, rolls and novelties.
The Pillsbury booklet, Breads, Breads, Breads 1983, is one of the few from them that focuses only on breads, “all from scratch”. 
Two bread machine cookbooks I have are Fleischmann’s Yeast Bread Machine Favorites 1994, a large paperback, and the Better Homes and Gardens Best Bread Machine Recipes 1997, a spiral-bound hard cover.  Both offer lots of hints for using a bread machine, and a wide range of recipes to try.  I have kept them even though I haven't kept my bread machine, because I can make the recipes by other methods too.
I have had King Arthur bread cookbooks…I’m not an artisan baker; I’m a serve-bread-every-day baker, and I found the recipes were more complicated than I wanted to make.  The same can be said for James Beard, Julia Child and others.  I only kept the practical cookbooks geared for the every-day, busy cook.  I do like Land O Lakes yeast recipes, although I don't have an exclusively bread cookbook from them.
Bread and yeast companies are invested in making you successful in your baking and the recipes can be made by cooks with a wide range of skill levels.
All of these bread cookbooks are now available only used, but you can buy them at book sales and online used.  I spent as little as 25 cents for some of them at thrift shops, and as much as $4 online for used copies.  


  1. I'll be retiring at the end of this year. I hope to start learning how to make bread and things I don't cook now.

    1. Retirement is a great time to try new things. I like to cook or bake something out of my comfort zone which I didn't have as much time to do when I was working.

  2. My grandmother taught me to bake bread during my college years. Although I don't bake bread regularly, it is so satisfying when I do. I am behind in commenting, but have been enjoying each of your posts. You and Myrna write in a way that's informative and motivating. I especially love the posts that feature your cookbooks. I'm going to look for the favorites you wrote about today. Thank you!

  3. You and I have similar philosophies regarding bread recipes: simple, basic, served everyday. I own 7 of the books shown in your photo and they are my go to books.

    1. Good to hear from another dedicated bread baker...I think Myrna and I were standing up to the breadboard and helping when we still needed something to stand on. Our mom, my husband's mom, my sister-in-law's mom all used a white bread recipe that made 5 loaves at a time every week! The Farm Journal Bread book and the Red Star books are the ones I bought full-price early on in my marriage and still bake from the most.

    2. If any of your readers are interested, the Red Star book is available for download here:

      Copy and paste the web address into your search bar.

  4. I do love a good cookbook as much as the next gal, but I find that so many of my best recipes come from Google. Thanks to it, I have what I consider some "ultimate" bread machine recipes--a white/white whole wheat loaf, as well as an amazing Italian herb variation on it.

    My family's absolute FAVORITE homemade bread is the Oatmeal Honey bread from this site! And I can't thank you enough for it, Myrna and Sue! My son just asked for it; guess I'll bake up some loaves this weekend so he feels loved. :^) :^)


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