There are loads of different recipe books out there, most of them with great bread recipes included in them too. Flicking through them can be a great way to discover new ideas and flavour combinations, but all the different methods and techniques can be a little confusing. When I first started making bread I found that nothing would ever turn out like the pictures in the books. There were so many different ways of doing things (use warm water, use cold water... You must knead for 10 minutes, you don't have to knead at all), I couldn't tell what I was actually supposed to be doing. I eventually worked out that you should find a method that works for you, and stick to it. You can always adapt a new recipe so that it fits into your comfort zone.
The books on this list are ones that I found really helpful when I was starting out, and ones that I use now for inspiration. There are still so many books I need to read (and so much more to learn and try), so I will update this list with any texts that I find useful in the future!
'Dough' and 'Crust' - Richard Bertinet
'Dough' was one of the first bread books that someone recommended to me. I had been making bread for a few months and nothing, apart from the odd focaccia, seemed to be turning out right. This book really simplifies things without skimping on taste and wow factor. If you only buy one bread book, this should be it.
'Crust' is like the next step up from dough. Focuses on more elaborate kinds of breads.
'Brilliant Bread' - James Morton.
His passion for real bread is really inspiring and this book delves a little into the science behind the baking too. Contains some really tasty recipes, but doesn't over complicate things.
'100 Great Breads' - Paul Hollywood
This book is great for discovering different and exciting flavour combinations.
'Bread Cake Doughnut Pudding' - Justin Gellatly
'Bread Ahead' (bakery and school based at Borough Market in London), owned by Justin, is one of my favourite places to pick up some freshly baked treats, so I felt I couldn't not include this book in my list. Contains lots of other non- bread recipes too. His treacle tart is easy and delicious.