Modernist Bread Review

Modernist Bread Review
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
December 21, 2020

Modernist Bread: The Bread Revolution

For our last cookbook review of the year, we decided to bring you something special, the Modernist Bread Review. We can't imagine a better way to end this crazy year than with a book from the fantastic Modernist Cuisine team.

Modernist Bread provides a revolutionary new understanding of one of the most important staples of the human diet. Created by the team that published the critically acclaimed Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, this James Beard Award-winning encyclopedia of practical knowledge and groundbreaking techniques captures over four years of independent research and collaborations with leading industry professionals. The result is the most in-depth look at bread to date.

Stunning photography brings the complete story of bread to life across five volumes―uncover its incredible history, loaves from every corner of the world, and the breath-taking beauty of scientific phenomena at work above and below the crust.

Modernist Bread Review

A Bread Encyclopedia

In Modernist Bread, you will discover innovative recipes and techniques developed by the Modernist Cuisine team that have not been published anywhere else. Housed in a sleek stainless-steel case, this five-volume set contains more than 1,200 traditional and avant-garde recipes, as well as a wire-bound kitchen manual so that you can easily bring all the recipes into the kitchen in one compact collection.

Spanning over 2,600 pages, Modernist Bread will become an invaluable resource for anyone who has a thirst for knowledge about bread or wants to advance their craft. This book is a call to arms for any baker―whether you are a strict traditionalist, avid Modernist, home baker, restaurant chef, or artisanal baker―to embrace the possibilities of invention and follow your inspiration to make breads in your own way.

Modernist Bread Review
Baking Sequence Cutaway

Baking Puzzles

With its five volumes, Modernist Bread will lead us to discover the complete story of bread and everything that surrounds it. The first three volumes provide an in-depth look at bread’s history and fundamentals, ingredients, techniques, and equipment. Offering fresh techniques for solving all sorts of infuriating baking puzzles.

The last two volumes are a mix of more than 1,200 recipes, divided by categories, lean, enriched, rye, and brick-like breads on volume 4 and flatbread, pizza, bagels, pretzels, bao, gluten-free, and bread machine breads in volume 5. Its recipes require a commitment to close reading, and to flipping back through the books for deeper explanations. But each has useful variations that work with many kinds of mixing and cooking methods, for both professional and home kitchens.

Similar to Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, this collection has impressive numbers. Besides the 2,600 pages and 1,200 recipes, it has nearly 1,400,000 words and 6,000 photos.

As we are used to, Nathan Myhrvold and his team, filled this collection with stunning photos, like the proof cutaway beauty, baking sequence cutaway, breadcrumb macros, and even images of gluten, made with scanning electron microscopes.

Modernist Bread Review
Proof Cutaway Beauty

At the End of Modernist Bread Review

Modernist Bread is another rethink book! Another work that finds inspiration in a variety of sources, industrial as well as artisanal, offering a defense of high fructose corn syrup alongside a guide to caring for wild sourdough starters, and debunking the idea that water purity affects the rise and flavor of the bread. Above all, the book follows the line of thought of Modernist Cuisine, which is a call for cooks to rethink one of the world’s oldest foods — to understand how bread is made, using more than their instinct and intuition, so they can push the craft forward.


Modernist Bread is without any doubt the most in-depth look at bread to date. This is an indispensable volume for all baking enthusiasts that will change the way we all look at bread.









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