Who can resist bruschetta rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, almond-studded biscotti dipped in coffee or wine, and, of course, a thin-crusted pizza with fresh, sweet tomatoes and tangy mozzarella? These Italian classics that Americans know and love are just the beginning; there are a wealth of other equally delicious breads and sweets waiting to be discovered.
In this groundbreaking classic—now thoroughly updated for today’s modern kitchen—Carol Field introduces artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers. Every city and hill town has its own unique baking traditions, and Field spent more than two years traversing Italy to capture the regional and local specialties, adapting them through rigorous testing in her own kitchen.
Field’s authentic recipes are a revelation for anyone seeking the true Italian experience. Here’s a chance to make golden Altamura bread from Puglia, chewy porous loaves from Como, rosemary bread sprinkled with coarse sea salt, dark ryes from the north, simple breads studded with toasted walnuts, succulent fig bread, and Sicilian loaves topped with sesame seeds.
The Italian Baker is the only comprehensive book, in English or Italian, to cover the entire range of Italian baking, from breadsticks and cornetti to focaccia, tarts, cakes, and pastries. There is even a chapter on using leftover bread—with recipes ranging from hearty Tuscan bread soup to a cinnamon and lemon-scented bread pudding.
Winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for best baking book, The Italian Baker was also named to the James Beard Baker’s Dozen list of thirteen indispensable baking books of all time. It has inspired countless professionals and home cooks alike. This latest edition, updated for a new generation of home bakers, has added four-color photography throughout, plus new recipes, ingredients and equipment sections, source guides, and weights. One of the most revered baking books of all time, The Italian Baker is a landmark work that continues to be a must for every serious baker.
About the Author
Carol Field is the author of four cookbooks, In Nonna's Kitchen, Focaccia, Celebrating Italy, and The Italian Baker, as well as The Hill Towns of Italy and Mangoes and Quince, a novel. She has won two IACP Cookook Book Awards, a James Beard Award, and the Gold Medal for Cookbooks at the World Media Awards in Australia. She lives in San Francisco with her architect husband and continues to travel back and forth to Italy.
Ryan Farr is a chef, entrepreneur, butcher, butchery teacher, and the founder of 4505 Meats. He lives in San Francisco.
“A solid collection of traditional Italian baked goods…an authentic and trusted title.”
—Publishers Weekly, 8/15/11
“Carol Field's The Italian Baker is the one bread book I see in nearly everyone's collection, whether an experienced or amateur baker. It not only is full of timeless, classic recipes, but also takes you deep into the mind and heart of the Italian spirit.”
—Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
“The Italian Baker was incredibly influential in its first iteration and this revised version is even better. Carol has taken the volume to another level in both deliciousness and simple techniques. It is truly the definitive work on Italian bread baking and pastry for our time.”
—Mario Batali, author and restaurateur
“A classic, beautifully researched and considered book that keeps Italy’s traditions of bread-making alive. I love how it is peppered with astute observations and stories of Carol Field’s experiences in Italy, inspiring skilled bakers and novice enthusiasts alike.”
—Alice Waters, chef, author, and proprietor of Chez Panisse
“The Italian Baker has always been one of my all-time favorite baking books, and no one is happier than I am to see this brand-new edition, introducing Carol Field's classic collection of rustic breads, desserts, and biscotti to a whole new generation of cooks. If you're looking to capture the authentic flavors of Italian baking in your own kitchen, there's absolutely no better guidebook than The Italian Baker.”
—David Lebovitz, author of Ready for Dessert and The Great Book of Chocolate
“Bread bakers rejoice! There’s nothing like chewy, flavorful home-baked bread and thanks to Carol Field’s inspiring recipes in this updated edition of her top-selling classic, the timeless art of bread baking will become more popular than ever.”
—Flo Braker, author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking and Baking for All Occasions
“Anyone who has bitten into a ciabatta or an airy, full-of-flavor loaf with a bit of tang and a wonderfully dark crust, or mixed bread dough going by the wetter-the-better rule, has Carol Field to thank. She not only introduced the miraculous variety of Italian breads to Americans, but she also changed the way we think of bread--and the way we make it. No one who loves bread can be without this book.The Italian Baker shows that classics stay classics for a reason.”
—Corby Kummer, senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly and author of The Pleasures of Slow Food
“The original edition of The Italian Baker has been one of my culinary bibles ever since it was published in 1985. It is now splattered with stains and floury to the touch. Pasta Maddalena I noted was “perfect,” while the Torta Primavera, “excellent,” and so on. The crusty, chewy Pugliese bread, wickedly rich savory croissant dough, the delicate spongy little panini dolce have become constant staples in my kitchen. So celebrate with Carol Field the 'second coming' of this great book.”
—Diana Kennedy, author of The Essential Cuisines of Mexico
“Bravo to Ten Speed and Carol Field for updating and reissuing this absolute treasure of Italian baking. The fact that these recipes so thoroughly cover so many baked regional specialties, such as bread, cookies, tarts and torts, savory dishes, pizza, and foccacia makes it a must-own volume for any serious home cook and baker.”
—Joe Ortiz, author of The Village Baker and coauthor of The Village Baker's Wife
“The Italian Baker opened my eyes to an exciting new world of baking. It, along with Carol’s early advice and encouragement, became the inspiration for adding hearth baked breads to our line-up at the original Grand Central Bakery in Seattle.The Italian Baker was a trove of information then and remains so today. This new edition, updated, reformatted, and full of delicious color photography, has me inspired all over again!”
—Gwen Bassetti, founder of The Grand Central Baking Company
“I’m thrilled to have this handsome new, updated edition, with wonderfully informative photos that show not just what the breads look like but also what goes into the process of creating them. The Italian Baker is a treasure--not just for chefs but for anyone fascinated by the baker’s art, for anyone beguiled by Italian food, for anyone who simply loves to cook good honest food.”
—Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of The New Mediterranean Cookbook
“Evviva! The Italian Baker lives again! For 25 years Carol Field's classic has been my inseparable and invaluable guide to the world of Italian breads and pastries, furnishing the best introduction to baking in general of any book I know. Younger generations will now be able to find the same comfort and counsel, thanks to this splendid new edition.”
—Mary Taylor Simeti, author of Pomp and Sustenance
“That an English-language book on something as essential as Italian bread could become the standard text in Italy, as the previous version did, says almost all you need to know -- except that this revised edition is even better. Anyone who really, truly cares about Italy must read The Italian Baker.”
—Fred Plotkin, author of Italy for the Gourmet Traveler