The Italian Baker

by Carol Field

from the publisher

Italy's breads are "expressions of an earthy culture that still talks about its most fundamental experiences in terms of bread. . . . A down-to-earth man with a real heart of gold is described as 'buono come il pane'good, like bread," observes Field (The Hill Towns of Italy). Her book of baked goods is packed with recipes for breads made with herbs, mushrooms, fruits and cheeses; traditional loaves; breadsticks and rolls; chocolate and holiday breads; pizza and focaccia; as well as strudels and tarts, cakes and cookies. There are even recipes for leftover breadcrostini, garlicky vegetable soup, apple cake. Included also are directions for kneading by hand, by mixer and by food processor; dry ingredients are measured by both volume and weight. In order to write this book, Field worked with bakers in different regions of Italy and watched women making bread for their families. She recreates here for the American baker authentic Italian tastes and textures. Her informed discussion of ingredients and methods and her engaging commentary on the role of bread in Italy's history make this an important book for bakers.

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Original Publisher
William Morrow & Company
Date of publication

Recommended by

Fred Plotkin

Authority on Italian food and opera

So definitive is American author Carol Field’s book on Italian baking, both in its original and revised editions, that one sees it in bakeries throughout Italy, covered in flour and oil that attest to its being regularly consulted. There is no other book in any language on the subject that is its equal. Field’s approach to all of the Italian regional masterpieces of bread and desserts is thorough and clear and the results fill one with gratitude.

Ivan Orkin


I really bent the pages on this book when I was a young cook. All the recipes work and the author talks passionately and knowledgeably about Italian baking.

Valeria Necchio

Cookbook author

A book covering many Italian classics, from ciabatta to panettone, through clear introductions and solid, straighforward recipes.

Anna Olson


In my early baking days, I made just about every bread recipe in this book - a comprehensive tutorial.

Amanda Hesser

CEO & co-founder, Food52

Emily Luchetti

Chief Pastry Officer Big Night Restaurant Group

Barbara Haber

Author and food historian

Lidia Bastianich

Restaurateur, chef and author

Belinda Jeffery

Cookbook author

Lisa Yockelson

Baking author

Christina Pirello

Author and television personality