Australia's best bakers weigh in on their favorite baking books

Green and Gold Cookery BookWhen you walk into a bakery and see the rows of glistening pastries or perfectly browned breads, you might not think that the master bakers who created these lovely treats might have pored over the same baking books that sit on your cookbook shelves. But everyone has to start somewhere, and for many pastry chefs, that start came in the pages of a cookbook. 

Some of Australia's best bakers recently shared the top 10 baking books that influenced their careers with Gourmet Traveller magazine. Alistair Wise of Sweet Envy in Hobart said his biggest influence was Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. Wise even had the pleasure of meeting Lepard and getting firsthand advice in 2005 at a bakery in London. 

We can all empathize with Isaac Hull of Jocelyn's Provisions in Brisbane. His first baking book was Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, and that cookbook was "the start of a costly collection." Hull  dove into the book straight away, foisting his creations on family members. The book taught him that "while there are strict and fundamental rules in baking, there's also so much room for experimentation and creativity."

Not all of the books chosen were as new as these two. One book, chosen by Emma Shearer of The Lost Loaf in Adelaide, dates back to 1923! The Green and Gold Cookery Book started as a community fundraiser for a local school. Since its debut, it has been reprinted frequently, with a circulation of over half a million copies worldwide. Shearer's copy is a hand-me-down from her grandmother to her mother to her. In addition to the obvious sentimental value, Shearer also loves the recipes. "The recipes are what made me fall in love with baking: bread and butter pudding, rhubarb tart and the best scones you'll ever taste," she says.

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