The Bread Baker’s Apprentice — The Challenge Takes Its Toll

Although I had been baking from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for about a year before beginning the BBA Challenge, my book was still in pretty good shape. In fact, about three months into the Challenge, the book still looked OK, as can be seen in this photo.

By the end of the Challenge, it was a different story. Here’s how the book looks now.

It’s sort of the Velveteen Rabbit of cookbooks. Well worn. Well-used. Well loved.

I wonder what The Modern Baker will look like when I finish baking my way through it.


  1. Alice said,

    October 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    my copy of this one and his Artisan Breads Every Day I went ahed and took the covers off to “protect” them but the pages look like that too and I like that it has stains here and there but I’m hoping my daughter will treasure it and pass it down to her daughter one day 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      October 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      I wonder if our grandkids will collect cookbooks, or if they’ll access everything electronically.

  2. kellypea said,

    October 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Definitely well-loved. My cookbooks are quite the sight as well. Since I never finished the BBA challenge, much of it is still pristine. I need to fix that!

  3. April 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Think of the wear and tear as your war wounds! Somrthing to be proud of. Love the idea of the before and after pics. May have to borrow it for my blog!!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      I need to take my “before” pic of The Modern Baker while it’s still in decent shape. After 150 recipes, I can only imagine what it will look like.

  4. misterrios said,

    March 20, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Ouch! The cover of mine isn’t so bad, but it’s the water damage halfway through that really makes it look rough. Hope it survives the last couple of breads!

  5. kelly said,

    March 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Awesome! I have a before pic. I remember you saying something about having “after” pics. I’ll have to do that, too. Mine’s not in terrible shape, but the cover is definitely showing wear!

  6. Di said,

    March 14, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I have to admit, I cheated too. I take the jackets off all my books when I’m reading them or baking from them. The jacket goes back on when it goes back on the shelf. It also helps that my books sit open on the kitchen table while I’m working on the counter or island. So they’re not usually in close proximity to ingredients.

  7. Abby said,

    March 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Ha! I love it! Totally wish I’d thought to do a before/after picture series. I’m 3/4 through the recipes and mine looks most like your second picture. =)

  8. AnneMarie said,

    March 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I splattered caramel coloring all over mine in an unfortunate kitchen accident.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      You must share a picture!!

  9. Sara said,

    March 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Mine looked like that before I started the challenge (though mainly from making brioche over and over again!) I think the pages are hanging on by a thread to the binding itself. Maybe I’ll have to see if the copy center at work can vello bind it for me, in exchnage for a loaf of choice, ha!

  10. ap269 said,

    March 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    HA! Mine looks similar inside, but I removed the book jacket when I realized it would use the book very often, so when I’m done (only 1 more bread left) I’ll put the jacket on again and everything will look fine (from the outside) ;-).

  11. Natashya said,

    March 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    So funny! Hubby was just saying to me that we should photograph the book in its state after being used so much this past year.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      Someone had a coincidental picture of their book in a post early on (like the first picture above), and I commented that we should all do before and after pictures of our books.

  12. Gina said,

    March 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Mine looks like that too….and I’m not even close to done.

  13. March 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    That’s funny! You should SMELL mine! It’s so gross.I’m not even sure what happened to it.

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