At almost any time of the day, people are lined up on the sidewalk outside the La Brea Bakery waiting to buy its extraordinary bread. Connected to Campanile, the successful Los Angeles restaurant, the bakery has grown by leaps and bounds since it opened in 1989. Now Nancy Silverton, a onetime pastry chef at Michael's, the original pastry chef at the world-famous Spago, and today quite simply the best bread baker in the country, shares her magical La Brea Bakery recipes, painstakingly crafted during years of trial and error, here perfected and adapted for home bakers. This beautifully illustrated, ultrasophisticated cook-book is also accessible and user-friendly. Before the baking even begins, Silverton carefully and lovingly explains the wonder of bread alchemy: how to grow a yeasted starter (the secret of truly great bread), and how that starter interacts with a bread's other elements to bring about a firm yet light inside and a crispy, crusty outside. Then come the recipes, which range from the whimsical (Raisin Brioche, Red Pepper-Scallion Bread, and Fig-Anise Bread) to the practical (Baguettes, Bagels, and Hamburger Buns) to the sublime (Pumpkin Bread, Mushroom Bread, and, perhaps best of all, Chocolate-Sour Cherry Bread). Silverton even creates incomparable pretzels, croissants, onion rings, and dog biscuits (which can double as infant teething biscuits). Designed for the novice and expert baker alike, Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery is an instant must-have classic - a back-to-basics approach that will delight, inspire, and satisfy bread lovers everywhere.