In Search of the Perfect Loaf
A Home Baker's OdysseyBook - 2014
In December 2008, journalist and devoted home baker Samuel Fromartz was offered the assignment of a lifetime- to travel to France and work in a Paris boulangerie . So begans Fromartz's journey to hone not just his homemade baguette - which later beats out the loaves of professional baker to win the 'Best Baguette of D.C.' - but his knowledge of bread, from seed to table.
For the next four years, Fromartz travels across the United States and Europe, perfecting a sourdough loaf in northern California, a whole grain rye in Berlin, and a pain nature made with ancient wheat in the south of France. Along the way, he shares fascinating insights about the origins of wheat, the science of fermentation, the importance of grain diversity, and more, revealing tips from master bakers that have informed his own techniques and recipes over fifteen years of baking in an ordinary kitchen. Nine of those recipes are included in this book. Here are the bakers, farmers, millers, wheat geneticists, and sourdough biochemists on the forefront of what might be called the real bread movement-a grassroots reaction against widespread industrial methods that sacrifice flavor, locality, variety, and craft in the name of efficiency.
Entertaining and inspiring, In Search of the Perfect Loaf is more than a culinary adventure story. It's a call to arms and a handbook for the next generation of home bakers, and an indispensable read for anyone who wants to take a deeper look at this deceptively ordinary, exceptional delicious staple- handmade bread.
'This fascinating, beautifully written memoir reveals Sam Fromartz as that rare breed of cook- craftsman, historian and scientist all in one, following his senses and questing after what is delicious, authentic, and pure.' Alice Waters, vice president of Slow Food International, owner of Chez Panisse, and author of The Art of Simple Food
'In this lovely book, Sam Fromartz offers a signature mix of baking insights and wonderful storytelling as he hits the road to find his perfect loaf. If you make bread or ever intend to - you need to read this book.' Ruth Reichl , former editor-in-chief of Gourmet and author of Delicious!
'Sam Fromartz's odyssey teaches us that being a great baker takes more than simply following recipes - it is a relentless quest. His conversations with bakers and then his reinterpretation of their lessons at home is a double education. I love this book.' Nancy Silverton , founder of La Brea bakery and author of The Mozza Cookbook
' In Search of the Perfect Loaf is really the best kind of read - a quest for true bread enriched by research, knowledge and pleasure. This book will change the way you look at bread.' Dan Barber , co-owner/executive chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns and author of The Third Plate
'Fromartz has beautifully captured the joys, loneliness, frustrations, and rewards of his bread-making journey. You will want to bake from this book.' Peter Reinhart , author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Bread Revolution
'This book makes the reader reexamine a subject truly overlooked- the culture of the baker and, in particular, of bread. An exquisite work, written with passion and expertise.' Jim Lahey, owner/founder of Sullivan Street Bakery and author of My Bread