In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey

Author(s): Samuel Fromartz


"If you love great bread, you will love this book! From Paris, to Berlin, to Marienthal, Kansas, we follow Sam on his quest as he shares his love for bread and the 'baking secrets' he learned along the way." -Daniel Leader, founder of Bread Alone Bakery and author of "Bread Alone" "This fascinating, beautifully written memoir reveals Sam Fromartz as that rare breed of cook: craftsman, historian and scientist all in one." -Alice Waters, chef/owner of Chez Panisse and author of "The Art of Simple Food" In 2009, journalist Samuel Fromartz was offered the assignment of a lifetime: to travel to France to work in a boulangerie. So began his quest to hone not just his homemade baguette--which later beat out professional bakeries to win the "Best Baguette of D.C."--but his knowledge of bread, from seed to table. For the next four years, Fromartz traveled across the United States and Europe, perfecting his sourdough in California, his whole grain rye in Berlin, and his country wheat in the South of France. Along the way, he met historians, millers, farmers, wheat geneticists, sourdough biochemists, and everyone in between, learning about the history of breadmaking, the science of fermentation, and more. The result is an informative yet personal account of bread and breadbaking, complete with detailed recipes, tips, and beautiful photographs. Entertaining and inspiring, this book will be a touchstone for a new generation of bakers and a must-read for anyone who wants to take a deeper look at this deceptively ordinary, exceptionally delicious staple: handmade bread.


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"Thoroughly researched and engagingly written....This impressive work falls somewhere between a cookbook, an exploration of bread-baking techniques, and a history of bread....Even those who think they know bread will find something to gain here....Highly recommended." -"Library Journal, "starred review "[A] fun and informative memoir [that] provides a fascinating miniature course on the techniques involved in making different varieties...baking methods used by our ancestors...and even a little history on grains and practices dating back to the Fertile Crescent." -"Publishers Weekly" "A consummate celebration of the deceptively simple loaf of bread...Besides imparting a history of grains and their places in culture over the past 105,000 years (when grain consumption appears to have begun), Fromartz includes step-by-step recipes for nurturing dough starters and for baking baguettes, flatbread, rye bread (which he learned to make in Berlin) and a loaf made from an artisanal grain, Turkey Red wheat....Richly detailed [and] lively." -"Kirkus Reviews" "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

Samuel Fromartz's work has appeared in "The New York Times," "The Washington Post, " and "The Atlantic, " among other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.

General Fields

  • : 9780670025619
  • : Penguin Putnam Inc
  • : Viking Press Inc
  • : September 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Samuel Fromartz
  • : Hardback
  • : 320