Living Bread: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making

Avery. Oct. 2019. 368p. photos. index. ISBN 9780735213838. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780735213845. COOKING
Leader (Bread Alone Local Breads) offers sound explanations on bread baking, more than 50 recipes, and profiles of many European influencers—not only other bakers but also farmers, millers, and scientists knowledgeable about what it takes to produce a good loaf. The author shares their stories, recipes, and current views about bread, nicely blending respect for ancient ingredients and traditions with a healthy outlook on adopting modern science and technology. As with many bread books for enthusiastic home bakers, this title includes some historical information about wheat and milling as well as a detailed explanation of flour classifications and labeling (American, Italian, German, and French). There are suggestions for home milling and resources lists for specialty equipment and ingredients. The recipes, which do not include hand-kneading details, are grouped by type: straight doughs, yeasted preferments, simple sourdoughs, complex sourdoughs, and sprouted breads. Though intended for home bakers, the recipes provide “notes for professional bakers” working in a production environment, for example.
VERDICT Recommended for serious home bread bakers.

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