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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 begins 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.
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