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Living Bread

2020 James Beard Award Winner

The major new cookbook by the pioneer from Bread Alone, who revolutionized American artisan bread baking, with 60 recipes inspired by bakers around the world.

At twenty-two, Daniel Leader stumbled across the intoxicating perfume of bread baking in the back room of a Parisian boulangerie, and he has loved and devoted himself to making quality bread ever since. He went on to create Bread Alone, the now-iconic bakery that has become one of the most beloved artisan bread companies in the country. Today, professional bakers and bread enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Bread Alone's headquarters in the Catskills to learn Dan's signature techniques and baking philosophy.

But though Leader is a towering figure in bread baking, he still considers himself a student of the craft, and his curiosity is boundless. In this groundbreaking book, he offers a comprehensive picture of bread baking today for the enthusiastic home baker. With inspiration from a community of millers, farmers, bakers, and scientists, Living Bread provides a fascinating look into the way artisan bread baking has evolved and continues to change—from wheat farming practices and advances in milling, to sourdough starters and the mechanics of mixing dough. Influenced by art and science in equal measure, Leader presents exciting twists on classics such as Curry Tomato Ciabatta, Vegan Brioche, and Chocolate Sourdough Babka, as well as traditional recipes. Sprinkled with anecdotes and evocative photos from Leader's own travels and encounters with artisans who have influenced him, Living Bread is a love letter, and a cutting-edge guide, to the practice of making "good bread."

Pages: 296


“Some of the best bread comes from tiny bakeries,” writes two-time IACP Award–winner Leader (Bread Alone) in this superb study. He focuses on independent bakeries, gives a primer on ancient grains and DIY flour milling, and provides profiles of European artisan bakers who create outstanding bread (among them Rodolphe Landemain, whose Rue des Martyrs bakery in Paris is known for its traditional baguette). Leader offers readers plenty of tips on baking baguettes, pain au levain, and schwarzbrot (German black bread), among several others. Many recipes are keepers, such as a lush brioche that utilizes crème fraîche, a laminated honey rye with lemon and herbs; and a lovely rosemary and walnut schiacciata made with leftover sourdough starter. The book excels in its attention to French, German, and Italian bakeries and their specialties. Expertly marrying the art and science that’s required to create great bread, the authors walk readers through each step (recipes includes additional tips for professional bakers) with specific instructions to assuage fears and ensure success. This vital addition to the dough canon will resonate with serious home bakers as well as professionals. (Oct.)


Publishers Weekly

Somehow, Daniel Leader, long a pioneer in the American baking world, finds a way to blaze a new path in his excellent new book Living Bread with precision and passion. Living Bread guides you around the world to make breads that will entice your nose, your mouth, and your heart.” –Nancy Silverton

“Daniel Leader’s journey with bread began with the spirit of curiosity and inquiry, which led him to founding the iconic bakery Bread Alone. And now we have his new book, Living Bread, which is both a warm reflection on his own place within the long tradition of bread-making and a charming collection of stories about the people who have enriched his own experiences and skills, along with many of their delicious recipes.” –Nathan Myhrvold, co-author of Modernist Cuisine and founder of Modernist Cuisine

“This is the book all of us sleepless bread makers have been waiting for. It is a visually stunning homage to land, grain, history, craft, tradition, and travel, and, at its essence, the story of a lifelong love affair with bread. Humble. Passionate. Honest. Inspiring.” –Zachary Golper, chef and owner of Bien Cuit
“Dan has been a colleague and mentor to me for over thirty years, since I first met him at Bread Alone just a little while after we had both opened our bakeries. He has always been deeply and comfortably curious about everything to do with bread and baking and unfailingly generous with his knowledge and advice. This gorgeous book translates Dan’s curiosity and wisdom into a rich and valuable tool for thoughtful and inquisitive bakers.” ꟷSteve Sullivan, co-founder of Acme Bread
“Finally . . . a beautiful cookbook worth reading (and savoring).  It's almost as delicious to page through as Daniel's bread is to eat.” –Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing


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