"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
"If you love great bread, you will love this book! ... Follow Sam on his quest as he shares his love for great bread and the 'baking secrets' he learned along the way."
- Dan Leader, founder of Bread Alone Bakery and author of Bread Alone: Bold Fresh Loaves from Your Own Hands
"Bread book of the year."
- Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Fast and columnist, New York Times.
"Brilliant new memoir/breadbaking book"
- Tim Carman, Washington Post.
In Search of the Perfect Loaf
An irresistible account of bread, bread baking, and one home baker’s journey to master his craft
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.