cover image In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey

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

Samuel Fromartz. Viking, $26.95 hardcover (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-02561-9

In this fun and informative memoir, Fromartz, a Washington, D.C.-based journalist and avid baker, recounts his journeys to Paris, Northern California, and other regions in pursuit of the craft of well-made bread. As a teenager in New York City, Fromartz picked up bread from neighborhood bakeries whose loaves “defined bread for me when I was growing up.” Living in D.C. as an adult, the city’s lack of freshly baked bread leads Fromartz to Paris, where he does a stint in an old school boulangerie in an attempt to learn how to make a baguette. Along the way, he provides a fascinating miniature course on the techniques involved in making different varieties (how much flour to sprinkle on a counter and how much time is required for leavening); baking methods used by our ancestors (slow fermentation) instead of the mechanized mass production that utilizes baker’s yeast; and even a little history on grains and practices dating back to the Fertile Crescent. [em](Sept.) [/em]