52 Loaves

52 Loaves

One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and A Perfect Crust

Book - 2010
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Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, c2010.
ISBN: 9781565125834
Characteristics: x, 339 p. ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: Fifty two loaves

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Ebflat4
Oct 17, 2012

An obsessive's diary of a year of attempts at baking the 'perfect loaf' of 'peasant bread'. Well written, funny and moving. I can see myself in this book, only now he's done it (grown, harvested, ground and made bread from his own wheat in a hand build wood fired oven) so I don't have to. And yes, there are a few recipes in the back. But it's more about the journey than the bread itself.

ksoles May 20, 2011

It sounds like an engaging premise: the author bakes a loaf of bread each week for a year, learning about the science of fermentation and visiting some of the world's most famous artisan bakeries in the process. However, upon realizing that he bakes the SAME recipe in each of the 52 chapters, the book becomes less interesting.

William Alexander displays his talent when he humourously describes harvesting his own wheat crop and attempting to build a hearth oven in his backyard. Otherwise, though, the book contains a tedious (and sometimes inaccurate) catalogue of the infinite ways to combine water, flour, salt and yeast. If such a memoir can't sustain the attention of a certified bread nerd like myself, there's little hope for it!

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zither Dec 01, 2010

Quest to bake the perfect loaf of artisanal bread takes the author to Morocco, a monastery in Normandy, France, to the pits of despair and the heights of gustatory delight. Humorous and educational with bits of spirituality.

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