52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust

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Algonquin Books
  • William Alexander is determined to bake the perfect loaf of bread. He tasted it long ago, in a restaurant, and has been trying to reproduce it ever since. Without success. But now he’s going to try again—every week for one year—until he gets it right. He will bake his peasant loaf from scratch. And because Alexander is nothing if not thorough, he really means from scratch: growing, harvesting, winnowing, threshing, and milling his own wheat. Alexander’s often hilarious quest takes our (anti)hero through dangerous back alleys of Morocco, where he bakes his loaf in an ancient communal oven; to Paris, where he enrolls in the cours de boulangerie at the famed École Ritz Escoffier; to a monastery in Normandy, where (his lack of French and faith notwithstanding) he becomes bread baker to the monks; and finally to his own backyard, where he builds a lopsided brick oven and learns that perfection is just a state of mind. Alexander also takes us along on entertaining visits to yeast factories and flour mills, seeks advice from master bread bakers, captures wild yeast to make his own levain, and enters the baking contest at the New York State Fair. An original take on the six-thousand-year-old staple of life, 52 Loaves explores the nature of obsession, the meditative quality of ritual, the futility of trying to re-create something perfect, our deep connection to the earth, and the mysterious instinct that makes every single person on the planet, regardless of culture or society, respond to the aroma of baking bread.
  • Author:
    William Alexander
    Binding:
    Hardcover
    Dewey Decimal Number:
    641.815
    EAN:
    9781565125834
    ISBN:
    1565125835
    Label:
    Algonquin Books
    Languages:
    English
    List Price:
    $23.95
    Manufacturer:
    Algonquin Books
    Number Of Items:
    1
    Number Of Pages:
    352
    Product Group:
    Book
    Product Type Name:
    ABIS_BOOK
    Publication Date:
    2010-05-04
    Publisher:
    Algonquin Books
    Studio:
    Algonquin Books
    Title:
    52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust

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