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The Perfect Loaf: The Craft and Science of Sourdough Breads, Sweets, and More: A Baking Book (Hardcover)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dynamic, authoritative sourdough baking bible for those looking to build confidence in the craft with a wide range of foolproof recipes, from pan loaves to pizza to doughnuts, by the beloved blogger and resident bread baker at Food52
“Maurizio Leo has given all bread-heads, whether newbies or experienced bakers, the ideal gift.”—Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and host of Pizza Quest
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Saveur
Maurizio Leo’s blog The Perfect Loaf is the go-to destination on the internet for beginner sourdough bakers. He now brings his impeccably detailed techniques, foolproof recipes, and generous teaching style to a groundbreaking debut cookbook that delves into the absolute fundamentals of sourdough—plus the tools and confidence to explore beyond.
Pan loaves: Everyday Sandwich Bread, Naturally Leavened Brioche, German Whole Rye, Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Pizza and flatbread: Roman-Style Pan Pizza, Focaccia, Naan, Flour Tortillas, Pita
Buns, rolls, and more: Soft Dinner Rolls, Potato Buns, Ciabatta Rolls, English Muffins, Bagels
Sweets: Weekend Cinnamon Rolls, Italian Doughnuts, Summer Fruit Sourdough Crostata, Banana Bread, Cinnamon Babka
Beginner bakers will have their hands held the entire way, with troubleshooting sections and numerous sidebars answering almost every question they may have—like how to store a sourdough starter long-term, how bakers’ percentages actually work, and a visual guide to common “bread fails” and how to remedy them. Seasoned bakers will relish deep dives into the science behind baking processes and expert information on how to build their “baker’s intuition” and level up by experimenting with hydration, ingredient ratios, freshly milled grains, and specialty flours. Whether you're new to bread baking or a pro, The Perfect Loaf will be your indispensable guide in the kitchen.
About the Author
Maurizio Leo is the creator of the award-winning sourdough website The Perfect Loaf, resident bread baker at Food52, and a regular contributor to the King Arthur Baking blog. Maurizio has written articles on bread baking for Edible New Mexico, the Bread Baker’s Guild of America, and Bread Magazine. He’s spent the past decade baking bread in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Reminiscent of a textbook (in the best way possible), this book breaks down every single step and variable involved in baking naturally leavened bread. With entire chapters dedicated to ‘Your First Sourdough Loaf’ and ‘Sourdough Science 101,’ I can’t imagine a more thorough guide to the sourdough making process.”—Anabelle Doliner, Food52
“Leo’s journey from amateur to wonk makes this guide more lucid than many professionally written books: he, too, started from scratch. The Perfect Loaf is both for teaching beginners to think like bakers and for those still making paindemic baguettes who want to go leagues deeper.”—Christine Muhlke, Air Mail
“With The Perfect Loaf Maurizio Leo has given all bread-heads, whether newbies or experienced bakers, the ideal gift. In his organized and engaging writing style, Maurizio has demystified the process and science of sourdough baking so that anyone can make, and even improve upon, their loaves.”—Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and host of Pizza Quest
“Maurizio Leo’s book has everything anyone would want to know about the art and science of bread baking, written beautifully and clearly for the first-time baker and the long obsessed. This book is an encyclopedic and approachable addition to the canon from an anchor of the bread baking community.”—Jennifer Latham, author of Baking Bread with Kids
“Maurizio has distilled a lifetime of knowledge into a perfectly complete bible for every bread baker. This thorough guide to baking the best bread you’ve ever tasted is a must have for anyone who loves bread.”—Dan Richer, author of The Joy of Pizza
“There is no book written specifically for home bakers that surpasses this one. Maurizio presents each topic, however small, with precision and clarity, and meticulously elucidates even the most complex subjects. Maurizio has written a classic, and his book will have enduring relevance.”—Jeffery Hamelman, baker and author of Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes
“For those looking to make professional-quality bread and perfect every element of baking bread at home, The Perfect Loaf will guide you there by giving you not just recipes but also the tools to think like a baker.”—Bryan Ford, author of New World Sourdough
“For the home and professional baker, Maurizio’s deep dive into the craft of sourdough is an incredible addition to our arsenal of grain greatness, an ideal marriage of science and sensibility. He reminds us of what brings us to the table and what we remember and yearn for once we step away from it. Perfect indeed.”—Chris Bianco, author of Bianco and chef/owner of Pizzeria Bianco