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

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

ISBN13: 9781565125834
ISBN10: 1565125835
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Ecole 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.

Synopsis:

An original take on the 6,000-year-old staple of life, "52 Loaves" explores the nature of obsession, the meditative quality of ritual, and the mysterious instinct that makes every person, regardless of culture or society, respond to the aroma of baking bread.

About the Author

William Alexander lives and bakes in New York's Hudson Valley. He is the author of The $64 Tomato

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

peter in port, November 15, 2010 (view all comments by peter in port)
52 Loaves is one of those humorous yet informative books written in a conversational style, not unlike a "Shouts and Murmurs" column in the New Yorker. William Alexander, a fifty something exurbanite, describes trying to make the perfect loaf of craft bread. He interweaves his story with vignettes of his life, married to a doctor in their Hudson Valley home, and working the bookselling scene as the author of the bestselling, similarly breezy book about growing heirloom tomatoes. The style is light, tasteful, bubbly and witty, not unlike a good piece of bread. Alexander, in trying to learn what makes the perfect loaf, gets some unexpected lessons about life along the way. This book is very amusing and will inspire me to try to do some baking. It leaves the readers with lots of terrific scientific and historical trivia as a bonus. I gave it four out of five stars because I am trying to watch my carbs.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565125834
Author:
Alexander, William
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Methods - Baking
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Courses & Dishes - Bread
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Breads
Subject:
COOKING / Methods/Baking
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Personal Memoirs
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20111025
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.5 x 0.94 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Baking » Breads
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » General

52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.98 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565125834 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An original take on the 6,000-year-old staple of life, "52 Loaves" explores the nature of obsession, the meditative quality of ritual, and the mysterious instinct that makes every person, regardless of culture or society, respond to the aroma of baking bread.
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