52 Loaves:One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust
By William Alexander
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 2010. 339 pgs. Nonfiction
William Alexander has an unrealistic dream. Make a perfect loaf of bread from wheat he has grown on his own property. A year seems barely long enough for the author who also indulges his passion to know everything he possibly can about yeast, baking equipment, flour and ovens. And it isn’t enough just to know – he has to experience firsthand the bread of fine bread makers in places as far away as Morocco and Paris. His final baking “trial” takes place at a monastery in France where he has audaciously promised to help the monks make perfect bread.
For some this book may prove to be more than you ever wanted to know about making bread. And it is surely not a recipe book, in fact it will take you weeks to make bread by the recipe he provides. But if you’ve ever felt the same urge to bake a perfect loaf of bread you may find this a humorous and informative romp through the frustrations and joys of bread making. SH