Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bread Alone by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik


Several years ago I decided to make some changes to my diet. One change was to only eat bread made with no sugar. I also wanted bread made with unbleached or whole-wheat flour. I found it easy to find whole wheat bread but not so easy to find bread made with unbleached flour. I decided to make my own but when I pulled out my bread recipes I found that all used sugar to speed the work of the yeast. I then searched the web and still did not find a recipe that met my needs. That sent me to my local bookstore where I found Bread Alone. The recipes in the book met all my requirements.

I think that Bread Alone is a bread makers dream. The authors guide you through all the steps required to make bread. There is a section on how to select your equipment, how to select your flour, and step-by-step instructions on how to make each type of bread.

My favorite recipe in the book is the classic country-style hearth loaf on page 64. Water, flour, sea salt and yeast combine to make a loaf “much like the peasant breads of seventeenth-century France and Italy”. It takes 2 to 10 hours to make and ferment the poolish and another 7 hours before you bring the completed loaves out of the oven. I find the resulting bread well worth the effort.

Bread Alone was published by William Morrow in 1993. If you love to bake this book deserves a place on you cookbook shelf.

Daniel Leader has a bakery called Bread Alone in the upper Hudson Valley. You can visit his web site at

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