Harvard Book Store welcomes pioneering artisan bread baker DANIEL LEADER and cookbook author LAUREN CHATTMAN for a discussion of their new book, Living Bread: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making. They will be joined in conversation by JACK BISHOP, chief creative officer of America’s Test Kitchen.
At twenty-two, Daniel Leader stumbled across the intoxicating perfume of bread baking in the back room of a Parisian boulangerie, and he has loved and devoted himself to making quality bread ever since. He went on to create Bread Alone, the now-iconic bakery that has become one of the most beloved artisan bread companies in the country. Today, professional bakers and bread enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Bread Alone’s headquarters in the Catskills to learn Dan’s signature techniques and baking philosophy.
But though Leader is a towering figure in bread baking, he still considers himself a student of the craft, and his curiosity is boundless. In this groundbreaking book, he offers a comprehensive picture of bread baking today for the enthusiastic home baker. With inspiration from a community of millers, farmers, bakers, and scientists, Living Bread provides a fascinating look into the way artisan bread baking has evolved and continues to change—from wheat farming practices and advances in milling, to sourdough starters and the mechanics of mixing dough. Influenced by art and science in equal measure, Leader presents exciting twists on classics such as Curry Tomato Ciabatta, Vegan Brioche, and Chocolate Sourdough Babka, as well as traditional recipes.
Sprinkled with anecdotes and evocative photos from Leader’s own travels and encounters with artisans who have influenced him, Living Bread is a love letter, and a cutting-edge guide, to the practice of making “good bread.”
“This is the book all of us sleepless bread makers have been waiting for. It is a visually stunning homage to land, grain, history, craft, tradition, and travel, and, at its essence, the story of a lifelong love affair with bread. Humble. Passionate. Honest. Inspiring.” —Zachary Golper, chef and owner of Bien Cuit
“Somehow, Daniel Leader, long a pioneer in the American baking world, finds a way to blaze a new path in his excellent new book Living Bread with precision and passion. Living Bread guides you around the world to make breads that will entice your nose, your mouth, and your heart.” —Nancy Silverton
“Just when I thought we’d run out of things to say about bread, Daniel Leader, in Living Bread, places a stunning capstone on his illustrative career. He is not only one of the great bakers of our time, but he is also one of our noblest bread ambassadors and storytellers. His personal journey, as well as the many artists and unique breads that he profiles, provide a penetrating glimpse into the artisan soul.” —Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.