I recently purchased a copy of "The Perfect Loaf" by Maurizio Leo. This book is all about sourdoughs - from every perspective that a baker can think of - background, ingredients, equipment, techniques and recipes. The focus of the recipes is free-form/artisan and pan breads - dead center in my wheelhouse. Maurizio also provides recipes for pizza, flatbreads, rolls/buns and sweets. The photography in the book is outstanding and inspiring. The book is relevant to a beginning baker as well as a veteran.
My first bake from this book was a "Sunflower and Sesame" sourdough bread. I used Janie's Mill's Artisan Blend flour as the whole wheat flour. The depth of flavor of this bread was Amazing!! My second bake was "Cranberry and Walnut" sourdough bread. This bread was also fabulous, so much so that I went to the store the morning of the bake just to purchase some sliced turkey and Swiss cheese to make sandwiches for lunch.
I very much like the way the author presents his recipes. The Baking Timeline is helpful to plan ahead so as to have the bake best fit into my schedule. The recipes are presented in a step-by-step fashion and are easy to follow. I encourage readers to review pages 146-147 before attempting their first bake to understand how the recipes are presented.
Many of Maurizio's recipes have a "How To Tinker" section at the end of the recipe. The intent is to give the reader ideas to demonstrate the breadth of the recipe.
"The Perfect Loaf" may strike some bakers as being an expensive book, which is likely why it took me a while to purchase a copy. Now that I have the book, I wish I would have purchased a copy much sooner. I will rely upon this book as a reference for background information and as a source of great recipes.
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