It's still hard to believe, but this is already the last review of 2022! This year brought us phenomenal cookbooks, so he had to save something special for the end. For today's review, we bring you The Perfect Loaf — one of the best bread books we have ever reviewed.
Maurizio Leo's blog, The Perfect Loaf, is the go-to destination on the internet for beginner sourdough bakers. He now brings his impeccably detailed techniques, foolproof recipes, and generous teaching style to a groundbreaking debut cookbook that delves into the absolute fundamentals of sourdough — plus the tools and confidence to explore beyond.
Writing about The Perfect Loaf cookbook is only possible by first writing a few words about The Perfect Loaf blog.
Maurizio's blog is a project created to document his sourdough-baking experiments and to help other others learn about the craft of bread-baking. For more than a decade, Maurizio has been building a bread-baker community with inspiring bakers from around the world and learning from their baking styles.
The Perfect Loaf cookbook is the culmination of Maurizio's sourdough trials, experiments, classes, research, and countless interactions with bakers at all levels over the past decade.
Maurizio wrote this book to teach you how to think like a baker, not follow a recipe. While there are plenty of delicious recipes in this book, such as Simple Sourdough, Cranberry & Walnut, Soft Dinner Rolls, and even Weekend Cinnamon Rolls or Italian Doughnuts, The Perfect Loaf is also about building your own baker's intuition.
The recipes in The Perfect Loaf have been meticulously tested. Throughout the book, Maurizio explains every fundamental part of the process in immense detail, anticipating and answering any question you might have and addressing the potential issues you may encounter. Sometimes you'll feel like you're sitting in a bread-baking class.
Many of the recipes are brand new; however, you'll also find some of the fan favorites from the past ten-plus years at The Perfect Loaf. In this book, you'll find a whole range of sourdough creations-from classic loaves and pizzas to more unexpected offerings, like drop biscuits, bagels, and even sweets like cinnamon rolls and doughnuts.
Accordingly, to Maurizio, each recipe was chosen not only for how delicious the result is but also to teach you a different facet of sourdough baking, like a mini-lesson. For example, a recipe may teach you how to adjust the sourness in your bread, how to effectively mix in enrichments (dairy, egg, and sugar), or how to time your starter, levain, and dough so your bread is ready to bake when you are.
Like an excellent bread book, The Perfect Loaf is organized to speak to beginners and seasoned bakers alike. Beginner bakers will have their hands held the entire way, with troubleshooting sections and numerous sidebars answering almost every question they may have. Seasoned bakers will relish deep dives into the science behind baking processes and expert information on how to build their "baker's intuition" and level up by experimenting with hydration, ingredient ratios, freshly milled grains, and specialty flours.
The Perfect Loaf is, without question, one of the best bread books we reviewed. With a range of foolproof recipes from free-form loaves, pan loaves to pizza to doughnuts, troubleshooting sections, and even a dive into the science behind baking processes, The Perfect Loaf is an indispensable guide in the kitchen, whether you're new to bread baking or a pro.
The Perfect Loaf is an authoritative sourdough baking bible for a new generation of bakers. Explore the craft and science of sourdough breads, sweets, and more.