52 Loaves

One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust

By William Alexander
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565125834, 339pp.)

Publication Date: May 2010

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Description
William Alexander is determined to bake the perfect loaf of bread. He tasted it long ago, in a restaurant, and has been trying to reproduce it ever since. Without success. Now, on the theory that practice makes perfect, he sets out to bake peasant bread every week until he gets it right. He bakes his loaf from scratch. And because Alexander is nothing if not thorough, he really means from scratch: growing, harvesting, winnowing, threshing, and milling his own wheat.
An original take on the six-thousand-year-old staple of life, "52 Loaves" explores the nature of obsession, the meditative quality of ritual, the futility of trying to re-create something perfect, our deep connection to the earth, and the mysterious instinct that makes all of us respond to the aroma of baking bread.



NPR
Monday, May 31, 2010

Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations from booksellers Rona Brinlee, Lucia Silva and Daniel Goldin. Their selections for summertime reading include books about small-town America, a polygamist father in over his head, and a postmistress in New England during World War II. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, May 2, 2010

William Alexander spent a year baking a loaf of bread each week in an attempt to replicate a loaf of peasant bread he once tasted. Host Liane Hansen speaks with Alexander about his new book, 52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust. More at NPR.org

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