52 Loaves

52 Loaves

A Half-Baked Adventure

By William Alexander

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Paperback, 9781616200503, 339pp.

Publication Date: October 25, 2011

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.


About the Author
William Alexander has been gardening and small-scale farming for over twenty-five years. He lives with his wife and their two children in New York's Hudson Valley.