Three Quarters of a Baker's Dozen
Artisan Baking Across America: The Breads, the Bakers, the Best Recipes
by Maggie Glezer
Artisan, 236 pp., $40
Trust the folks at Artisan to produce the most beautiful baking book of the year, an elegant coffeetable tome dedicated to the emergence of true artisan bread baking across this country. Atlanta food writer Maggie Glezer is a baker certified by the prestigious American Institute of Baking who specializes in teaching and writing about baking. For this lovely, oversized book, Glezer traveled from the Acme Bread Company in Berkeley, Calif., and the Pearl Bakery in Portland, Or., to the wheat fields of Manhattan, Kan., and the flour mills of Platteville, Colo. She visited artisan bakers in Sonoma County, watched the bialy makers at Kossar's in New York, sampled the Semolina Filone at Tom Cat Bakery on Long Island, and tried the Polenta Bread at tiny Della Fattoria's in Petaluma. All are chronicled here, in well-written text with exquisite photos by Ben Fink. This book isn't just a good read, however; Glezer includes step-by-step instructions and carefully tested recipes as well. The stories, recipes, and photos in Artisan Baking Across America are irresistible, far too much so to leave this book on the coffee table.