The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Daniel Leader book

Cooky's picture

New Daniel Leader book

I was just given a copy of Daniel Leader's (and Lauren Chattman's) new book "Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers." (Not really all of Europe; mostly France, Italy and Germany. )

Only had time to skim so far, but it looks really useful. Enormous amounts of information and discussion on sourdough techniques. Also, each recipe is rendered in a grid with measurements by volume, U.S. weight, metric weight and baker's percentages.

The photos are *gorgeous,* although mostly of finished loaves. Some processes are illustrated with drawings.

All in all, it looks like a worthy follow to "Bread Alone."


Floydm's picture

I just got a copy of it too. It does look good!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And very easy to understand. 

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I too have the book.  I wish I had the time and money to travel Europe in search of good bread!  That would be my dream vacation.


home_mill's picture
  • What does whole grain mean? I saw a few recipes posted from the book and they were completely white flour. What % of recipes are 100% whole grain, if any?

Thanks - Joel
Floydm's picture

There are a decent number of rye and mixed flour recipes and a few containing grains. I wouldn't say a great number of them are highly whole grain though.

If you want a book containing traditional European recipes some of which are whole grain, this book is great. If you want a book dedicated to whole grain baking, Peter's new book is the way to go.

home_mill's picture

I was thinking Peter's book is probably more what I was looking for.

dolfs's picture

It is a wonderful book, but, as several of us have found out, a lot of copy and paste went on to put the text for the recipes together and, unfortunately, not with enough care. As a result there is a good amount of errors in them. Most can be overcome by a good understanding of bread formulas and some math, but not all. Some instructions are just ambiguous.

A separate thread was established to deal with these errors and corrections


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Doughman's picture

I've been reading Daniel Leader's Sourdough and Whole Grain book, and the stories he mentions in there are interesting. The ones that caught my attention is when he visits bakeries in Paris and Germany/Austria. The stories are interesting, but I get a funny feeling he's not passing on the techniques or lessons he has learned from the bakers he has visisted to us readers. I am also very suspicious of the starter formulas that he has in his book...especially the liquid levain and rye sourdough starters. I have a gut feeling that they're not true or accurate because that is alot of starter being fed into the next feeing. It's funny that he does not list the % for the starter for each feeding. Just my 2 cents worth.

seabird's picture

I am a very new baker - was inspired at first by the New York Times no-knead bread and then felt that I had to try something more interesting/adventurous. I spent days at my local book stores reading books until I found this one. It suited my way of learning better than most. So I bought it.

I too have seen some quantity errors, but when things seemed bogus, I tried to fix them - with somewhat uneven results. The thought of my poor kitchenaid working on the Ciabatta dough at an 8 setting for 12-15 minutes was too much to stand. So I did it at 5 and then goosed it to 10 for the last couple of minutes and that worked out well.

 The grape focaccia is to die for!. Mind you, the semolina focaccia with tomato slices (under which I secreted a little basil) was a knockout too. Using parchment paper under the baguettes seems to be cheating, but it does mean that those of us with poor eye/hand coordination can turn out something really good.

All in all I am very glad that I bought this book. It has started me up the bread learning curve well.